Rule 60(b) Motion for Relief From Judgment


Ex parte Mark Price, [Ms. 1161167, May 18, 2018] So. 3d (Ala. 2018). This unanimous decision by Justice Wise issues a writ of mandamus ordering the Perry Circuit Court to vacate its order granting a motion for relief from judgment filed by the plaintiffs. The action had been dismissed with plaintiffs’ consent and some two years lapsed before plaintiffs filed their motion for relief from judgment. In this setting, the Court held that the trial court exceeded its discretion in granting the Rule 60 motion and reinstating the case to the active docket. The Court held in this case, although the [plaintiffs] characterize their motion as one seeking relief under Rule 60(b)(6), they fail to allege specifically why the motion should be treated as a Rule 60(b)(6) motion. From the face of the motion, it is clear that [they] sought relief based on one or more of the reasons set forth in Rule 60(b)(1), (2), and (3), as J&M alleges. It is also clear that [plaintiffs] sought the relief more than two years after the order of dismissal was entered – well past the four-month limitation period for such a request. Ms. *9.

The Court rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that the trial court could treat their motion for relief from judgment as an independent action. This avenue was not available to the plaintiffs, because they did not pay a filing fee with their rule 60 motion. Consequently, “the trial court did not have jurisdiction to treat the motion as an independent action and to grant the relief requested therein.” Ms. *12.

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