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Alsaikhan v. Alakel

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

February 13, 2015

Rasha Alsaikhan
v.
Ahmed Alakel

Released for Publication September 15, 2015.

Appeal from Mobile Circuit Court. (DR-13-900855).

Trial Judge: Rosemary D. Chambers, Judge.

For Appellant: Kristy M. Kirkland, Dothan.

For Appellee: L. Daniel Mims, Mobile.

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

OPINION

Page 926

THOMPSON, Presiding Judge.

On May 24, 2013, Ahmed Alakel (" the husband" ) filed a complaint seeking a divorce from his wife, Rasha Alsaikhan (" the wife" ). In his complaint, the husband alleged, among other things, that the parties

Page 927

were married in Saudi Arabia in 2003, that two children had been born of the marriage, and that the parties were incompatible. The husband sought only a divorce from the wife. In the divorce complaint, the husband did not seek an award of custody of the parties' minor children.

The wife answered and counterclaimed, seeking custody of the minor children. In November 2013, the husband filed an amended complaint in which he asserted a claim seeking custody of the children.

In February 2014, the wife sought to withdraw her answer and counterclaim, and she filed a motion to dismiss the action for want of subject-matter jurisdiction. In her February 17, 2014, motion to dismiss, the wife argued that the parties were citizens of Saudi Arabia living in the United States on student visas and that the parties had never intended to be domiciled in the United States.[1] Accordingly, the wife argued, the trial court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the husband's divorce action.

The trial court conducted a hearing over the course of two days. After receiving some testimony on the issue of jurisdiction, the trial court conducted an off-the-record conference with the parties' attorneys on the issue of jurisdiction. The trial court then resumed the hearing and orally denied the wife's motion to dismiss. The trial court did not enter a written order explicitly denying the wife's motion to dismiss. We conclude, though, that the denial ...


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