Final Judgment – Appeal from District Court

Tompkins v. Pendleton, et al., [Ms. 2210288, May 27, 2022] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2022). The court (Fridy, J.; Thompson, P.J., and Moore, Edwards, and Hanson, JJ., concur) dismisses an appeal from a judgment entered by the Montgomery Circuit Court in an action which had originated in district court. The circuit court never acquired jurisdiction because

“Where the amount of damages is an issue, ... the recognized rule of law in Alabama is that no appeal will lie from a judgment which does not adjudicate that issue by ascertainment of the amount of those damages.” Moody v. State ex rel. Payne, 351 So. 2d 547, 551 (Ala. 1977). Indeed, “[t]hat a judgment is not final when the amount of damages has not been fixed by it is unquestionable.” “Automatic” Sprinkler Corp. of Am. v. B. F. Goodrich Co., 351 So. 2d 555, 557 (Ala. 1977).

Because the district court’s order finding in favor of Tompkins did not set forth a specific award of damages, it was not a final judgment subject to appeal under §§ 12-2-70(a) and -71 [Ala. Code 1975]. See Kelley v. Finley, 266 So. 3d 756, 758 (Ala. Civ. App. 2018). As a result, the circuit court did not acquire subject-matter jurisdiction over the action.

Ms. *5.

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