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Jackson v. Alabama Board of Adjustment

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

August 29, 2014

Fred Jackson et al.
v.
Alabama Board of Adjustment

Released for Publication April 13, 2015.

Page 822

Appeal from Montgomery Circuit Court. (CV-13-901352). Truman M. Hobbs, Jr., Trial Judge.

For Appellant: Joe M. Reed, Joe M. Reed & Associates, LLC, Montgomery.

For Appellee: Luther Strange, Atty. Gen., Todd E. Hughes, Asst. Atty. Gen.

MOORE, Judge. Thompson, P.J., and Pittman and Donaldson, JJ., concur. Thomas, J., concurs in the result, without writing.

OPINION

Page 823

MOORE, Judge.

Fred Jackson, Tara Graves, Claudette Lepper, Benjamin Seales, Alisa Rodgers, Felicia Johnson, and Debra Bendolph (sometimes hereinafter referred to collectively as " the employees" ) appeal from a judgment of the Montgomery Circuit Court (" the trial court" ) dismissing their petition for a writ of mandamus filed against the Alabama Board of Adjustment (" the Board" ).

The employees filed a petition in the trial court alleging, among other things, that each of the employees had sustained out-of-pocket expenses pursuant to injuries they had suffered while working for the State of Alabama and that each of their claims had been dismissed without a hearing. The employees sought a writ of mandamus from the trial court ordering the Board to conduct a hearing on each employee's claim. The Board filed a motion to dismiss the petition, alleging, among other things, that Bendolph's claim had been heard by the Board and denied; that the remaining employees' claims had been dismissed without a hearing because the employees had failed " to provide additional supporting documentation of their claims despite repeated requests by the [Board]" ; and that, as a result, the dismissals had been authorized pursuant to Rule 22(f) of the Rules of the Alabama Board of Adjustment (2012). Following a hearing on the motion to dismiss, the trial court granted that motion on November 22, 2013. The employees filed a postjudgment motion, which was denied by the trial court on December 13, 2013. The employees filed a notice of appeal to this court on January 22, 2014.

The employees argue on appeal that the trial court erred in dismissing their petition.

" On appeal, a dismissal is not entitled to a presumption of correctness. The appropriate standard of review under Rule 12(b)(6)[, Ala. R. Civ. P.,] is whether, when the allegations of the complaint are viewed most strongly in the pleader's favor, it appears that the pleader could prove any set of circumstances that would entitle [it] to relief. In making this determination, this Court does not consider whether the plaintiff will ultimately prevail, but only whether [it] may possibly prevail. We note that a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal is proper only when it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle the plaintiff to relief."

Nance v. Matthews, 622 So.2d 297, 299 (Ala. 1993) (citations omitted).

" Mandamus is a drastic and extraordinary writ, to be issued only where there is (1) a clear legal right in the petitioner to the order sought; (2) an imperative duty upon the respondent to perform, accompanied by a refusal to do so; (3) the lack of another adequate ...

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