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Ex parte T.T.T.

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

September 22, 2017

Ex parte T.T.T.
v.
T.T.T. In re: K.M.G.

         Baldwin Juvenile Court, CS-95-166.05

          PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS

          DONALDSON, Judge.

         T.T.T. ("the former husband") has petitioned this court for a writ of mandamus directed to the Baldwin Juvenile Court ("the juvenile court") in postdivorce proceedings between him and K.M.G. ("the former wife"). The former husband and the former wife have been involved in litigation for years, and their filings have created a procedural quagmire. In his current lengthy petition to this court, the former husband argues extensively about an exhaustive number of issues arising from numerous cases. Despite the inclusion of an extensive amount of extraneous material, the focus of the current petition is a claim that the juvenile court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction to enter an order in a specific case on June 29, 2017. The former husband seeks the writ of mandamus to compel the juvenile court to vacate that order. The former husband made factual assertions in support of his petition. The former wife did not respond to the former husband's petition; therefore, we are required to "consider the averments of fact in [the] petition as true." Ex parte Turner, 840 So.2d 132, 135 (Ala. 2002). Based on the materials before us, we conclude that the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to enter the June 29, 2017, order, and, thus, we are required to grant the former husband's petition and issue the writ.

         This is the third time the parties have been before this court in relation to their postdivorce proceedings. In T.T. v. K.M.G., 186 So.3d 472 (Ala. Civ. App. 2015)("T.T. I")[1], this court summarized the relevant procedural history of the litigation between the parties.

"In 1994, T.T. and K.M.G. were divorced by a judgment of a Georgia court ('the Georgia judgment'). At the time the Georgia judgment was entered, the parties had two minor children. At some point thereafter, proceedings involving the parties were commenced in the [juvenile court] involving the Georgia judgment. Those proceedings were assigned case no. CS-95-166. On June 30, 1995, the [juvenile] court entered an order in case no. CS-95-166 directing T.T. to pay child support in the amount of $370 per month beginning on July 1, 1995. In that order, the [juvenile] court also found T.T. to be in arrears on his child-support obligation in the amount of $328. On the same day, the [juvenile] court entered an income-withholding order directing T.T.'s employer to deduct the monthly amount of T.T.'s child-support obligation from T.T.'s income.
"At some undetermined point thereafter, K.M.G. apparently filed a petition for a finding of contempt against T.T. based on his alleged failure to pay child support. The proceedings arising from that petition were docketed as case no. CS-95-166.02. On January 26, 2004, the [juvenile] court entered an order in case no. CS-95-166.02 directing T.T. to pay $3, 296.08 to purge himself of contempt of court.
"On April 14, 2004, K.M.G. filed a petition for a finding of contempt against T.T. and for a modification of the Georgia judgment. The proceedings arising from that petition were docketed [as] case no. CS-95-166.03. A notation in the record indicates that that case was voluntarily dismissed by K.M.G. on July 20, 2004.
"K.M.G. apparently commenced another contempt action at some later point, which was docketed as case no. CS-95-166.04. On April 18, 2011, the [juvenile] court entered a [default] judgment in case no. CS-95-166.04 stating as follows:
"'....
"'1. Default Judgment is granted in favor of [K.M.G.] and against [T.T.] in the amount of $171, 680.62, which includes the following amounts: $170, 758.97 (child support arrearage plus interest); $750.00 (reasonable attorney's fees); and $171.65 (costs of court), for which execution shall issue.'
"On April 21, 2014, T.T. filed an independent action in the [juvenile] court seeking relief pursuant to Rule 60(b), Ala. R. Civ. P., from the April 18, 2011, judgment entered in case no. CS-96-166.04, and the [juvenile]-court clerk docketed that action as case no. CS-95-166.05. In his request for relief, T.T. contended that he had been served with the summons and the contempt petition filed by K.M.G. in case no. CS-95-166.04 but that he did not receive notice of the final hearing held on April 8, 2011. As a result of his failure to appear, he contended, the [juvenile] court entered the default judgment in the amount of $171, 680.62. ...
"... On [August 28, 2014, after a] hearing, the [juvenile] court entered an order denying T.T.'s request for relief pursuant to Rule 60(b). T.T. filed a timely notice of appeal to this court on September 9, 2014."

T.T. I, 186 So.3d at 473-75.

         On July 17, 2015, this court dismissed the former husband's appeal, noting that the former husband had sought relief under Rule 60(b)(6) and holding that the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the former husband's independent Rule 60(b)(6) action, which was untimely ...


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