CIVIL PROCEDURE - STATE OF ALABAMA V. THOMAS
State of Alabama v. Thomas, [Ms. 2140586, Sept. 11, 2015] __ So.3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2015). In this forfeiture action, numerous continuances occurred between January 2010 when it was filed and a trial setting February 19, 2015. On that date, the State requested a continuance because its principal witness, the officer who had seized the money in question, had come down with the flu. The trial court offered to continue the case for one day, but the State objected to that short of a continuance. Because the State refused to appear for trial the next day, the circuit court dismissed the case and ordered the money returned to Mr. Thomas. The Court of Civil Appeals affirms, citing cases holding that continuances due to the absence of a witness are disfavored and quoting a six-factor test from Perdue v. Mitchell, 373 So.2d 650, 652 (Ala. 1979). The Court relies on Scullin v. Cameron, 518 So.2d 695, 699-700 (Ala. 1987), to hold that, where the denial of the continuance is within the court's discretion, a dismissal is warranted where the plaintiff refuses to proceed.
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