CIVIL PROCEDURE - FAILURE TO APPROVE AFFIDAVIT OF HARDSHIP IS A JURISDICTIONAL DEFECT - JOHNSON V. HETZEL
Johnson v. Hetzel, [Ms. 1110754, Aug. 10, 2012] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. 2012). Johnson, a prison inmate, sued correctional officers for alleged responsibility in allowing another inmate to injure him. He did not pay a filing fee, but filed an affidavit of substantial hardship. The circuit court never approved his affidavit of substantial hardship, but granted the defendants' motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court dismisses the appeal, holding that the trial court never acquired jurisdiction because it did not approve the affidavit of substantial hardship in lieu of payment of a filing fee, a jurisdictional defect. The trial court thus never acquired jurisdiction over the action.