Lower Court Could Not Refuse to Tax Appellate Costs

The juvenile court could not refuse to order a losing appellee to pay the costs of appeal: The appellate court had ordered, and the governing rule mandated, that the appellee pay those costs when its original judgment was reversed. The Court of Civil Appeals directed the juvenile court to enter an order taxing the costs of appeal against the losing appellee. M.B. v. S.B., No. 2080464 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 7, 2009).

This custody modification suit was before the Court of Civil Appeals for a second time. In the previous appeal, the Court of Civil Appeals had reversed a custody modification, and taxed the costs of the appeal against the mother, as the losing appellee. When the case returned to the juvenile court, the appellants (the children’s grandparents) moved to recover the costs of appeal, pursuant to the appellate court’s mandate. The juvenile court denied that motion.

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Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment Tolls Appeal Deadline; Redundant Rule 59(e) Motion “Not Allowed”

The Court of Civil Appeals ordered the circuit court to set aside a default judgment. In doing so, the appellate court reviewed two less common points of post-judgment procedure. First, a motion to set aside a default judgment suspends the time for taking an appeal until the motion is ruled upon. Second, once a post-judgment motion is made, successive motions seeking the same relief are not allowed. Thibodeau v. Thibodeau, No. 2070924 (Ala. Civ. App. Dec. 5, 2008).

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