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UIM - Mandamus Relief Not Available to Review Order Reinstating Claims Against Defendants

Ex parte D.R.J. and Dana Sides, [Ms. 1190769, Oct. 30, 2020], ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. 2020). (Sellers, J.; Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Shaw, Bryan, Mendheim, Stewart, and Mitchell, JJ., concur). The defendants, a minor and his mother and next friend, sought a writ of mandamus directing the Lee Circuit Court to set aside an order restoring their status of defendants in an action where the claims against the minor and his mother had previously been dismissed as part of a pro-tanto settlement. State Farm, the UIM carrier, had moved the circuit court to order that the plaintiff had forfeited its right to UIM benefits by releasing the defendants before allowing State Farm sufficient time to consent to the settlement or to set aside the dismissal of the claims against the defendants. Ms. **3-4. The circuit court set aside the dismissal of the defendants.

The Court denies the writ and holds “[t]he defendants … make no attempt to show how the matter complained of comes within any of the recognized situations appropriate for mandamus review. It is well settled that mandamus will not be granted for the purpose of merely reviewing trial-court error; rather, mandamus review has essentially been limited to well recognized situations in which the petitioners have a clear legal right to the relief sought from the trial court but the trial court has refused to grant the relief.” Ms. **7-8.

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