Summary Judgment Procedure - Williams v. Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority
Williams v. Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority, [Ms. 2150310, Sept. 16, 2016] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2016). On application for rehearing, the court withdraws its original June 17, 2016, opinion and substitutes a new opinion holding that the Lauderdale Circuit Court correctly entered a summary judgment in favor of the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority on claims asserting innocent, negligent, wanton, and intentional misrepresentations concerning billings for water services and intentional, malicious, oppressive, and wanton conspiracy to conceal or suppress monthly bills for water being furnished to another landowner and for conversion and trespass asserting that the water had been unlawfully diverted to the other landowner, but had erred in granting summary judgment in favor of the water and sewer authority on a negligence claim and had erred in granting judgment in favor of co-defendants because of their failures to comply with the procedural requirements of Rule 12 and Rule 56, Ala. R. Civ. P.
The court's discussion of the procedural requirements for entry of dismissal/summary judgment are instructive:
Williams argues that the trial court could not properly enter a summary judgment against defendants McCafferty, NuSouth, and Rackley because they did not comply with the requirements of Rule 56, Ala. R. Civ. P.; specifically, he asserts that they failed to demonstrate to the trial court that there were no genuine issues of material facts as to the claims against them and that they were entitled to a judgment as a matter of law as to those claims.
"[A]n entry of a summary judgment for the defendants would not be proper until they have complied with the requirement of the rule that they submit a narrative summary of what they contend to be the undisputed material facts. See Rule 56(c), Ala. R. Civ. P., Northwest Florida Truss, Inc. v. Baldwin County Comm'n, 782 So. 2d 274 (Ala. 2000), and Moore v. ClaimSouth, Inc., 628 So. 2d 500 (Ala. 1993)."
Singleton v. Alabama Dep't of Corr., 819 So. 2d 596, 600 (Ala. 2001). Furthermore, the entry of a judgment in favor of the defendants who had not requested one deprived Williams of an opportunity to test their evidence or legal arguments.
"'Under Rule 12 and Rule 56, Ala. R. Civ. P., the nonmovant must receive "(1) adequate notice that the trial court intends to treat the motion as one for summary judgment and (2) a reasonable opportunity to present material in opposition."' Traywick v. Kidd, 142 So. 3d 1189, 1195 (Ala. Civ. App. 2013) (quoting Phillips v. AmSouth Bank, 833 So. 2d 29, 31 (Ala. 2002), quoting in turn Graveman v. Wind Drift Owners' Ass'n, 607 So. 2d 199, 202 (Ala. 1992))."
Johnson v. Dunn, [Ms. 2150040, May 13, 2016] ___ So. 3d ___, ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2016).
Because McCafferty, NuSouth, and Rackley did not file motions for a summary judgment setting forth what each believed to be undisputed facts or stating why he or it was entitled to a judgment as a matter of law, the trial court had no basis upon which to enter a summary judgment in their favor. Thus, the summary judgment in favor of McCafferty, NuSouth, and Rackley is improper.
Ms. *24-6. Accordingly, the portion of the judgment in favor of the water and sewer authority on the negligence claim is reversed, as is the portion of the judgment in favor of McCafferty, NuSouth, and Rackley, as to all plaintiff's claims against them. The remainder of the Lauderdale Circuit Court's judgment is affirmed.
Related Documents: Williams v Limestone County Water & Sewer