Trial court errs when it dismisses a case on the basis of an affirmative defense which was not asserted by defendant.

In Ex parte Beck, No. 1060593 (Ala. Oct. 5, 2007), the Alabama Supreme Court adopted the reasoning  of the Court of Civil Appeals’ decision of Waite v. Waite, 959 So. 2d 610 (Ala. Civ. App. 2006) and held that  "a trial court errs when it dismisses a case on the basis of an affirmative defense  not asserted by the defendant."  Thus, the Supreme Court reversed dismissal based on res judicata and collateral estoppel, even though the Court found that the claim otherwise would be barred, because the defendants failed to raise  the affirmative defenses in their answer.

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Failure To Hold Hearing On Post-Judgment Motion Was “Harmless Error”

In Peebles v. Mooresville, No. 1060335 (Sept. 7. 2007), the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of the Town of Mooresville and other of the issue of the validity of a zoning ordinance.  In doing so, the Supreme Court addressed the failure of the trial court to hold a requested hearing on postjudgment motions, as well as the effect of the failure to cite authority for an issue and the effect of filing a reply brief just one day before the summary judgment hearing. 

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