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T.T. v. K.M.G.

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

July 17, 2015

T.T.
v.
K.M.G

          Appeal from Baldwin Juvenile Court. (CS-95-166.05).

         DONALDSON, Judge. Thompson, P. J., and Pittman, J., concur. Thomas, J., dissents, with writing, which Moore, J., joins. Moore, J., concurs.

          OPINION

Page 473

          DONALDSON, Judge.

         T.T. appeals from an order of the Baldwin Juvenile Court (" the trial court" ) denying his request for relief from a judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6), Ala. R. Civ. P. We dismiss the appeal.

         The record on appeal is devoid of several relevant pleadings and other pertinent documentation. Nonetheless, the following procedural history and facts can be construed from the limited record. In 1994, T.T. and K.M.G. were divorced by a judgment of a Georgia court (" the Georgia judgment" ). At the time the Georgia judgment was entered, the parties had two minor children. At some point thereafter, proceedings involving the parties were commenced in the trial court involving the Georgia judgment. Those proceedings were assigned case no. CS-95-166. On June 30, 1995, the trial court entered an order in case no. CS-95-166 directing T.T. to pay child support in the amount of $370 per month beginning on July 1, 1995. In that order, the trial court also found T.T. to be in arrears on his child-support obligation in the amount of $328. On the same day, the trial court entered an income-withholding order directing T.T.'s employer to deduct the monthly amount of T.T.'s child-support obligation from T.T.'s income.

         At some undetermined point thereafter, K.M.G. apparently filed a petition for a finding of contempt against T.T. based on his alleged failure to pay child support. The proceedings arising from that petition were docketed as case no. CS-95-166.02. On January 26, 2004, the trial court entered an order in case no. CS-95-166.02

Page 474

directing T.T. to pay $3,296.08 to purge himself of contempt of court.

         On April 14, 2004, K.M.G. filed a petition for a finding of contempt against T.T. and for a modification of the Georgia judgment. The proceedings arising from that petition were docketed case no. CS-95-166.03. A notation in the record indicates that that case was voluntarily dismissed by K.M.G. on July 20, 2004.

         K.M.G. apparently commenced another contempt action at some later point, which was docketed as case no. CS-95-166.04. On April 18, 2011, the trial court entered a judgment in case no. CS-95-166.04 stating as follows:

" This cause having come before the Court for the trial of [K.M.G.'s] Petition for Rule Nisi and Entry of Judgment on April 8, 2011, and [T.T.] having been personally served with a Summons and Petition, failing to appear for trial, and failing to answer or otherwise defend the Petition for Rule Nisi and Entry of Judgment, and this Court receiving sworn testimony and exhibits from [K.M.G.], the Court does
" HEREBY ORDER, ADJUDGE AND DECREE as follows:
" 1. Default Judgment is granted in favor of [K.M.G.] and against [T.T.] in the amount of $171,680.62, which includes the following amounts: $170,758.97 (child support arrearage plus interest); $750.00 (reasonable attorney's fees); and $171.65 (costs of court), for which execution shall issue."

         On April 21, 2014, T.T. filed an independent action in the trial court seeking relief pursuant to Rule 60(b), Ala. R. Civ. P., from the April 18, 2011, judgment entered in case no. CS-96-166.04, and the trial-court clerk docketed that action as case no. CS-95-166.05. In his request for relief, T.T. contended that he had been served with the summons and the contempt petition filed by K.M.G. in case no. CS-95-166.04 but that he did not receive notice of the final hearing held on April 8, 2011. As a result ...


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