Post-Judgment Filings Did Not Disturb Finality of Judgment – Appellate Court Had Jurisdiction

The parties filed various motions following the circuit court’s modification of custody. One motion was untimely, and another was more in the nature of a separate proceeding. The court purported to grant one of these motions. None of this rendered the modification order non-final. The Court of Civil Appeals thus possessed appellate jurisdiction. A.M. v. J.S., No. 2071213 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 7, 2009).

This case involves a familiar walk through a tangle of dates. Ultimately, the Court of Civil Appeals decided that a flurry of post-judgment filings did not disturb the finality of the challenged judgment, so that it could exercise appellate jurisdiction over the case.

Continue reading

Fact Findings in Bench Trial Obviate Need For Objection or Post-Judgment Motion

A mother argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the trial court’s custody decision. She had not raised this argument in the trial court. Nonetheless, it was preserved for appeal. Because this was a bench trial, in which the trial court made factual determinations on the custody issue, the mother could challenge sufficiency on appeal without having raised it by objection or post-judgment motion below. Adams v. Adams, No. 2070895 (Ala. Civ. App. Apr. 24, 2009); see Tyson v. Tyson, No. 2070557 (Ala. Civ. App. Apr. 24, 2009)

Continue reading

No “Exceptional Circumstances” Justified Granting Motion Under Rule 60(b)(6); Appeals Did Not Preclude Timely 60(b)(1) Filing

A father’s error in appealing from a void judgment in a custody dispute did not raise “exceptional circumstances” that would warrant granting his motion under Rule 60(b)(6). Nor did the parties’ cross-appeals prevent the father from filing a timely Rule 60(b)(1) motion. The Court of Civil Appeals denied the father’s application for rehearing, thus affirming the denial of his post-judgment motion. Hobbs v. Heisey, No. 2070085 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 29, 2008).

Continue reading

Pending Contempt Motions Make Custody Modifications Nonfinal

Judgments modifying child custody in two separate cases were not final where they did not dispose of pending motions to hold one parent in contempt. Appeals from the modification orders were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Butler v. Phillips, No. 2070488 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 29, 2008); Greenwood v. Greenwood, No. 2070452 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 29, 2008).

Continue reading

Remand to Juvenile Court Not A Final Judgment: Supported Neither Appeal Nor Mandamus

By remanding a custody dispute to juvenile court, the circuit court did not enter a final judgment that would support an appeal.  The juvenile court’s assertion of jurisdiction, which did not adjudicate custody, moreover would not justify a writ of mandamus.   E.E.K. v. Jefferson County Dept. of Human Resources, No. 2050733 (Ala. Civ. App. June 29, 2007).

Continue reading