Premature Post-Judgment Motion and Notice of Appeal Became Effective When Target Orders Became Final

A father filed a post-judgment motion before the circuit court entered its judgment. This motion “quickened” and became effective when the trial court did enter judgment. Similarly, the father’s premature notice of appeal became effective when his post-judgment motion was denied. The father’s appeal was thus timely. T.T.T. v. R.H., No. 2070158 (Ala. Civ. App. Jun. 27, 2008).

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Appeal Is “Filed” When Received By Circuit Clerk — Not When Mailed

An appeal is “filed” when the circuit clerk receives the notice of appeal, not when a party mails it. Because the clerk received the notice after the time for filing an appeal had elapsed, the appeal was late and was consequently dismissed D.T. v. State, No. 2070513 (Ala. Civ. App. Jun. 27, 2008).

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Cases Released June 27, 2008

From Alabama Court of Civil Appeals:

T.T.T. v. R. H. and J.R.H.

ArvinMeritor, Inc. v. Handley

W.B.G.M. v. P.S.T.

C.J. v. Marion County Department of Human Resources

Montgomery Ford Lincoln Mercury, Inc., et al. v. Hall

D.T. v. State of Alabama

 

From the Supreme Court of Alabama:

Southeast Environmental Infrastructure, L.L.C. v. Rivers

Weber and The Radiology Group, P.A. v. Freeman

Alabama Department of Corrections and Allen v. Montgomery County Commission

Giles v. Brookwood Health Services, Inc., et al.

Johnson v. Jefferson County Racing Association, Inc., d/b/a The Birmingham Race Court

Ex parte Turner, Petition for Writ of Mandamus, In re: State of Alabama v. Turner

Little Narrows, LLC v. Scott, d/b/a Re/Max Advantage South

Ex parte Madison County Board of Education and Nash, Petition for Writ of Mandamus, In re: A.S., J.S. and R.S., et al. v. Reaves, et al.

Bradley and State of Alabama ex rel. Bradley v. Town of Argo, et al.

Ex parte Bridgett, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Criminal Appeals, In re: Bridgett v. State of Alabama

Progressive Specialty Insurance Company v. Gore

Ex parte T.R., Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals, In re: T.R. v. R.C.

Ex parte Jeffrey Scott Moore, Petition for Writ of Certiorari, In re: Moore v. City of Leeds

Payment of workers’ compensation benefits pursuant to foreign state’s statute does not toll time to bring Alabama workers’ compensation claim

In Ex parte Morris, Ms. 1070384 (Ala. June 20, 2008) , in a question of first impression, the Alabama Supreme Court held that the payment of benefits pursuant to another states workers’ compensation statute does not toll the time to bring an Alabama workers’ compensation claim.  Under the terms of Alabama’s statute, only payments under Alabama’s workers’ compensation statute tolls the time to bring a clain in Alabama.  Thus, the plaintiff’s claim in this case was untimely and was dismissed.  The Court recognized that this rule can lead to harsh results, so it noted that equitable tolling may be available in some cases. 

Alabama Supreme Court clarifies procedure for appealing decisions of an arbitrator

In Horton Homes, Inc. v. Shaner, Ms. 1061659, 1061741 (Ala. June 20, 2008), the Alabama Supreme Court attempted to clarify the procedure for appealing an arbitrator’s decision.  Specifically, in its Per Curiam opinion, the Court "address[ed] two aspects of that procedure, namely: (1) the time period for filing an appeal of an arbitration award, and (2) the role of the circuit court in reviewing that arbitration award."  Slip Op. p. 2-3.

In short, a party has 42 days from the date of receipt of notice to file an appeal of the arbitrator’s award in the circuit court.  Further, a party challenging an award is required to file a motion to vacate the award, and that motion is subject to the procedures of Ala. R. Civ. P. 59 and 59.1.

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“Law of the case doctrine” is not inflexible and does not prevent a court from revisiting issue of jurisdiction.

In Bessemer Board of Ed. v. Tucker, Ms. 2070390 (Ala. Civ. App. June 20, 2008) , the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals addressed the application of the "law of the case" doctrine, and found that the doctrine is not inflexible.   "The doctrine directs a court’s discretion; it does not limit a court’s power."  Slip Op. p. 7.  Thus, the court revisited its prior ruling regarding jurisdiction.

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Cases Released June 20, 2008

From the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals:

Bessemer Board of Education v. Tucker

T.G. v. Houston County Department of Human Resources

Williamson v. Pruitt

C.D.H. and K.E.H. v. Marion County Department of Human Resources

Dean v. Dean

J.E. v. V.C.E.

 

From the Supreme Court of Alabama:

Ex parte Nathan Rodgers Construction, Inc.; Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals, In re: Nathan Rodgers Construction, Inc. v. City of Saraland

Ex parte John Alden Life Insurance Company, Petition for Writ of Mandamus, In re: Beasley v. Fortis Insurance Company and John Alden Life Insurance Company

Ex parte Morris, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals, In re: Robert Burton & Associates, LTD v. Morris

Ex parte Dyess, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals, In re: Cheek v. Dyess

Ex parte Alabama Department of Human Resources, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals, In re: Alabama Department of Human Resources v. Ideal Truck Service, Inc.

Horton Homes, Inc. v. Shaner

Peterson v. City of Abbeville, a municipal corporation

 

“Alabama Supreme Court reverses decision in Hurricane Opal lawsuit”

In Jones v. Alfa Mutual Ins. Co., Ms. 1060179 (Ala. June 13 2008), the Alabama Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s ruling that Alfa did not act in bad faith in its handling of an insurance claim arising from Hurricane Opal in October 1995.  The Supreme Court sent the case back for a trial on "abnormal" bad faith based on failure to investigate and breach of contract.  For more information, follow the link to "Alabama Supreme Court reverses decision in Hurricane Opal lawsuit" from the Mobile Press-Register.

“Ala. judge OKs AstraZeneca fraud verdict”

Judge Price of the Montgomery County Circuit Court upheld the fraud verdict obtained by the State against AstraZeneca in the Medicaid drug pricing suit.  Judge Price upheld the compensatory damage award of $40 million and,  pursuant to the statutory cap on punitive damages, cut the punitive damages from $175 million to $120 million, making the total verdict $160 million.  AstraZeneca has stated they will appeal, so the Alabama Supreme Court will be looking at it.  For more information, follow the link to an article entitled "Ala. judge OKs AstraZeneca fraud verdict" from the AP via Forbes.