Unresolved Claims Against Estate Thwarted Cross-Appeals

Where the circuit court resolved most but not all of a wife’s claims against her husband’s estate, the court’s judgment was not final.  Montiel v. Estate of Montiel, No. 2060098 (Ala. Civ. App. June 29, 2007).  An appeal and cross-appeal from that judgment were therefore both dismissed.

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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).

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Parental Rights Arguments Could Not Be Raised for First Time on Appeal; Ineffective Assistance Might Be Pressed Later Under Rule 60(b)

A father who did not appear at a parental rights hearing, and filed no post-judgment motion, could not raise substantive arguments for the first time on appeal, the Court of Civil Appeals held.  D.A. v. Calhoun County Dept. of Human Resources, No. 2060112 (Ala. Civ. App., June 29, 2007).  The father’s effectiveness-of-counsel argument, though, might still be pursued under Rule 60(b).

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Condemnation Order Which Postponed Compensation Award Could Not Be Certified Under Rule 54(b)

The Supreme Court of Alabama dismissed an appeal for lack of jurisdiction where the circuit court’s order, though certified as final under Rule 54(b), reserved the issue of compensation for later determination. State of Alabama v. Brantley Land, L.L.C., No. 1050668 (Ala. June 29, 2007).  Such a partial order could not be certified under Rule 54(b).

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Divorce Judgment Not Final Which Failed to Divide Property or Resolve Alimony

The Court of Civil Appeals dismissed an appeal where the divorce judgment of the circuit court did not divide the parties’ marital property or adjudicate the wife’s claim for alimony. Blythe v. Blythe, No. 2050926 (Ala. Civ. App. June 29, 2007). The judgment was “nonfinal” and the appellate court consequently lacked jurisdiction to review the case.

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