Trial Court Could Not Enter Permanent Injunction While Appeal Was Pending

A trial court had no jurisdiction to enter a permanent injunction while an appeal from its earlier decision, granting a preliminary injunction, was pending. The permanent injunction was void and would not support an appeal. Searle v. Vinson, Nos. 2080760, 2081155 (Ala. Civ. App. Jan. 29, 2010).

The trial court granted a preliminary injunction in this easement dispute. The defendants appealed that order. While their appeal was pending, the trial court entered a second order making the injunction permanent. The defendants appealed from that second order.  

The Court of Civil Appeals, on its own motion, held that it had no jurisdiction over the second appeal because the permanent injunction was void. The court revisited a familiar rule:

[J]urisdiction of a case can be in only one court at a time. Furthermore, while an appeal is pending, the trial court can do nothing in respect to any matter or question which is involved in the appeal, and which may be adjudged by the appellate court.

(Quotations and citations omitted). Thus, while the preliminary injunction was under appeal, the trial court did not have jurisdiction to make it permanent. The permanent injunction was void and would not support an appeal. The appellate court dismissed the appeal, and directed the trial court to vacate the permanent injunction.