Fictitious Parties - Relation Back

Ex parte Cowgill and Yarbrough, [Ms. 1180936, Feb. 7, 2020] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2020). A unanimous Court (Shaw, J.; Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Wise, Bryan, Sellers, Mendheim, Stewart, and Mitchell, JJ., concur) issues a writ of mandamus to the Jefferson Circuit Court directing the court to grant defendants Cowgill’s and Yarbrough’s motion for summary judgment based on the statute of limitations.

The Court held that plaintiff “was well aware of the petitioners’ identity and possessed information as to their duties regarding training and supervision of Black Market employees.” Ms. *23. In issuing the writ, the Court applied settled law providing “that delay in amending a complaint to substitute a named party for a fictitiously named party once information is available can defeat the availability of the doctrine of relation back.” Ms. *24, quoting Ex parte Bowman, 986 So. 2d 1152, 1158 (Ala. 2007). The Court also held that “[a]lthough [plaintiff] Thomas disputes knowledge of the petitioner’s precise duties, it is undisputed that he possessed sufficient information from which he should have known or was at least placed on notice of a factual basis for his eventual claims against them.” Ms. *28.

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