July 24, 2015
Water Works and Sewer Board of the City of Goodwater
for Publication April 28, 2016.
from Coosa Circuit Court. (CV-12-90003). George C Simpson,
Appellant: David Lee Hubbard of Hubbard Law Firm, Birmingham,
and Samuel Mark Hill, Birmingham
Appellee: Randall Morgan and Felidia A Long of Hill, Hill,
Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, P.C., Montgomery, and John
Kelly Johnson, Rockford
Judge. Thompson, P.J., and Thomas, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ.,
Dandridge appeals from a summary judgment in favor of the
Works and Sewer Board of the City of Goodwater (" the
Board" ). We dismiss the appeal as having been taken
from a nonfinal judgment.
sued the Board, the City of Goodwater, and Franklin Thompson,
individually and in his official capacity as chairman of the
Board, in 2012, alleging, among other things, that Dandridge
was due reimbursement for payments she had made for sewer
services. Dandridge alleged that her residence had never
actually been connected to the sewer system in the City of
Goodwater and, thus, that she was not a " user" of
the sewer service required to pay for that service. The Board
filed an answer and a counterclaim, pursuant to which the
Board sought compensation from Dandridge for sewer-service
fees that, the Board claimed, Dandridge owed.
Board moved for a summary judgment on all of Dandridge's
claims. The trial court granted that motion, stating
specifically that Dandridge's claims against the Board
were due to be dismissed with prejudice. The trial court,
however, has not entered a judgment on the Board's
trial court did not certify its judgment as final pursuant to
Rule 54(b), Ala. R. Civ. P. We note, however, that "
[n]ot every order has the requisite element of finality that
can trigger the operation of Rule 54(b), Ala. R. Civ.
P." Moss v. Williams, 747 So.2d 905, 907
(Ala.Civ.App. 1999). Appellate review in a piecemeal fashion
is disfavored. Grant v. Breland Homes, LLC, 156
So.3d 391, 396 (Ala. 2014). In addition, " [o]ur supreme
court has further explained that in cases in which an
adjudicated claim and a[n] unadjudicated counterclaim are
'so closely intertwined that separate adjudication would
pose an unreasonable risk of inconsistent results,' Rule
54(b) certification is inappropriate." Hurst v.
Cook, 981 So.2d 1143, 1148 (Ala.Civ.App. 2007) (quoting
Branch v. SouthTrust Bank of Dothan, N.A., 514 So.2d
1373, 1374 (Ala. 1987)). It appears that Rule 54(b)
certification in the instant case would not have been
a final judgment, an appellate court does not have
jurisdiction to consider an appeal. Ex parte Wharfhouse
Rest. & Oyster Bar, Inc., 796 So.2d 316, 320 (Ala.
2001). " A final judgment that will support an appeal is
one that puts an end to the proceedings between the parties
to a case and leaves nothing for further adjudication."
Id. Because the Board's counterclaim is still
pending, the trial court's summary judgment has not put
an end to the proceedings. Thus, we dismiss the appeal as
having been taken from a nonfinal judgment.
P.J., and Thomas, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ., concur.
Thompson filed a motion to dismiss, which
Dandridge consented to, and the trial court granted that
motion on February 20, 2013. Dandridge subsequently filed a
motion to dismiss the City of Goodwater; the trial
court granted that motion on October 23, 2013.