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Parental Relocation - Final Judgment - Untimely Appeal

Pitts v. Pitts, [Ms. 2180655, Apr. 10, 2020] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2020). The court (Thompson, P.J.; and Moore and Hanson, JJ., concur; Edwards, J., concurs in the result) dismisses the mother’s appeal from the Pickens Circuit Court’s order denying her request to relocate to Mississippi with her child and granting the father sole physical custody of the child if the mother and child did not return to Alabama by a certain date.

The court rejected the mother’s argument that the November 30, 2018 order was not a final judgment. The court explained the November 30, 2018, judgment conditioned “a modification of custody upon a permanent relocation by a custodial parent as the parent had proposed. ... [N]o other action was required of the trial court to effectuate the change in custody. Therefore, the adjudication in the November 30, 2018, judgment fully disposed of the custody issue and made the judgment final as to all pending issues.” Ms. *11.

“Because the mother’s ‘Motion to Set Hearing’ was not filed within 30 days of the entry of the November 30, 2018, judgment, it was not timely filed pursuant to Rule 59(b) and(e). An untimely motion does not extend the period for filing a notice of appeal. Vincent v. Kondaur Capital Corp., 274 So. 3d 998, 1001 (Ala. Civ. App. 2018). Therefore, the trial court properly determined in its April 8, 2019, order that it no longer had jurisdiction in the case.” Ms. *14-15.

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