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Nov 17, 2017

Stay of Execution – Supersedeas Bond – Law of the Case: Ex parte Mia Simone Curtis

Ex parte Mia Simone Curtis, [Ms. 2170004, Nov. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  This unanimous decision by Judge Donaldson (Thompson, P.J. and Pittman, Thomas, and Moore, JJ., concur) issues a writ of mandamus directing the Talladega Circuit Court to vacate an order staying execution on a divorce judgment pending the husband’s appeal.  Following the entry of final judgment in the parties’ divorce, the wife filed writs of garnishment executing on the judgment.  The husband moved to quash the writs of garnishment and sought a stay of execution on the judgment pending appeal.  The circuit court quashed the writs of garnishment and granted the husband’s stay.  Ms. *4-5.

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Nov 17, 2017

Challenge to Untimely Motion for New Trial in Juvenile Court – Untimely Mandamus Petition Where Petition Challenges Trial Court’s Subject Matter Jurisdiction: Ex parte Madison Department of Human Resources

Ex parte Madison Department of Human Resources, [Ms. 2160883 and 2160884, Nov. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  This unanimous decision by Judge Donaldson (Thompson, P.J., and Pittman, Thomas and Moore, JJ., concur) vacates the juvenile court’s orders granting new trials in consolidated actions to terminate the father’s parental rights.  The father filed motions for new trial more than 14 days after the orders terminating his parental rights were entered.  Ms. *3.  The father did not invoke Rule 60 or contend that the orders were void.

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Nov 17, 2017

Notice of Appeal Filed After Appellants’ Bankruptcy Filing – Appellate Jurisdiction: Alt v. Alt

Alt v. Alt, [Ms. 2160363, Nov. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  This decision by Presiding Judge Thompson (Pittman, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ., concur and Thomas, J., concurs specially) dismisses the husband’s appeal from the Dale Circuit Court’s judgment modifying certain provisions of a divorce decree. Read More

Nov 9, 2017

Partnership Dispute – Arbitration – Appellate Procedure: Norvell, et al. v. Parkhurst, etc.

Norvell, et al. v. Parkhurst, etc., [Ms. 1160696, Nov. 9, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  This unanimous decision by Chief Justice Stuart (Bolin, Murdock, Main, and Bryan, JJ., concur), reversed an order of the Lauderdale Circuit Court lifting a stay and granting motion for partial summary judgment.

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Nov 9, 2017

Challenge to Employment Contract of County School Superintendent – Immunity – Taxpayer Standing: Ingle v. Adkins

Ingle v. Adkins, [Ms. 1160671, Nov. 9, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  This decision by Justice Main (Stuart, C.J., and Bolin and Bryan, JJ., concur; Murdock, J., concurs in the result) affirms in part and reverses in part the order of the Walker Circuit Court dismissing Sheila Ingle’s claims challenging the legality of the compensation and contract of Walker County School System Superintendent Jason Adkins.

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Nov 9, 2017

Abatement of Unfiled Cause of Action for Personal Injuries by Death of Injured Party: Shelton v. Green

Shelton v. Green, [Ms. 1160474, Nov. 9, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  This unanimous decision by Justice Sellers (Stuart, C.J., and Parker, Wise, and Bryan, JJ., concur) affirms the DeKalb’s Circuit Court’s judgment on the pleadings dismissing a personal injury action.

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Nov 9, 2017

Appellate Procedure: Smalls v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Smalls v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., [Ms. 2160756, Nov. 9, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  This unanimous decision by Judge Donaldson (Thompson, P.J., and Thomas and Moore, JJ., concur; and Pittman, J., recuses) dismisses Charissa Smalls’s appeal from the order of the Madison Circuit Court dismissing an ejectment action by Wells Fargo Bank filed against Smalls.

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Nov 9, 2017

Post-Nuptial Agreement – Fraud in the Inducement: Northington v. Northington

Northington v. Northington, [Ms. 2160352, Nov. 9, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  This unanimous decision by Presiding Judge Thompson (Pittman, Thomas, and Moore, JJ., concur; Donaldson, J., recuses) affirms the Tuscaloosa Circuit Court’s order enforcing a post-nuptial agreement.  The agreement was signed after the parties had been married over 15 years.  When the husband discovered the wife was having an extra-marital affair, the husband gave her the option of ending the marriage or entering a post-nuptial agreement. Read More

Nov 3, 2017

Standing – Challenge to Expenditure of State Funds: Morrow and Zeigler v. Bentley

Morrow and Zeigler v. Bentley, [Ms. 1151313, Nov. 3, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  This per curiam decision (Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Shaw, Bryan, and Sellers, JJ., concur; Parker and Wise, JJ., concur in the result; and Main, J., recuses himself) affirms the Montgomery Circuit Court’s dismissal of this action by Johnny Morrow, a member of the Alabama House of Representatives, and State Auditor Jim Zeigler, challenging the defendant state officials’ expenditure of funds received from BP as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster toward the construction of a hotel conference center at Gulf State Park. Read More

