Cases Released September 12, 2008

From the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals:

T.B. v. Cullman County Department of Human Resources

Ex parte Ferguson, Petition for Writ of Mandamus; In re: Ferguson v. Ferguson

Corwin v. Corwin

Swann v. Regions Bank and Barnett

Burlington Insurance Company v. Fluid Services, Inc. d/b/a Pirtek

Gullett v. Gullett

McCollum d/b/a McCollum Wrecker Service v. Keating

Franklin v. Etheridge

D&E Investments, L.L.C., d/b/a Kiva Dunes v. Singleton

Scott v. Lenoir

 

From the Supreme Court of Alabama:

Carroll v. Williams

Ex parte Burr & Forman, LLP, Petition for Writ of Mandamus; In re: Blair, et al. v. Burr & Forman, LLP

Crosslin v. Health Care Authority of the City of Huntsville d/b/a Huntsville Hospital, and Calvert, M.D.

Refusal to Issue Preliminary Injunction is Appealable Order

A trial court’s refusal to issue a preliminary injunction is an appealable order. Under Rule 4(a)(1)(A), a party “can appeal from ‘any interlocutory order granting, continuing, modifying, refusing, or dissolving an injunction, or refusing to dissolve or to modify an injunction.’ See Baldwin County Elec. Membership Corp. v. Catrett, 942 So. 2d 337, 344 (Ala. 2006). The standard for reviewing a trial court’s grant or denial of a preliminary injunction is whether the trial court acted outside its discretion in granting or denying the preliminary injunction. See also Watson v. Watson, 910 So. 2d 765, 768 (Ala. 2005).” Folsom v. Stagg Run Development, LLC, No. 2061126 (Ala. Civ. App. Sept. 9, 2008).

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Ground Stated in Motion for New Trial Colors Standard of Review

In Beauchamp v. Coastal Boat Storage, LLC et al., No. 1061515 (Ala. Sept. 5, 2008), the Supreme Court held that when a plaintiff asserts as the sole ground for a motion for new trial that the verdict is against the great weight or preponderance of the evidence, a trial court order granting the motion for new trial, “’will be reversed for abuse of discretion where on review it is easily perceivable from the record that the jury verdict is supported by the evidence.’" Id. at *14 (quoting Jawad v. Granade, 497 So. 2d 571, 477 (Ala. 1986)). This is so even when the trial court does not state the basis for its order granting the motion for new trial, and there are errors in the trial record that warrant a new trial.

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When Court Says No Jurisdiction, It Means It

When a trial or appellate court finds that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over a matter, the case is over. Period. The trial court cannot allow a party to correct the jurisdictional flaw by amending the complaint. The court must dismiss the action; all rulings that the trial court enters in the matter are void. Cadle Co. v. Shabani et al., No. 1070116 (Ala. Sept. 5, 2008).

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No “Exceptional Circumstances” Justified Granting Motion Under Rule 60(b)(6); Appeals Did Not Preclude Timely 60(b)(1) Filing

A father’s error in appealing from a void judgment in a custody dispute did not raise “exceptional circumstances” that would warrant granting his motion under Rule 60(b)(6). Nor did the parties’ cross-appeals prevent the father from filing a timely Rule 60(b)(1) motion. The Court of Civil Appeals denied the father’s application for rehearing, thus affirming the denial of his post-judgment motion. Hobbs v. Heisey, No. 2070085 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 29, 2008).

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Employer Fails to Show Good Cause for Late Petition, Appeals From Non-Final Order

The Court of Civil Appeals rejected an employer’s bid to reverse a workers’ compensation award in two consolidated proceedings. The employer’s petition for mandamus was denied as late — the employer having not shown “good cause” for its delay in filing the petition. The employer’s appeal was dismissed as being from a non-final judgment. Ex parte C & D Logging, Nos. 2070159, 2070198 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 29, 2008).

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Will Contest Not Final Where Trial Court Reserved Jurisdiction on Pending Motions

A judgment disposing of a will contest was not final where the trial court reserved jurisdiction on pending motions, and had not adjudicated two claims in the defendant’s “Motion for Affirmative Relief.” The appeal was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Hoegh v. Burton, No. 2070278 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 29, 2008).

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Pending Contempt Motions Make Custody Modifications Nonfinal

Judgments modifying child custody in two separate cases were not final where they did not dispose of pending motions to hold one parent in contempt. Appeals from the modification orders were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Butler v. Phillips, No. 2070488 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 29, 2008); Greenwood v. Greenwood, No. 2070452 (Ala. Civ. App. Aug. 29, 2008).

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Cases Released September 5, 2008

From the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals:

Brunson v. Lucas

Folsom v. Stagg Run Development, LLC, et al.

Miller v. Miller

 

From the Supreme Court of Alabama:

Ex parte Burgess, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Criminal Appeals; In re: Burgess v. State of Alabama

Banker v. Circuit City Stores, Inc.

Hereford v. D.R. Horton, Inc.

The Cadle Company v. Shabani and AmSouth Bank

Ex parte McInish, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals; In re: KGS Steel, Inc. v. McInish

Ex parte Phillips, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals; In re: Phillips v. Asplundh Tree Expert Company

Beauchamp v. Coastal Boat Storage, LLC, Mallett, and Flanders

Ex parte A.M.B., Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals; In re: A.M.B. v. R.B.B. and P.B.

ClimaStor IV, L.L.C. v. Marshall Construction, L.L.C.