Cristy C. Stallworth
Francis D. Stallworth III
from Monroe Circuit Court (DR-10-127)
THOMPSON, Presiding Judge.
C. Stallworth ("the wife") appeals from an order of
the Monroe Circuit Court ("the trial court")
divorcing her from Francis D. Stallworth III ("the
husband"). For the reasons discussed below, we dismiss
the appeal because it was taken from a nonfinal order.
record indicates that the husband filed a complaint for a
divorce on October 27, 2010. On September 21, 2011, the trial
court entered a "temporary order" incorporating an
agreement the parties had reached during mediation regarding
pendente lite support. Pursuant to that agreement, the
husband was to pay the wife $2, 500 each month in addition to
"all other expenses he is currently paying." Those
expenses were not enumerated, although the wife was directed
"to keep receipts on all expenses she pays, including
credit card statements, etc., and she shall maintain a
reasonable accounting of expenses, mileage, etc., which shall
be provided monthly to her attorney and then to the
husband's attorney. The wife shall not run the upstairs
AC unit unless the children are spending time there. The wife
shall, to the extent possible, conserve utilities in a
reasonable manner in the marital residence."
November 16, 2015, the wife filed a motion for a finding of
contempt against the husband, alleging that the husband had
refused to pay what she called the "temporary
alimony" that month. That same day, the trial court
entered an order directing the parties to comply with the
terms of the mediated pendente lite agreement and set a
hearing on the motion for November 23, 2015. The record does
not indicate that an order was entered after the hearing. On
January 19, 2016, the wife filed another contempt motion,
again alleging that the husband was not paying the
"temporary alimony" as ordered in the September 21,
March 24, 2016, the trial court entered an order divorcing
the parties and, among other things, dividing the marital
property and awarding the wife periodic
alimony. In that order, the trial court did not
expressly find the husband in contempt, but it specified
"that any installments of temporary support which have
accrued under former orders herein, but which are unpaid, are
specifically preserved herein, and shall be paid by the
husband." The trial court did not determine the amount
the husband was in arrears for his failure to pay the
trial court purported to certify the order as final pursuant
to Rule 54, Ala. R. Civ. P., stating that it found "that
there is no just reason for delay in the entry of a final
judgment as to all matters which are finally adjudicated
above, and the Court therefore directs entry of a final
judgment with respect thereto." The wife appealed from
the March 24, 2016, order.
parties in this case do not raise the issue of the finality
of the order or this court's jurisdiction to consider
this appeal. However, it is well settled that
"'"[j]urisdictional matters are of such
magnitude that we take notice of them at any time and do so
even ex mero motu."' Raybon v.
Hall, 17 So.3d 673, 675 (Ala. Civ. App. 2009) (quoting
Nunn v. Baker, 518 So.2d 711, 712 (Ala. 1987)).
'"The question whether an order appealed from is
final is jurisdictional, and the reviewing court, on a
determination that the order is not final, has a duty to
dismiss the case on its own motion."' Hinson v.
Hinson, 745 So.2d 280, 281 (Ala. Civ. App. 1999)
(quoting Powell v. Powell, 718 So.2d 80, 82 (Ala.
Civ. App. 1998))."
Swindle v. Swindle, 157 So.3d 983, 988-89 (Ala. Civ.
judgment is one that resolves all issues and determines the
rights of all parties involved. In Swindle, we
"'A final judgment is a terminative decision by a
court of competent jurisdiction which demonstrates there has
been complete adjudication of all matters in controversy
between the litigants within the cognizance of that court.
That is, it must be conclusive and certain in
itself. Gandy v. Hagler, 245 Ala. 167, 16 So.2d
305 [(1944)]; Bell v. Otts, 101 Ala. 186, 13 So. 43');">13 So. 43
[(1893)]. All matters should be decided; damages should be
assessed with specificity leaving the parties with nothing to
determine on their own. A judgment for damages to be
final must, therefore, be for a sum certain determinable
without resort to extraneous facts. Gandy v. Hagler,
supra; Drane v. King, 21 Ala. 556');">21 Ala. 556
"Jewell v. Jackson & Whitsitt Cotton Co.,
331 So.2d 623, 625 (Ala. 1976) (first emphasis added).
'"The question of finality of the [judgment] may be
phrased as whether there is 'something more for the court
to do.'"' Wilson v. Wilson, 736 So.2d
633, 634 (Ala. Civ. App. 1999) (quoting Powell v.
Powell, 718 So.2d 80 at 82 [(Ala. Civ. App. 1998)],