Stay Pending Resolution of Postjudgment Motion

Ex parte Charles Oden, Jr., [Ms. CL-2022-1156, Dec. 9, 2022] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2022). The court (Edwards, J.; Moore, Hanson, and Fridy, JJ., concur; Thompson, P.J., concurs in the result) issues a writ of mandamus vacating the circuit court’s refusal to stay its judgment holding the father in criminal contempt of visitation provisions of a June 2020 judgment and sentencing the father to a 10-day jail sentence to be served on weekends.

The court first notes that “Rule 62(b) [Ala. R. Civ. P.] does not mandate the entry of a stay pending resolution of the father’s postjudgment motion. Instead, it provides that a trial court has the discretion to grant a stay “‘on such conditions for the security of the adverse party as are proper.’” Ms. *5. While acknowledging that “mandamus will not lie to direct a trial court to exercise its discretion in a particular way,” ibid., the court holds “[t]o deny the father a stay of the sentences of incarceration would effectively deprive him of the right to seek an appeal of the October 2022 contempt judgment. Thus, we conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in failing to stay, under Rule 62(b), the sentences of incarceration pending the resolution of the father’s postjudgment motion.” Ms. *10.

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