Mandate Rule


Honea v. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., [Ms. 1170152, Dec. 14, 2018] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2018). This unanimous decision by Justice Shaw dismisses the plaintiff’s appeal from the Jefferson Circuit Court’s implied denial of her Rule 59 motion following the Supreme Court’s remand in a prior appeal. In the prior appeal, the Court had entered a narrow remand order instructing the trial court to conduct a hearing under Rule 59(g), Ala. R. Civ. P., on certain limited, identified claims which were the subject of a prior arbitration ruling which plaintiff was seeking to vacate. Ms. *4.

The plaintiff conceded on appeal that her 2017 motion to vacate did not address the limited claims subject to the remand order. Ms. *6. The Supreme Court agreed and dismissed the appeal, noting that “[a]n appellate court’s decision is final as to the matters before it, becomes the law of the case, and must be executed according to the mandate. Ex parte Edwards, 727 So. 2d 792, 794 (Ala. 1998). Generally, a lower court ‘exceeds its authority’ by addressing the issues already decided by an appellate court’s decision in a case. Lynch v. State, 587 So. 2d 306, 308 (Ala. 1991).” Ms. *7.

The Court noted that the judgment subject to the prior appeal “was reversed in part and the case remanded for the trial court to conduct a Rule 59(g) hearing on those designated claims before ruling on the appeal. The scope of our appellate mandate, which the trial court has not yet had the opportunity to carry out, is so limited.” Ms. *8. The Court concluded that “because the trial court has not yet had the opportunity to fill this court’s mandate in Raymond James III and the issues underlying it remain pending, there is no final judgment to support an appeal. Therefore, this appeal is due to be dismissed.” Ms. *9 (internal citation omitted).

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