Boyd J. Landry
Angela O. Landry
from Autauga Circuit Court. (DR-06-65.06).
Appellant: Roianne Houlton Conner and Preston L. Presley of
Law Offices of Roianne Houlton Conner, Montgomery.
Appellee: J. Robert Faulk of McDowell, Faulk & McDowell, LLC,
Judge. Thompson, P.J., and Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson,
Landry (" the father" ) appeals from a judgment
entered by the Autauga Circuit Court (" the trial
court" ) in case no. DR-06-65.06 (" the .06
action" ). We affirm.
trial court divorced the father from Angela O. Landry ("
the mother" ) in 2007. In that divorce judgment, the
trial court ordered the father to pay, among other things,
$2,500 per month as child support for the parties' four
children. Since that time, the parties have been before the
trial court on multiple occasions, including in case no.
DR-06-65.04 (" the .04 action" ) and in case no.
DR-06-65.05 (" the .05 action" ). In Landry v.
Landry, 91 So.3d 88 (Ala.Civ.App. 2012), this court
determined that the trial court had not entered a final
judgment in the .04 action and dismissed an appeal arising
from that action. In Ex parte Landry, 117 So.3d 714
(Ala.Civ.App. 2013), this court, in ruling on a petition for
a writ of mandamus filed by the father, determined that the
trial court had not entered a final judgment in the .05
action. Those actions remained pending when, on September 10,
2012, the father initiated the .06 action seeking to suspend
his child-support obligation.
mother subsequently filed a counterclaim in the .06 action,
seeking to hold the father in contempt. On September 16,
2013, the trial court consolidated the .04 action, the .05
action, and the .06 action for the purpose of conducting a
final hearing. On November 13, 2013, after an ore tenus
hearing, the trial court entered a judgment purporting to
adjudicate the pending claims in all three actions. As to the
.06 action, the judgment, as amended in response the
postjudgment motion filed by the father, among other things,
denied the father's motion to recuse, found the father in
contempt, and awarded the mother $5,533.05 in attorney's
fees. The father timely filed a notice of appeal.
initial matter, we note that, when the trial court
consolidated the three actions, those actions did not lose
their separate identities and the trial court was obligated
to enter a separate judgment in each action. Casey v.
Casey, 85 So.3d 435, 439-40 (Ala.Civ.App. 2011) (citing
H.J.T. v. State ex rel. M.S.M., 34 So.3d 1276, 1278
(Ala.Civ.App. 2009)). From a review of the record on appeal,
it appears that, although the trial court referred in its
judgment to all three actions, the trial court entered a
final judgment only in the .06 action. Thus, the .04 action
and the .05 action remain pending before the trial court
awaiting entry of a final judgment. We cannot, and do not, in
this appeal consider any issues arising out of the .04 action
and the .05 action.
first issue properly before us concerns whether the trial
court had jurisdiction to rule on the mother's
counterclaim for contempt in the .06 action. The father
argues that a contempt action may not be joined in the same
action as a modification petition, relying in part on Opinion
of the Clerk No. 25, 381 So.2d 58 (Ala. 1980). However, at
the time Opinion of the Clerk was issued, Rule 33.3, Ala. R.
Crim. P., governed contempt actions. As recognized in
Austin v. Austin, [Ms. 2120102, July 19, 2013] 159
So.3d 753 (Ala.Civ.App. 2013), Rule 70A, Ala. R. Civ. P., now
governs contempt proceedings arising out of civil actions,
and a contempt claim may be asserted in a civil action along
with other claims. Austin, __ So.3d __at __, Id.
at*9 (citing ...