(251) 299-0101

RULE 60(A) & CORRECTION OF JUDGMENTS & CONSOLIDATED ACTIONS/APPEALS - COX V. COX

Cox v. Cox, [Ms. 2141036, 2150667, June 10, 2016] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2016). These child custody-support appeals involve two important procedural rules. First, pursuant to Rule 60(a), Ala. R. Civ. P., a trial court "may correct a clerical mistake in a judgment at any time [on] its own initiative." Ms. *6, quoting Deramus Hearing Aid Ctr., Inc. v. American Hearing Aid Assocs., Inc., 950 So. 2d 292, 293 (Ala. 2006). Such errors are those "resulting from a minor mistake or inadvertence, [especially] in writing or copying something on the record, and not from judicial reasoning or determination." Ms. *5, quoting Deramus, 950 So. 2d at 293-94 (original emphasis omitted). However, Rule 60(a) will not support a change in the judgment "if it purports to change the facts or to reweigh the evidence." Ms. *5-6, citing Deramus, 950 So. 2d at 295.

Second, the filing of a post-judgment motion in one action does not toll the appeal period as to another action consolidated for trial.

"[W]here 'several actions are ordered to be consolidated for trial, each action retains its separate identity and thus requires the entry of a separate judgment.' League v. McDonald, 355 So. 2d 695, 697 (Ala. 1978), cited with approval by Solomon v. Liberty Nat'l Life Ins. Co., 953 So. 2d 1211 (Ala. 2006).

"'Moreover, "[a]n order of consolidation does not merge the actions into a single [action], change the rights or the parties, or make those who are parties to one [action] parties to another." Jerome A. Hoffman, Alabama Civil Procedure § 5.71 (2d ed. 2001) (citing Evers v. Link Enters., Inc., 386 So. 2d 1177 (Ala. Civ. App. 1980)). Finally, "'in consolidated actions ... the parties and pleadings in one action do not become parties and pleadings in the other.'" Ex parte Flexible Prods. Co., 915 So. 2d 34, 50 (Ala. 2005) (quoting Teague v. Motes, 57 Ala. App. 609, 613, 330 So. 2d 434, 438 (Ala. Civ. App. 1976)).'

"Solomon, 953 So. 2d at 1222 (emphasis added)."

Pitts v. Jim Walter Resources, Inc., 994 So. 2d 924, 930 (Ala. Civ. App. 2007) (emphasis in original), Ms. *10-11.

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