from Henry Circuit Court (CV-12-900057).
Saunders and Mike Saunders appeal from a judgment entered by
the Henry Circuit Court ("the trial court")
quieting title to a certain parcel of real property in Betty
Ingram and John Ingram, Jr. We dismiss the appeal.
September 28, 2012, the Ingrams filed a complaint against the
Saunderses and a number of fictitiously named defendants,
asserting, among other things, that Betty and John owned
separate but contiguous parcels of real property in Henry
County; that the Saunderses owned property adjoining that of
the Ingrams; and that the Ingrams' predecessors in title
and the Saunderses' predecessor in title had agreed that
Abbie Creek and Skipper Creek would operate as the boundary
line between the parties' respective properties. The
Ingrams further asserted that, following that agreement, they
and their predecessors in title had maintained exclusive
possession of the property lying west of Abbie Creek and
Skipper Creek that had been included in the property
description in the deed conveying property to the Saunderses
("the disputed property"). The Ingrams sought a
judgment from the trial court quieting title to their
properties, including the disputed property. On October 16,
2012, the Saunderses filed an answer to the complaint. They
also filed a counterclaim seeking a judgment declaring that
the disputed property belongs to the Saunderses in fee
simple; an adjudication of the boundary line between the
Ingrams' properties and the Saunderses' property; and
an award of costs, damages, and attorney's fees resulting
from the Ingrams' request for a restraining order.
was set for February 28, 2013. On February 21, 2013, the
Ingrams filed a motion seeking to continue the trial,
asserting, among other things, that John was suffering from
issues with his health and would be unable to attend or
testify at the trial; that motion was granted, and the trial
date was reset. After a number of continuances, a trial was
set for February 25, 2014. On February 24, 2014, Betty filed
a motion to continue the trial setting of the
case; she asserted that John had died on
February 10, 2014, that "no [e]state ha[d] been
commenced as of [that] date, " and that it would
"be necessary for a [p]ersonal [r]epresentative or
[a]dministrator to be appointed and that person substituted
as a party in interest pursuant to Rule 25 of the Alabama
Rules of Civil Procedure, prior to the trial of this
case." The trial court granted that motion to continue.
an order in which the trial court requested to be advised of
the status of the case and another order indicating that the
case would be dismissed for "no action, " the trial
court entered an order on January 20, 2015, dismissing the
case for "lack of action." On January 21, 2015,
Betty filed a motion to reinstate the case, asserting that
the case "is and has been ready for trial and is waiting
on the Court to set the trial date." The trial court
granted that motion, reinstated the case, and set the case
for a trial, which was conducted on October 8, 2015. After
the close of all of the evidence, the following exchange
occurred between the trial judge and Betty's attorney:
"THE COURT: My first question ... is, who's actually
the plaintiff now? It started out as Betty and John Ingram.
Obviously, John Ingram is deceased.
"[Counsel for Betty]: Judge, and we revised the case in
the name of his estate.
"THE COURT: So, you filed -- the only thing I could find
... is you filed a motion to continue one time to amend in --
"[Counsel for Betty]: And we did that.
"THE COURT: You're telling me. Because, typically,
she hits one print button and it prints off everything, and I
didn't see it.
"[Counsel for Betty]: We amended and filed to bring in
the estate. That's why Pam [Taylor] is sitting here,
because she is the personal representative of the estate.
"THE COURT: As long as you tell me you're sure,
I'm not going to go back and check.... So, you're
"[Counsel for Betty]: Yes, sir."
those representations by Betty's attorney, the trial was
concluded after an unrelated discussion between the trial
judge and the attorneys for the parties. On December 4, 2015,
the trial court entered a judgment that stated: "After
trial, judgment entered for plaintiff." Both Betty and
the Saunderses filed postjudgment motions, and, on February
25, 2016, the trial court entered a new judgment in response
to Betty's postjudgment motion in which it quieted title
to the disputed property in Betty, as it related to the
property in her name, and quieted title to the disputed
property in "the Estate of John Ingram, as substituted
Plaintiff, " with regard to the property in John's
name. That same day, the trial court entered an order denying
the Saunderses' postjudgment motion. ...