Writ of Mandamus Vehicle for Pendente Lite Review

In Amberson v. Long, No. 2061191 Ala. Civ. App. (June 13, 2008), a mother appealed from an order modifying child custody. The father responded that “the order from which the mother appeals is a pendente lite custody order that will not support an appeal.” The mother characterized the order as a final, appealable "temporary custody award." The court of civil appeals explained that, "[a]lthough somewhat confusing, an order awarding `temporary’ custody can be either a pendente lite order or a final order. . . . The record reflects that the order awarding the father custody was, in fact, a pendente lite order. The case had been set only for a pendente lite hearing, no testimony was taken, the order does not resolve all the issues raised in the father’s modification petition, and the order itself indicates that it is ‘PDL,’ which appears to be a reference to the term ‘pendente lite.’ Because review of pendente lite orders maybe obtained only through a petition for a writ of mandamus, and because the mother did not seek a writ of mandamus, the mother’s appeal must be dismissed.”

Specific Objection Must Immediately Follow Inadmissible Evidence

The Alabama Supreme Court reiterated that the denial of a motion in limine does not preserve an objection to evidence for appellate review. In denying the motion, the trial court signals that it will rule on the matter if it arises at trial. To obtain appellate review of an evidentiary objection at trial, the party opposing the evidence must make "a timely objection …, stating the specific ground of objection, if the specific ground was not apparent from the context. Rule 103, Ala. R. Evid.” Baldwin County Electric Membership Corporation v. City of Fairhope, Nos. 1060475, 1060545 (Ala. Feb 2, 2008), modified on rehearing (June 13, 2008).

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Cases Released June 13, 2008

From the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals:

Daniel v. Passmore

Amberson v. Long

Vaughn v. Vaughn

B.H. v. Marion County Department of Human Resources

Webb, et al. v. City of Demopolis

Hall v. Hall

J.W. v. N.K.M.

Hall, et al. v. North Montgomery Materials, LLC, and Katsarsky

Team America of Tennessee v. Stewart

Parham and Parham, Inc. v. Wright

C.B. and L.K. v. B.B.

American Truck Driving Academy, Inc. v. Smith

A.L.D. v. Calhoun County Department of Human Resources

Lawrence v. Cannon

Stuart v. Stuart

Butterworth v. Morgan and Morgan


From the Supreme Court of Alabama:

Ex parte Alabama Department of Transportation, In re: Russell Petroleum, Inc. v. Alabama Department of Transportation

Ex parte Berry, et al., In re: Estate of Berry

Baldwin County Electric Membership Corporation v. City of Fairhope

Tradewinds Environmental Restoration, Inc. v. Brown Brothers Construction, L.L.C., et al.

Ex parte State of Alabama, In re: Hammonds v. State of Alabama

Jones v. Alfa Mutual Insurance Company

Falls v. JVC America, Inc.

Certiorari Available to Review “Final” Administrative Decisions Under Fair Dismissal Act

The common-law writ of certiorari is available to review administrative decisions under § 36-26-115 of Alabama’s Fair Dismissal Act, the Court of Civil Appeals held, even though that statute makes administrative decisions “final” and non-appealable. South Ala. Skills Training Consortium v. Ford, No. 2060837 (Ala. Civ. App. Jun. 6, 2008). The appellate court also explained the standards governing certiorari review.

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