Ala. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(4) - Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment


Ali v. Williamson, [Ms. 1170896, Nov. 22, 2019] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2019). The Court (Stewart, J.; and Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Wise, and Sellers, JJ., concur) reverses the Jefferson Court's order denying an Ala. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(4) motion to set aside a default judgment as void for want of personal jurisdiction when the record reflected a failure to effect proper service under Ala. R. Civ. P. 4 as required to establish personal jurisdiction over a named defendant. To the extent plaintiff purported to serve the defendant by publication, the record also revealed deficiencies in compliance with the requirements of Rule 4.3(c), including a want of any meaningful assertion of the avoidance of service and a failure of proof of publication in a newspaper as required by Rule 4.3(d). Because of these deficiencies in the proof of service, the trial court never acquired personal jurisdiction over the defendant and its subsequent default judgment entered against the defendant was void. Accordingly, the Jefferson Circuit Court erred in denying the defendant's Rule 60(b)(4) motion to set aside the default judgment against him.

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