Butler County Department of Human Resources
Appeals from Butler Juvenile Court (JU-15-061.04,
THOMPSON, PRESIDING JUDGE.
March 7, 2017, the Butler County Department of Human
Resources ("DHR") filed in the Butler Juvenile
Court ("the juvenile court") three petitions, each
seeking to terminate the parental rights of P.H. ("the
mother") and F.M., Jr. ("the father"), to one
of their three minor children. The mother filed answers
opposing DHR's petitions and asserted counterclaims in
which she sought the return of custody of each of the three
children. DHR moved for the entry of a default judgment
against the father in each of the termination actions.
juvenile court scheduled a November 8, 2017, hearing. On that
same date, the mother executed and filed in the juvenile
court three documents consenting to the termination of her
November 17, 2017, the juvenile court entered judgments
terminating the parents' parental rights. On November 28,
2017, the juvenile court entered "amended orders"
in each action, again determining that the parents'
parental rights were terminated. The only discernable
difference between the November 17, 2017, judgments and the
November 28, 2017, amended judgments is a change to reflect a
different date on which those judgments were signed by the
juvenile-court judge. The judgments entered on November 17,
2017, contain a handwritten notation indicating that those
judgments were signed on November 13, 2017. The November 28,
2017, amended judgments indicate that those amended judgments
were signed by the juvenile-court judge on November 8, 2017.
record contains no indication of the reason the judgments
were amended to change the date on which the juvenile-court
judge signed the judgments. However, it is clear that the
date on which the juvenile-court judge signed the judgments
did not affect the substance of those judgments; therefore,
the November 28, 2017, amended judgments appear to correct a
clerical error. See Rule 60(a), Ala. R. Civ. P.
("Clerical mistakes in judgments, orders, or other parts
of the record and errors therein arising from oversight or
omission may be corrected by the court at any time of its own
initiative or on the motion of any party and after such
notice, if any, as the court orders."). "The effect
of a Rule 60(a) amendment is a correction of the original
judgment to reflect the original intention of the trial
court. There was no change in the actual judgment. The
amendment relates back to the original judgment and becomes a
part of it." Bergen-Patterson, Inc. v. Naylor,
701 So.2d 826, 829 (Ala. Civ. App. 1997). "A Rule 60(a)
correction has no bearing on the timeliness of an appeal from
the original uncorrected judgment." J.S. v.
S.W., 702 So.2d 169, 171 (Ala. Civ. App. 1997).
December 8, 2017, the mother filed a single motion that was
applicable to each case seeking to withdraw her consent to
the termination of her parental rights and to set aside the
November 28, 2017, "amended orders." That motion,
which was made pursuant to Rule 59(e), Ala. R. Civ. P., was
not timely filed within 14 days of the entry of the November
17, 2017, judgments. See Rule 1(B), Ala. R. Juv. P.
("All postjudgment motions ... must be filed within 14
days after entry of order or judgment and shall not remain
pending for more than 14 days ...."). Thus, the December
8, 2017, motion did not operate to extend the time for
appealing from the November 17, 2017, judgments. C.B. v.
D.P.B., 80 So.3d 918, 920 (Ala. Civ. App. 2011).
juvenile court purported to grant that December 8, 2017, and
scheduled a "review docket/hear" for December 18,
2017. On December 28, 2017, the juvenile court purported to
enter judgments in which it stated that DHR's actions had
been "retried based on the granting of [the
mother's] request to withdraw her consent to
termination." In those judgments, the juvenile court
again purported to grant DHR's petitions to terminate the
parents' parental rights.
December 29, 2017, the mother filed a motion that was
applicable to each case, purportedly pursuant to Rule 59,
Ala. R. Civ. P., and, on that same date, she filed three
separate notices of appeal to this court. This court
consolidated the appeals.
conclude that the mother's notices of appeal were
untimely filed. In the absence of a timely filed postjudgment
motion, the mother had 14 days following the entry of the
November 17, 2017, judgments in which to timely appeal those
judgments. J.J. v. R.R., 159 So.3d 84, 86 (Ala. Civ.
App. 2014); K.Y.W. v. Jefferson Cty. Dep't of Human
Res., 167 So.3d 368, 370 (Ala. Civ. App. 2014); see
also Rule 4(a)(1)(E), Ala. R. App. P. (providing that a
party has 14 days to appeal a judgment entered in a juvenile
action). The mother's untimely December 8, 2017,
postjudgment motion did not suspend the time for filing a
notice of appeal, and, therefore, her notices of appeal,
which were filed more than 14 days after the entry of the
November 17, 2017, judgments, were untimely. F.G. v.
State Dep't of Human Res., 988 So.2d 555, 557 (Ala.
Civ. App. 2007). An untimely appeal does not invoke this
court's jurisdiction; therefore, we must dismiss these
appeals. K.Y.W. v. Jefferson Cty. Dep't of Human
Res., supra; and Rule 2(a)(1), Ala. R. App. P. ("An
appeal shall be dismissed if the notice of appeal was not
timely filed to invoke the jurisdiction of the appellate
Pittman, Thomas, Moore, and ...