Circuit Court Lacked Jurisdiction to Rule On Late 60(b)(1) Motion

A father moved under Rule 60(b) to set aside a child support order that had been entered ten months earlier. Though he specified no specific part of Rule 60(b), his motion could be construed as coming only under Rule 60(b)(1). Such motions must be brought within four months of the challenged order. The circuit court’s ruling on the father’s late motion was jurisdictionally void and would not support an appeal. Noll v. Noll, No. 2080736 (Ala. Civ. App. Jan. 29, 2010).

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Successive 60(b) Motions Not Allowed

The circuit court denied a plaintiff’s Rule 60(b) motion. The plaintiff then filed a second, “identical” Rule 60(b) motion. The circuit court correctly recognized that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the second motion. Barnes v. Alternative Capital Source, LLC, No. 2081103 (Ala. Civ. App. Jan. 29, 2010).

This concise opinion presents a string of postjudgment filing dates. Its upshot is that successive postjudgment motions under Rule 60(b), by the same party on the same grounds, are not allowed.  This is the oft-repeated rule that “motions to reconsider” Rule 60(b) motions are not recognized; so that once a trial court denies a 60(b) plea, it cannot hear a second one by the same party. The circuit court in this case was affirmed for deciding, under Rule 60(b)(4), that it lacked jurisdiction to hear a repeat 60(b) motion.

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Rule 60(b) Used to Review a Costs Award

In Fenison v. Birmingham Spring Service, Inc., [Ms. 2080023, 2080036] (Ala. Civ. App. Nov. 6, 2009), the Court of Civil Appeals held that a costs award could be challenged in the trial court by way of a Rule 60(b) motion, but ultimately held that the trial court exceeded its discretion by granting relief.

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Rule 60 Motions Not Subject to Rule 59.1 Deadlines

In  Rhodes v. Rhodes, [Ms. 2070972] (Ala. Civ. App. July 24, 2009), the Court of Civil Appeals dismissed an appeal in part because the trial court never ruled on the Rule 60 motion from which review was sought.  Rule 60 motions are not denied by operation of law after 90 days pursuant to Rule 59.1. Therefore, the motion was still pending and there was not a final order for purposes of appeal.

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Circuit Court Lacked Jurisdiction to Award Post-Judgment Attorney Fees – Should Have Vacated Void Order Under Rule 60(b)(4)

Well after the deadline had passed for filing post-judgment motions, the circuit court purported to grant a new motion to award the defendant attorney fees. This act was void for want of jurisdiction, and should have been vacated on the plaintiff’s motion. Palisades Collection, LLC v. Delaney, 2070532 (Ala. Civ. App. July 10, 2009).

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Void Default Judgment Should Have Been Vacated Under Rule 60(b)(4)


Where a defendant was not served with process, a default judgment entered against her was void for lack of personal jurisdiction. The trial court should have granted her motion to vacate that judgment under Rule 60(b)(4). The Court of Civil Appeals reversed the lower court and ordered the default judgment vacated. Dennis v. Still Waters Residential Ass’n, No. 2071064 (Ala. Civ. App. Mar. 20, 2009).

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Recusal-Based 60(b)(6) Motion Late Where Moving Party Obtained Underlying Document Six Years Earlier

A defendant found no relief from judgment under Rule 60(b)(6) where he had obtained the document supporting his plea for relief six years before he filed his motion. Price v. Clayton, Nos. 2070728, 2070755 (Ala. Civ. App. Oct. 31, 2008). The trial court’s denial of the recusal-based 60(b)(6) motion was affirmed.

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Rule 60(b) motion is not a substitute for a Rule 77(d) extension

When a party is not notified of an appealable order, the only way to extend the time to appeal is by a Rule 77(d) extension, not a Rule 60(b) motion.   In Gullett v. Gullett, [Ms. 2070007] (Ala. Civ. App. Sept. 12, 2008), the Court of Civil Appeals dismissed an appeal as untimely where the appellant incorrectly filed a Rule 60(b) motion for relief from judgment instead of seeking a Rule 77(d) extension.

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