(251) 299-0101

Arbitration; Dismissal of Appeal

SAI Montgomery BCH, LLC v. Williams, [Ms. 1180220, Oct. 18, 2019] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2019). The Court (Stewart, J., and Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Wise, and Sellers, JJ., concur) dismiss an appeal from an order of the Montgomery Circuit Court denying motions to compel arbitration upon concluding the trial court was without jurisdiction to enter the order appealed from because of the effect of the expiration of the 90-day time limitation imposed by Ala. R. Civ. P. 59.1, which meant the trial court was without jurisdiction to enter the challenged order. The Court rejects the appellant's contention that their motion was filed pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) and was therefore not subject to denial by operation of law under Rule 59.1. Because the reviewing court looks to the essence of the motion rather than its title, the Court treated the appellant's post-judgment motion as a motion filed under Rule 59(e) (motion to alter, amend, or vacate a judgment) regardless of how the motion was denominated. Id., Ms. **6-7.

Because the Montgomery Circuit Court's order purporting to deny the motion to compel arbitration was entered after expiration of the Rule 59.1 90-day time limit for consideration of post-judgment motions, that order was void. Ms. **13-14. Because the appellants did not timely file their appeal, appellate review was foreclosed. Id.

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