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K.Y.W. v. Jefferson County Dep't of Human Resources

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

November 14, 2014

K.Y.W.
v.
Jefferson County Department of Human Resources

Released for Publication July 22, 2015.

Appeal from Jefferson Juvenile Court. (JU-04-66662.07, JU-06-79242.06, JU-06-79247.05, JU-10-96317.02, and JU-11-100280.02). Sandra H. Storm, Trial Judge.

For Appellant: Wendy Allison Reese, Birmingham.

For Appellee: Luther Strange, Atty. Gen.; Sharon E. Ficquette, Gen. Counsel; Elizabeth Hendrix, Asst. Atty. Gen., Department of Human Resources.

THOMPSON, Presiding Judge. Pittman, Thomas, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 369

THOMPSON, Presiding Judge.

On February 28, 2013, the Jefferson County Department of Human Resources (" DHR" ) filed petitions seeking to terminate the parental rights of K.Y.W. (" the mother" ) to her five children. DHR also sought to terminate the parental rights of any known father or fathers of the children. On May 5, 2014, the Jefferson Juvenile Court entered judgments terminating the mother's parental rights to each of the five children.[1]

On June 17, 2014, the mother filed motions pursuant to Rule 77(d), Ala. R. Civ. P., asserting that she had not received notice of the entry of the May 5, 2014, termination judgments from the juvenile court clerk. Rule 77(d), Ala. R. Civ. P., provides, in part:

" (d) Notice of Orders or Judgments. Immediately upon the entry of an order or judgment the clerk shall serve a notice of the entry by mail or by electronic transmittal in the manner provided for in [Rule 5, Ala. R. Civ. P.,] upon each party who is not in default for failure to appear, and who was not present in person or by that party's attorney or not otherwise notified, when such order or judgment was rendered, and make a note on the docket of the mailing or electronic transmittal. Such mailing or electronic transmittal is sufficient notice for all purposes for which notice of the entry of an order is required by these Rules, but any party may in addition serve a notice of such entry in the manner provided in Rule 5 for the service of papers. Lack of notice of the entry by the clerk does not affect the time to appeal or relieve or authorize the court to relieve a party for failure to appeal within the time allowed, except that

Page 370

upon a showing of excusable neglect based on a failure of the party to learn of the entry of the judgment or order the circuit court in any action may extend the time for appeal not exceeding thirty (30) days from the expiration of the original time now provided for appeals in civil actions."

The mother's attorney submitted affidavits in support of the June 17, 2014, motions, in which the mother's attorney stated that, although the record indicates that the juvenile court clerk mailed the judgments to the correct address, she never received those judgments.

On June 18, 2014, the mother purported to appeal to this court, well outside the 14 days following the entry of the May 5, 2014, judgments prescribed for taking a timely appeal of those judgments. See Rule 4(a)(1)(E), Ala. R. App. P.; Rule 1(B), Ala. R. Juv. P. (a juvenile ...


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