No Rule 54(b) Certification Where Adjudicated and Pending Claims Are “Intertwined”

 In two separate cases, the Court of Civil Appeals dismissed Rule 54(b) appeals from partial summary judgments. Certification under Rule 54(b) was improper in both cases because the appealed claims were too closely “intertwined” with claims that remained pending. Holman v. Sims, No. 2080809 (Ala. Civ. App. Jul. 16, 2010); Marshall Auto Painting & Collision, Inc. v. Peach Auto Painting & Collision, Inc., No. 2090090 (Ala. Civ. App. Jul. 16, 2010).

Continue reading

Rule 54(b) Certification Improper Where Ruling Did Not Dispose Of All Aspects of Claim

In Alfa Mutual Ins. Co. v. Bone, [Ms. 1061808, 1061834] (Ala. Jan. 9, 2009), the Alabama Supreme Court dismissed an appeal based on an improper Rule 54(b) certification where the order did not dispose of all aspects of the declaratory judgment claim.  Disposing of some, but not all, issues raised by a claim does not support a Rule 54(b) certification.

Continue reading

Rule 54(b) certification improper, so appeal is dismissed

The Court of Civil Appeals found that a Rule 54(b) certification was improper and thus dismissed the appeal in Owen v. Hopper, Ms. 2070016 (Ala. Civ. App, May 23, 2008) .  In a property line dispute, the Court of Civil Appeals found that the judgment on the counterclaim which was certified as final was really a defense to the underlying tort claim.  The court found that the claim and counterclaim were too intertwined to support a 54(b) certification, and, therefore, the appeal had to be dismissed.

Appeal Dismissed Because of Improper Rule 54(b) Certification

In Flores v. Flores, No. 2060408 (Ala. Civ. App. August 3, 2007), the Court of Civil Appeals dismissed an appeal from an order modifying a periodic alimony obligation because the trial court improperly certified the order as a final judgment pursuant to ARCP 54(b). “’[A] Rule 54(b) certification should not be entered if the issues in the claim being certified and a claim that will remain pending in the trial court ‘are so closely intertwined that separate adjudication would pose an unreasonable risk of inconsistent results.’” (quoting Schlarb v. Lee, 955 So. 2d 418 (Ala. 2006)).

Continue reading