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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Lower Court Could Not Refuse to Tax Appellate Costs

The juvenile court could not refuse to order a losing appellee to pay the costs of appeal: The appellate court had ordered, and the governing rule mandated, that the appellee pay those costs when its original judgment was reversed. The Court of Civil Appeals directed the juvenile court to enter an order taxing the costs of appeal against the losing appellee. M.B. v. S.B., No. 2080464 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 7, 2009).

This custody modification suit was before the Court of Civil Appeals for a second time. In the previous appeal, the Court of Civil Appeals had reversed a custody modification, and taxed the costs of the appeal against the mother, as the losing appellee. When the case returned to the juvenile court, the appellants (the children’s grandparents) moved to recover the costs of appeal, pursuant to the appellate court’s mandate. The juvenile court denied that motion.

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