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Ex parte RM Logistics, Inc.

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

January 11, 2019

EX PARTE RM LOGISTICS, INC.
v.
RM Logistics, Inc.) (In re Thomas M. Elliott

         Petition for Writ of Mandamus (Walker Circuit Court, CV-16-900366), Hugh D. Farris, J.

         Brent A. Tyra of Smith, Tyra, Thomas & Haggard, LLC, Alabaster.

          Submitted on mandamus petition only.

          OPINION

         THOMPSON, Presiding Judge.

Page 440

          On October 19, 2016, Thomas M. Elliott filed in the Walker Circuit Court ("the trial court") a complaint seeking an award of workers’ compensation benefits from his employer, RM Logistics, Inc. ("RM Logistics"). RM Logistics answered the complaint and denied liability.

          On June 26, 2017, RM Logistics filed in the trial court a motion to dismiss Elliott’s complaint or, in the alternative, to transfer the action on the basis that it was filed in an improper venue. The trial court initially scheduled a hearing on that motion for August 2, 2017. However, the trial court rescheduled that hearing several times between July 2017 and January 2018. In February 2018, after the hearing on its motion had been rescheduled for the fourth time, RM Logistics filed in the trial court a motion asking that the hearing be conducted at the earliest possible date. On June 1, 2018, the trial court scheduled a hearing for September 5, 2018, but on July 20, 2018, it entered another order continuing that hearing until October 3, 2018. On October 1, 2018, the trial court entered an order that postponed the hearing on RM Logistics’ June 26, 2017, motion for a sixth time. In its October 1, 2018, order, the trial court did not set a specific date for a hearing on RM Logistics’ June 26, 2017, motion.

          On November 9, 2018, RM Logistics filed in this court a petition for a writ of mandamus asking this court to either order the trial court to dismiss Elliott’s workers’ compensation claim or order the trial court to transfer the action to the Shelby Circuit Court, which, RM Logistics contends, is the appropriate venue for Elliott’s workers’ compensation action. Neither Elliott nor the trial court has filed an answer to the petition for a writ of mandamus.

" ‘ " ‘Mandamus is a drastic and extraordinary writ, to be issued only where there is (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 Integon Corp., 672 So.2d 497, 499 (Ala. 1995). ‘When we consider a mandamus petition relating to a venue ruling, our scope of review is to determine if the trial court [exceeded] its discretion, i.e., whether it exercised its discretion in an arbitrary and capricious manner.’ Id. Our review is further limited to those facts that were before the trial court. Ex parte American Resources Ins. Co., 663 So.2d 932, 936 (Ala. 1995)." ’
"Ex parte Southeast Alabama Timber Harvesting, LLC, 94 So.3d 371, 373 (Ala. 2012) (quoting Ex parte National Sec. Ins. Co., 727 So.2d 788, 789 (Ala. 1998) )."

Ex parte Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co., 276 So.3d 674, 677 (Ala. 2018).

         In its brief filed in this court, RM Logistics acknowledges that the trial court has not ruled on its June 26, 2017, motion to dismiss or to transfer.[1] Thus, there is no adverse ruling upon which RM Logistics

Page 441

can base that part of its petition for a writ of mandamus in which it argues that the trial court erred ...


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