Order Valid If Judge Renders and Directs Entry of Judgment But Order Not Entered Until After Judge Leaves Office

The unique scenario of where the trial court judge renders a judgment just before his term of office ends, but the judgment was not entered until after the judge’s term ended,  was presented in Gilliam v. Gilliam, [Ms. 2080856] (Ala. Civ. App. Feb. 5, 2010).  The Court of Civil Appeals concluded that, to be valid, the trial court must both render judgment and direct entry of judgment by the clerk prior to leaving office.  Further, the Court of Civil Appeals held that an order is valid even if filed on a legal holiday, but that the trial court erred by not holding a hearing on a post-judgment motion that had merit.

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Alabama Supreme Court clarifies scope of post-judgment discovery in connection with review of punitive damages

In Ex parte Vulcan Materials, [Ms. 1051184] (Ala. April 25, 2008) , the Alabama Supreme Court clarified the allowable scope of post judgment discovery in connection with a review of punitive damages, including the scope of discovery regarding a defendant’s financial position.  The decision also includes interesting concurrences by Justice Murdock and Chief Justice Cobb.  

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A Post-Judgment Motion Which Has Become Moot Is Not Deemed Denied by Rule 59.1; Alternative Grounds for a Rule 59 Motion Are Not Waived if Not Asserted on Appeal

On February 22, 2008, the Supreme Court denied rehearing but issued a modified opinion in the case Hilb, Rogal & Hamilton Co. v. Werner Beiersdoerfer, [Ms. 1060522] (Ala. Feb. 22, 2008) , originally released on December 14, 2007.  The Supreme Court reaffirmed its holding that post-judgment motions which have become mooted are not subject to denial by operation of Rule 59.1. The court also concluded, in a matter of first impression, that a party who fails to raise its remittitur arguments on appeal from the grant of a motion for a new trial in its favor does not waive those arguments.

Click here for a link to our earlier coverage of this opinion. 

Motion for Award of Costs and Fees is Not a Post-Judgment Motion Pursuant to Rule 59

In Ford v. Jefferson County and Jefferson County Juvenile Services, No. 2060169 (Ala. Civ. App. February 2, 2008), the court held that a post-trial request for costs and fees is not a post-judgment motion pursuant to Rule 59.  Therefore, it was not subject to the 30-day time requirement set forth in Rule 59(e).

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