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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
In Djibrine v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., [Ms. 2070518] (Ala. Civ. App. Aug, 22, 2008), the Court of Civil Appeals reversed the Circuit Court’s dismissal of an appeal from the district court as untimely.
In Stanfield v. Stanfield, Ms. 2061090 (Ala. Civ. App. July 18, 2008), the Court of Civil Appeals held that the trial court erred by failing to set aside a default judgment where a party missed a final hearing due to hospitalization.