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Mays v. Trinity Property Consultants, LLC

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

March 8, 2019

Brittony Mays
v.
Trinity Property Consultants, LLC

          Appeal from Shelby Circuit Court (CV-18-99)

         On Application for Rehearing

          MOORE, JUDGE.

         This court's opinion of January 11, 2019, is withdrawn, and the following is substituted therefor.

         Brittony Mays appeals from an order of the Shelby Circuit Court ("the circuit court") dismissing her appeal from an order entered by the Shelby District Court ("the district court") denying her Rule 60(b)(4), Ala. R. Civ. P., motion to set aside a default judgment entered against her in an eviction and unlawful-detainer action. We reverse the circuit court's judgment.

         Relevant Procedural History

         On January 24, 2018, Trinity Property Consultants, LLC, filed in the district court a "Statement of Claim" for "Eviction/Unlawful Detainer" against Mays. Trinity Property demanded possession of certain property located in Birmingham, as well as "3556.67 plus court costs ... consisting of unpaid rent and late charges, plus attorney's fees (if applicable) and other charges." Proof of service upon Mays was filed on January 26, 2018.

         On February 2, 2018, Trinity Property filed an application for the entry of a default judgment against Mays. On February 5, 2018, the district court entered a default judgment in favor of Trinity Property and against Mays. That judgment provided, in part:

"This case came before the Court on [Trinity Property's] application for default judgment on the Unlawful Detainer possession count of the complaint. [Trinity Property] is entitled to possession as claimed in the complaint and default is hereby entered and default judgment is hereby entered in favor of [Trinity Property] and against [Mays] on the Unlawful Detainer [count]. The Court hereby orders and adjudges that the ... property ... be restored to [Trinity Property].
"....
"Rent is ascertained to be $925.00 per month due on the 1st of the month. Rent in the amount of $925.00 has accrued since date of filing to date. Pursuant to Rule 54(b)[, Ala. R. Civ. P., ] and in order to make this a final order, the Court specifically finds that there is no just reason for delay and specifically directs the immediate entry of judgment as to [Mays] for property sued for and costs of court with leave to prove damages against [Mays] on the money claim."

         On February 22, 2018, Mays filed in the district court a Rule 60(b)(4) motion seeking to set aside the default judgment (see Rule 60(dc), Ala. R. Civ. P.), alleging that she had not been served with the complaint in the action. That motion was denied on February 27, 2018.

         On March 5, 2018, Mays filed her notice of appeal to the circuit court. On March 12, 2018, Trinity Property moved the circuit court to dismiss the appeal because, it asserted, it had been untimely filed. On March 21, 2018, the circuit court dismissed Mays's appeal.

         On March 27, 2018, Mays filed in the circuit court a "motion to reinstate appeal and [to] stay execution," which we construe as a motion filed pursuant to Rule 59(e), Ala. R. Civ. P. See Larkin v. American Eastern Surety Ins. Co., 979 So.2d 835, 838 (Ala. Civ. App. 2007); and Ryans v. State exrel. Stoudemire, 963 So.2d 95, 96 (Ala. Civ. App. 2007). On May ...


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