Lack of Express Postjudgment Ruling Leads to Automatic Denial and Late Appeal

The trial court held a hearing but “did not expressly rule” on a father’s postjudgment motion. Under Rule 59.1, that motion was consequently denied by operation of law 90 days after its filing. An appeal lodged 43 days after the automatic denial was late. Smith v. Smith, No. 2070435 (Ala. Civ. App. Sept. 26, 2008). An earlier order which had “granted the motion in part” — but had really only set it for hearing — was not a “ruling” within the meaning of Rule 59.1.

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