Jurisdiction and Timeliness of Post-Judgment Orders

Ex parte Chmielewski, [Ms. 1171089, Dec. 21, 2018] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2018). (Sellers, J.; and Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Parker, Main, Bryan, and Mendheim, JJ., concur). The Court grants a petition for a writ of mandamus and directs the Baldwin Circuit Court to vacate an order purporting to set aside an earlier dismissal of a will contest. Invoking Ala. R. Civ. P. 58(b), which provides in part that "[a] written order or a judgment will be sufficient ... indicates an intention to adjudicate, considering the whole record, and if it indicates the substance of the adjudication" the Court concludes that the respondent's Rule 59(c) motion to alter, amend, or vacate the judgment entered by the Baldwin Circuit Court was untimely because it was not filed within 30 days of entry of that judgment. Because the circuit court lost jurisdiction to modify or amend its judgment 30 days after that judgment had been entered, the circuit court's post-judgment orders were void. Accordingly, the Court granted the writ and directed the circuit court to vacate its post-judgment order purporting to set aside its earlier dismissal of the will contest, because the circuit court acted without jurisdiction when it entered the post-judgment order more than 30 days after entry of the earlier order of dismissal.

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