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Webb v. Knology, Inc.

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

October 10, 2014

Jeff Webb and Belinda Webb
v.
Knology, Inc., and Knology of Alabama, Inc

Released for Publication June 10, 2015.

Page 614

Appeal from Montgomery Circuit Court. (CV-12-901096). Truman M. Hobbs, Jr., Trial Judge.

AFFIRMED IN PART; REVERSED IN PART; AND REMANDED.

Jeffrey J. Webb, Appellant, Pro se.

For Appellees: Terrie Scott Biggs, Capell & Howard, P.C., Montgomery.

PITTMAN, Judge. Thompson, P.J., and Thomas, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 615

PITTMAN, Judge.

Jeff Webb and his wife, Belinda Webb, appeal from a summary judgment entered by the Montgomery Circuit Court in favor of Knology, Inc., and Knology of Alabama, Inc. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

Facts and Procedural History

On August 24, 2012, the Webbs filed a complaint against Knology, Inc.; Knology of Alabama, Inc.; and a number of fictitiously named defendants (Knology, Inc., and Knology of Alabama, Inc., are hereinafter referred to collectively as " Knology" ). The Webbs alleged, among other things, that they had purchased a lot on Lakeridge Drive (" the property" ) in April 2002; that, at the time they purchased the property, no disclosures were made of any easements held by Knology down the west side of the property; that, later in 2002, Knology buried cables, or lines, down the west side of the property without the Webbs' knowledge or consent; that the Webbs began construction of a home on the property in July 2006; that the Webbs moved into their home in December 2007 and purchased Internet and cable-television services from a different company than Knology; that, in August 2010, several men, including Mike Wilkerson, Frank Nelson, and Mitch Parker, arrived in the front yard near the Webbs' driveway claiming to be from Knology and searching for a " break in their main line" ; that the men used an electronic device that purportedly showed that the " break" was under the Webbs' driveway; that, on August 25, 2010, a Knology construction crew arrived at the property to replace the broken line; and that the Webbs had subsequently signed criminal warrants alleging trespass against some of the men who had been on their property. The Webbs asserted that Knology had wantonly installed the line so that it entered the Webbs' property and that, in so doing, Knology had breached a duty to the Webbs; that Knology had trespassed upon the Webbs' land willfully, wantonly, and negligently; and that Knology had unlawfully taken possession of a portion of the Webbs' property. The

Page 616

Webbs sought, among other things, damages, an injunction enjoining Knology from any further trespass on the Webbs' property and restoration of their property to its condition before the alleged trespass.

Knology filed an answer to the complaint. On June 27, 2013, Knology filed a motion for a partial summary judgment arguing, among other things, that the Webbs' wantonness-based claims were barred by the statute of limitations; that Knology was entitled to a summary judgment as to any request by the Webbs for punitive and compensatory damages; that Knology was entitled to a summary judgment as to any alleged trespass by Parker, Wilkerson, and Nelson; and that the Webbs' request for an injunction should be dismissed. Knology acknowledged in its motion that whether the cable buried beneath the west side of the property was outside a utility easement was a fact " clearly in dispute." Knology attached a number of exhibits to its motion, including excerpts from deposition testimony and affidavits.

The Webbs filed a brief in opposition to Knology's motion for a partial summary judgment; they did not attach any exhibits to their brief. Knology filed a reply to the Webbs' brief in opposition and a motion to strike certain assertions made by the Webbs in their brief. A hearing on Knology's motion was held on August 22, 2013. ...


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