from Macon Circuit Court (DR-16-900024)
Robinson appeals from a judgment entered by the Macon Circuit
Court ("the trial court") in a
protection-from-abuse action filed by Akeisha Danielle
Arnold. We affirm the trial court's judgment.
October 11, 2016, Arnold filed a petition seeking an order
protecting her from abuse by Robinson. On October 14, 2016,
the trial court entered an ex parte protection-from-abuse
order and set the case for a final hearing. That same day,
Robinson answered the petition. Following the final hearing,
the trial court entered a final protection-from-abuse
judgment against Robinson on November 21, 2016. On December
2, 2016, Robinson filed a postjudgment motion. Without
conducting a hearing, the trial court entered an order on
December 5, 2016, denying the postjudgment motion and
stating, in pertinent part:
"Both [Robinson] and [Arnold] were present at the final
hearing, with their respective counsel. Both parties were
given full opportunity to present to the Court any evidence
he or she desired the Court to consider. During this hearing,
both parties, after conferring with their respective counsel,
agreed to the relief requested by [Arnold]. This Court,
however, independently found that there was sufficient
evidence to support the issuance of a Final Order Of
Protection From Abuse, in this cause, to protect
January 10, 2017, Robinson filed his notice of appeal.
February 6, 2017, Robinson filed a "Motion for Statement
of Evidence" with this court, noting that no transcript
had been made of the final hearing and attaching his own
affidavit setting forth his statement of what he asserted had
transpired at the proceedings. On February 14, 2017, this
court denied Robinson's motion on the basis that he had
not complied with the procedure set forth in Rules 10(d) and
10(f), Ala. R. App. P. (establishing procedure for providing
a statement of the evidence when no transcript is available).
appeal, Robinson first argues that the trial court erred in
declining to hold a hearing on his postjudgment motion.
"'This court has held that
"'"[g]enerally, a movant who requests a hearing
on his or her postjudgment motion is entitled to such a
hearing. Rule 59(g), Ala. R. Civ. P.; Flagstar Enters.,
Inc. v. Foster, 779 So.2d 1220, 1221 (Ala. 2000). A
trial court's failure to conduct a hearing is error.
Flagstar Enters., 779 So.2d at 1221."
"'Dubose v. Dubose, 964 So.2d 42, 46 (Ala.
Civ. App. 2007); see also Staarup v. Staarup, 537
So.2d 56, 57 (Ala. Civ. App. 1988) ("[Rule 59(g)]
mandates that, when a hearing is requested on a motion for
new trial, the hearing must be granted.").
"'[However], this court has recognized an exception
to the general rule that the denial of a postjudgment motion
without conducting a requested hearing is reversible error.
See Gibert v. Gibert, 709 So.2d 1257, 1258 (Ala.
Civ. App. 1998) ("A trial court errs by not granting a
hearing when one has been requested pursuant to Rule 59(g);
however, that error is not necessarily reversible
error."). "On appeal, ... if an appellate court
determines that there is no probable merit to the motion, it
may affirm based on the harmless error rule." Palmer
v. Hall, 680 So.2d 307, 307-08 (Ala. Civ. App. 1996);
see also Lowe v. Lowe, 631 So.2d 1040, 1041 (Ala.
Civ. App. 1993) ("Denial of a Rule 59 motion ...