Court Reviews Appeal Under Mootness Exception

The Alabama Supreme Court conducted an unusual review of an appeal in Bright v. Calhoun, No. 1061146 (Ala. January 11, 2008). Although the issue on appeal was moot, the Court agreed to review the appeal because the issue was capable of repetition but evaded review under the circumstances of the appeal.

The mayor of the City of Montgomery vetoed the annual municipal budget that the City Council approved. Five of the nine members of the City Council voted to uphold the veto. The four council members in the minority filed a lawsuit to challenge the veto. The trial court ruled in their favor, holding that the mayor did not have the power to veto a budget passed by the City Council. The mayor appealed the trial court’s judgment. The Alabama Supreme Court stayed the trial court order pending appeal. While the appeal was under consideration, the budget went into effect. The Alabama Supreme Court reviewed the appeal, even though the issue was moot, because the question of the mayor’s capacity to veto a budget might arise in the future. The Alabama Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s decision, finding that the relevant legislative provisions, when read together, do not prevent the mayor from vetoing a budget.