Nov 3, 2017

Inconsistent Verdict – Jury’s Failure to Follow Instructions: Johnston v. Castles and Crowns, Inc., and Delaire Tibbetts

Johnston v. Castles and Crowns, Inc., and Delaire Tibbetts, [Ms. 1160171, Nov. 3, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  This decision by Justice Wise (Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Parker, Murdock, Shaw, Main, and Bryan, JJ., concur; Sellers, J., dissents) reverses the Mobile Circuit Court’s judgment on a jury verdict in favor of Castles and Crowns and against Jami Johnston in the amount of $800,000 in compensatory damages and $1 in punitive damages for conversion  and conspiracy.  Ms. *14.  The jury also awarded Castles and Crowns $75,000 in compensatory damages on a claim for unjust enrichment. Read More

Nov 3, 2017

Remittitur of Punitive Damages – Credibility of Witness-Unsigned Affidavit: Thomas v. Heard

Thomas v. Heard, [Ms. 1150119, Nov. 3, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  In this per curiam opinion (Parker, Main, and Wise, JJ., concur; Shaw and Bryan, JJ., concur in the result; Stuart, C.J., Bolin, Murdock, and Sellers, JJ., dissent) the Court affirms the Geneva Circuit Court’s judgment after remand leaving intact punitive damage awards on claims arising from an intersection collision.  The respective damage awards for each of the injured victims were $850,000 compensatory/$750,000 punitive to Randell Heard, $450,000 compensatory/$750,000 punitive to Donna Heard, and $500,000 compensatory/$500,000 punitive to Laura Wells.

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Oct 27, 2017

Pharmacy Board – Stay of Suspension Order – Mandamus: Ex parte Alabama State Board of Pharmacy

Ex parte Alabama State Board of Pharmacy, [Ms. 2160988, Oct. 27, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  This opinion by Presiding Judge Thompson (Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson, JJ., concur; Moore, J., concurs in the result) issues a writ of mandamus to the Montgomery Circuit Court directing the court to vacate its second supplemental order staying the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy’s suspension of Parks’s pharmacy license.

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Oct 27, 2017

Fraud in the Inducement – Parol Evidence – Merger Clause: McCullough v. Allstate

McCullough v. Allstate, [Ms. 2160497, Oct. 27, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  This unanimous decision by Judge Moore (Thompson, P. J., and Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson, JJ., concur) reverses summary judgment of dismissal in favor of Allstate on the insured’s claims of fraudulent inducement.  Plaintiff alleged that he had been fraudulently induced to enter into a release agreement with Allstate.

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Oct 27, 2017

Appellate Procedure – Rule 54(b) Certification: Ghee v. USAble Mutual Ins. Co. d/b/a Blue Advantage Administrators of Arkansas

Ghee v. USAble Mutual Ins. Co. d/b/a Blue Advantage Administrators of Arkansas, [Ms. 1160082, Oct. 27, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  This unanimous decision by Justice Murdock (Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Main, and Bryan, JJ., concur) dismisses the plaintiff’s appeal from the circuit court’s order dismissing the plaintiff’s claims against USAble Mutual Insurance Company.  Plaintiff alleged that his decedent died as a result of negligence and other wrongful conduct of the group health insurer in failing to approve certain medical procedures for the plaintiff. Read More

Oct 27, 2017

Section 11-52-77, Ala. Code 1975 – Strict Compliance – Mootness: Ex parte Frank S. Buck, et al.

Ex parte Frank S. Buck, et al., [Ms. 1151011, Oct. 27, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  This decision by Justice Shaw (Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Main, Wise, and Bryan, JJ., concur; Parker and Sellers, JJ., dissent) reverses on certiorari review the decision of the Court of Civil Appeals affirming the trial court’s judgment in favor of the City of Birmingham in a challenge to a rezoning ordinance by property owners Frank and Martha Buck.

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Oct 20, 2017

Child Custody – Prenuptial Agreement: Murphy v. Murphy

Murphy v. Murphy, [Ms. 2160601, Oct. 20, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  This decision by Judge Thomas (Pittman and Donaldson, JJ., concur; Moore, J., concurs in the result; and Thompson, P.J., recuses) reverses the trial court’s judgment in a divorce action in which the court awarded primary physical custody of the child to the mother and awarded the mother a $10,000 attorney’s fee.

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Oct 20, 2017

Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act – Jurisdiction: B.M. v. J.B.R.

