Ex Parte Tammera L. Hudson
Fredie Joe Hudson In re: Tammera L. Hudson
Circuit Court, DR-17-900210
PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS
THOMPSON, Presiding Judge.
L. Hudson ("the wife") petitions this court for a
writ of mandamus directing the Baldwin Circuit Court
("the trial court") to vacate its order granting
the motion of Fredie Joe Hudson ("the husband") for
a change of venue.
materials submitted to this court in support of and in
opposition to the petition indicate the following. On
February 17, 2017, the wife filed a complaint in the trial
court seeking a legal separation from the husband. On March
13, 2017, the husband filed the motion seeking to have the
action transferred to Montgomery County. As the ground for
his motion, the husband asserted that he is a resident of
Montgomery County. He claimed that the parties had lived in
Montgomery County from the time of their marriage ceremony in
the Virgin Islands "up until the time they
separated." The husband also alleged that his primary
residence and business were in Montgomery County.
April 6, 2017, an ore tenus hearing was held on the issue of
venue. A transcript of that hearing is included in the
materials submitted in support of the petition for a writ of
mandamus. At the hearing, the husband testified that he had
resided in Montgomery County since 1983. He said that, when
the wife and he married in 2015, they lived in Montgomery
husband testified that the parties separated in January 2017;
however, he also testified that he had lived in Montgomery
County with the wife until December 23, 2016. The husband
said he had owned a house in Montgomery County ("the
Montgomery County house") up until that date. After the
Montgomery County house was sold, the husband said, he and
the wife stayed at their vacation house on Ono Island, in
Baldwin County. The husband testified that, when he obtained
a divorce from her, his first wife received "rights to
[the Ono Island house] half of the month." The wife
testified that the husband's former wife did not use the
Ono Island house. Additionally, the husband testified, he
owned a house in Palm Beach, Florida. The husband testified
that he had claimed a homestead exemption for the Montgomery
County house. He also said that his vehicles were registered
in Montgomery County, that he was registered to vote in
Montgomery County, that the address on his driver's
license was the address of the Montgomery County house, and
that the corporate office of his business, Joe Hudson's
Collision Center, is in Montgomery County.
having a house on Ono Island and another house in Palm Beach,
the husband said, it was his intention to reside in
Montgomery County until he retired. At the time of the
hearing, the husband said, he was looking to purchase another
house "in [the] same community" as the Montgomery
County house. He said that, when the Montgomery County house
sold, it was not his intention to move to another county. At
the time of the hearing, the husband said, he was living with
his son at the son's home in Montgomery County or staying
at the son's hunting camp. The location of the hunting
camp is not mentioned in the record.
wife testified that the husband and she were living in
Baldwin County at the time they separated. She said that,
from March 2016 until their separation, they spent
approximately 90% of their time at the house on Ono Island.
However, she also testified that, when the parties separated,
the last place they had lived was in Fairhope, which is in
Baldwin County. The wife acknowledged that, after she and the
husband married, she moved to Montgomery, but she stated that
she had custody of her child, who lived in Fairhope, and that
she would go to Fairhope every other week.
April 6, 2017, after the hearing, the trial court entered an
order granting the husband's motion to change venue and
transfer the action. On April 19, 2017, the wife filed the
petition for a writ of mandamus.
petition, the wife contends that the trial court erred in
granting the motion for a change of venue. Specifically, she
argues that the evidence indicates that the parties resided
in Baldwin County at the time of their separation and,
therefore, that venue was proper in Baldwin County.
"A petition for the writ of mandamus is the appropriate
means by which to challenge a trial court's order
regarding a change of venue. Ex parte Sawyer, 892
So.2d 898, 901 (Ala. 2004). The writ of mandamus is an
extraordinary remedy; it will not be issued unless the
petitioner shows '"'(1) a clear legal right in
the petitioner to the order sought; (2) an imperative duty
upon the respondent to perform, accompanied by a refusal to
do so; (3) the lack of another adequate remedy; and (4)
properly invoked jurisdiction of the court.'"'
Ex parte Inverness Constr. Co., 775 So.2d 153, 156
(Ala. 2000) (quoting Ex parte Gates, 675 So.2d 371,
374 (Ala. 1996)); Ex parte Pfizer, Inc., 746 So.2d
960, 962 (Ala. 1999)."
Ex parte Children's Hosp. of Alabama, 931 So.2d
1, 5-6 (Ala. 2005).
burden of proving improper venue is on the party raising the
issue and on review of an order transferring or refusing to
transfer, a writ of mandamus will not be granted unless there
is a clear showing of error on the part of the trial
judge.' Ex parte Finance America Corp., 507
So.2d 458, 460 (Ala. 1987)." Ex parte Pike
Fabrication, Inc., 859 So.2d 1089, 1091 (Ala. 2002);
see also Ex parte Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc., [Ms.
2160069, Jan. 27, 2017] So. 3d, (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).
30-2-4, Ala. Code 1975, governs the issue of venue in cases