Non-Final Judgments Will Not Support Appeal

The well-settled rule that a non-final judgment will not support an appeal resulted in two appeals being dismissed by the Court of Civil Appeals.  In both Faulk v. Rhodes, [Ms. 2081005] (Ala. Civ. App. Feb 3, 2010), and Sexton v. Sexton, [Ms. 2080852] (Ala. Civ. App. Feb. 5, 2010), the Court of Civil Appeals determined that claims were left unresolved in the trial court.  Because judgments are final only if the judgment resolves all claims of all parties, and there were no certification of finality pursuant to Ala. R. Civ. P. 54(b), the appeals had to be dismissed as being from non-final judgments.

Court of Civil Appeals Reviews Probate Appeal From Circuit Court

 The Court of Civil Appeals addressed two issues in probate appeals.  Section 12-22-21(1) of the Alabama Code, the court first held, allows direct appeals from non-final judgments of both the probate and circuit courts.  The circuit court’s non-final summary judgment therefore did not need to be certified under Rule 54(b).  Moreover, once a probate case is removed to circuit court, exclusive jurisdiction remains in the circuit court for as long as the case is pending there.  The appellant thus could not have appealed from a probate court order that was void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  Brown v. Brown, No. 2080018 (Ala. Civ. App. Apr. 24, 2009).

Continue reading