B.M. v. J.B.R., [Ms. 2160510, Oct. 20, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  In a decision by Judge Moore (Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson, JJ., concur; Thompson, P.J., concurs in the result), the court dismisses the father’s appeal from the Fayette Probate Court’s order granting the stepfather’s petition to adopt the father’s minor child.  The court concluded that the probate court lacked jurisdiction under the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), 28 U.S.C. § 1738(a) and was void. Read More

Oct 20, 2017

Class Action Approval – Standard of Review – Attorney Fees: Lawler, et al. v. Sam Johnson and City of Birmingham Retirement and Relief System

Lawler, et al. v. Sam Johnson and City of Birmingham Retirement and Relief System, [Ms. 1151347, 1160049, 1160158, Oct. 20, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  This decision by Chief Justice Stuart (Shaw, Wise, and Sellers, JJ., concur; Parker, J., concurs in the result) vacates the trial court’s award of a $124 million attorney fee in the Johnson v. Caremark RX, LLC class action.  The trial court had overruled some of the objections on the ground that they were untimely and others on the ground that the objectors failed to present adequate evidence contesting the award of attorney fees and expenses.

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Oct 13, 2017

DUI – Administrative Appeal From License Suspension: Taylor v. Harvey

Taylor v. Harvey, [Ms. 2160435, Oct. 13, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  In this unanimous decision by Judge Pittman (Thompson, P.J., and Thomas, Moore, Donaldson, JJ., concur) the court reverses a judgment by the Colbert Circuit Court that reinstated the driving privileges of Harvey.  Following his arrest for suspicion of DUI, Harvey refused a breath test. 

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Oct 13, 2017

Will Contest – Venue – Priority: Ex parte Taylor

Ex parte Taylor, [Ms. 1150236, Oct. 13, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  This unanimous decision by Justice Murdock (Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Main, and Bryan, JJ., concur), treats Alice Taylor’s petition for a writ of mandamus to the Monroe Probate Court requiring reinstatement of her petition to probate a 2007 will of Alice Harper and to reinstate Taylor’s contest to that 2007 will as a direct appeal authorized by § 12-22-20.  The Court orders the Monroe Probate Court to reinstate Taylor’s petition to probate the 2007 will and her contest of that will.  The Court also grants Taylor’s petition for writ of mandamus directing the Monroe Probate Court to transfer the will contest to the Monroe Circuit Court.

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Oct 13, 2017

UIM – Insurers’ Waiver of Coverage Defense: Travelers Indemnity Co. of Connecticut v. Worthington

Travelers Indemnity Co. of Connecticut v. Worthington, [Ms. 1150370, Oct. 13, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  This decision by Justice Wise (Stuart, C.J., Bolin, Parker, Main, and Bryan, JJ., concur, Murdock, J., concurs in part and concurs in the result; Shaw, J., concurs and Sellers, J., dissents), affirms a judgment on a jury verdict against Travelers for UIM benefits.  On the eve of trial, the plaintiff Worthington settled with and released the tortfeasor Thomas without affording Travelers an opportunity to advance the amount of the settlement offer. 

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Sep 29, 2017

Requirement of Dispositional Hearing – Custody – Rule 615, Ala. R. Evid. – Sequestration of Witnesses: K.R. v. Z.B.

K.R. v. Z.B., [Ms. 2160463, Sept. 29, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  In this unanimous decision by Judge Moore (Thompson, P.J., Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson, JJ., concur), the court reverses the juvenile court’s judgment in awarding custody of the minor child to the child’s maternal grandmother.  The court held the juvenile court erred in awarding custody of the child to the grandmother without a dispositional hearing.  The court rejected the mother’s contention that the juvenile court erred in allowing a juvenile probation officer to testify in an adjudicatory hearing concerning the child’s dependency. Read More

Sep 29, 2017

Rule 60 Motion – Capacity to Contest Adoption: M.M. and R.F. v. K.J.Z. and E.M.Z.

M.M. and R.F. v. K.J.Z. and E.M.Z., [Ms. 2160520 & 2160521, Sept. 29, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  In this unanimous decision by Judge Thomas (Thompson, P.J., Pittman, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ., concur), the court reverses the Jefferson Circuit Court’s denial of Rule 60 motions filed by the father and the paternal great-grandmother seeking to set aside a final judgment of adoption of the minor children.  The father had been served by publication and the paternal great-grandmother, who had been awarded custody of the children by the juvenile court, was not served in the adoption proceeding.
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Sep 29, 2017

Subject Matter Jurisdiction: Paulk v. Paulk

Paulk v. Paulk, [Ms. 2160481, Sept. 29, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  This unanimous decision by Judge Moore (Thompson, P.J., and Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson, JJ., concur) holds that an order on remand entered by a retired circuit judge who is not lawfully appointed as a temporary judge is void.  The court in a previous appeal had reversed and remanded with instructions to enter an order calculating the amounts the parties owed for the children’s activities fees, books, and uniforms associated with their attendance at a prep school. Read More

Sep 29, 2017

Appellate Procedure – Child Custody Nonfinal Judgment: Dickinson v. Burton

Dickinson v. Burton, [Ms. 2160539, Sept. 29, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  In this unanimous decision by Presiding Judge Thompson (Pittman, Thomas, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ., concur), the court dismisses the father’s appeal of an order allowing the maternal grandparents visitation with the minor child.  At the time the father filed his appeal, the circuit court had awarded the father custody of the children, but had not addressed the pending issues of child support or an award of visitation to the mother.
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