Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

In Bon Harbor, LLC v. United Bank, the Alabama Supreme Court dismissed two consolidated appeals due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction: one appeal was from a non-final judgment; the other was from a judgment that was void because it was entered while the first order was on appeal.   

Bon Harbor sought to appeal two orders: a March 20 order granting a motion for partial summary judgment and a March 25 order purporting to enter a second, more detailed order granting a complete summary judgment. 

Neither order constituted an apealable order.  The March 20 order  was a bare bones grant of a motion for partial summary judgment which left a counterclaim pending in the trial court.  Pursuant to the general rule that an order which disposes of fewer than all of the claims is not a final order, the appeal therefrom was due to be dismissed.  

Bon Harbor appealed the March 20 order on the same day it was filed.  On March 25, the trial court purported to enter a more comprehensive order granting summary judgment and including the counterclaim therein.  However, because an appeal from the first order had already been taken, the trial court  could "do nothing in respect to any matter or question which is involved in the appeal, and which may be adjudged by the appellate court."  Because the trial court had no subject matter jurisdiction to enter the March 25 order it was from a void judgment and could not support an appeal.