The unique scenario of where the trial court judge renders a judgment just before his term of office ends, but the judgment was not entered until after the judge’s term ended, was presented in Gilliam v. Gilliam, [Ms. 2080856] (Ala. Civ. App. Feb. 5, 2010). The Court of Civil Appeals concluded that, to be valid, the trial court must both render judgment and direct entry of judgment by the clerk prior to leaving office. Further, the Court of Civil Appeals held that an order is valid even if filed on a legal holiday, but that the trial court erred by not holding a hearing on a post-judgment motion that had merit.
In Dawsey v. Raymind James Financial Services, Inc. [Ms. 1070861] (Ala. Feb. 6. 2009), the Alabama Supreme Court dismissed an appeal of an arbitration award because the Circuit Court Clerk had not entered the judgment, as is required to begin judicial review of an award. In its opinion, the Court rejected other bases for exercising jurisdiction over the appeal.
The circuit court lost jurisdiction once it denied an employer’s post-judgment motions under Rules 59 and 60. That denial triggered the 42 days in which the employer had to appeal. The circuit court had no power to reopen, reconsider, and again rule on the employer’s motions. An appeal taken 42 days after that second attempted ruling was dismissed as untimely. Attalla Health Care, Inc. v. Kimble, No. 2061007 (Ala. Civ. App. May 9, 2008).