[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
from Madison District Court (CS-09-30.03). Schuyler H.
J. Cartron, Huntsville, for appellant.
Submitted on appellants brief only.
2009, the Madison District Court ("the juvenile
court") entered a judgment adjudicating the paternity of
K.D.K. ("the father") of the minor child born in
2007 of his relationship with M.K.F. ("the mother")
and ordering the father to pay child support. A December 21,
2009, judgment of the juvenile court modified the fathers
2011, the juvenile court entered another judgment modifying
the fathers child-support obligation, determining that the
father owed a child-support arrearage of $ 11,349.39, and
awarding the mother an attorney fee of $ 4,025. The parties
and the juvenile court refer to that judgment as the
"February 15, 2011," judgment. That judgment was
signed by the juvenile-court judge on February 15, 2011;
however, it was date-stamped as having been filed in the
juvenile-court clerks office on March 14, 2011. For ease of
reference, in this opinion, we use the same terminology used
by the parties and the juvenile court, and we refer to that
2011 judgment as the "February 15, 2011, judgment."
In the February 15, 2011, judgment, the juvenile court found
the father to be in contempt for his failure to pay child
support on nine separate occasions. The juvenile court also
ordered that, "[i]n addition to monthly child support
ordered herein, [the father] shall pay to [the mother] the
monthly sum of $ 150 toward the satisfaction of the judgment
for arrearage as provided herein."
April 28, 2017, the father filed in the juvenile court a
petition seeking to modify his child-support obligation. On
May 15, 2017, the mother answered and opposed the request for
a modification. On that same date, the mother filed a
document that she titled as a "counterclaim for
contempt" in which she alleged that the father owed her
$ 16,487.25 from his failure to pay required monthly payments
toward the child-support arrearage established in the
February 15, 2011, judgment. The father filed an answer
opposing the mothers May 15, 2017, counterclaim.
October 19, 2017, the mother sought the permission of the
juvenile court to amend her "answer," i.e., her
counterclaim, to assert another counterclaim seeking a
modification of the fathers child-support obligation. The
juvenile court entered an order allowing that amendment.
November 17, 2017, four days before the scheduled ore tenus
hearing, the mother again moved to amend her counterclaim. In
her November 17, 2017, proposed amended counterclaim, the
mother sought to update the amounts that the father allegedly
continued to owe pursuant to the February 15, 2011, judgment,
including the amount of interest that had accrued on the
attorney-fee award in the February 15, 2011, judgment, and
she sought a judgment redetermining the amounts still owed
under the February 15, 2011, judgment. In addition, the
mother sought an award of an attorney fee in this action.
father objected to that proposed, November 17, 2017,
amendment to the mothers counterclaim. On November 21, 2017,
the juvenile court entered an order denying the mothers
November 17, 2017, motion to amend.
juvenile court conducted an ore tenus hearing on November 21,
2017. During that ore tenus hearing, the juvenile court ruled
that the mothers only pending counterclaim was her claim
seeking a modification of child support. The juvenile court
disallowed the mothers attempts to present evidence on the
issue of contempt and pertaining to her request for an
June 29, 2018, the juvenile court entered an order in which
it, among other things, modified the fathers child-support
obligation, ordered him to pay $ 150 each month toward the
arrearage established in the February 15, 2011, judgment,
awarded the mother a judgment of $ 6,226.17 for a new
child-support arrearage that had accumulated since the entry
of the February 15, 2011, judgment, and ordered that the
father pay interest on that new child-support
arrearage. In its June 29, 2018, order, the
juvenile court determined that the attorney-fee award
established in the February 15, 2011, judgment "was
included in and made a part of the additional $ 150 per month
to be paid by the father" toward the satisfaction of
that February 15, 2011, judgment. In addition, the juvenile
court denied the parties claims, asserted during the
pendency of this action, seeking sanctions for various
alleged failures to comply with discovery requests.
mother filed a notice of appeal on July 12, 2018. On November
27, 2018, this court entered an order reinvesting the
juvenile court with jurisdiction to enter a final judgment.
On December 10, 2018, the juvenile court entered an order
determining the interest owed on the child-support arrearage
that had accumulated since the entry of the February 15,
2011, judgment to be $ 3,430.20. That order resolved the last
of the pending claims between the parties, and, therefore, it
constituted the final judgment in the action below.
Stockton v. CKPD Dev. Co., 936 So.2d 1065, 1069-70
(Ala.Civ.App. 2005). The appeal was deemed effective upon the
entry of the final judgment. Rule 4(a)(4), Ala. R. App. P.
However, for ease of reference, in this opinion, we refer to
the June 29, 2018, order as "the June 29, 2018,
initial matter, we note that the mother argues on appeal that
the juvenile court erred in considering the fathers
child-support-modification claim. The mother cites Hilson
v. Hilson,598 So.2d 955, 956 (Ala.Civ.App. 1992), for
the proposition that "[a] party in contempt who has
violated a [judgment] of the court is not entitled to be
heard on a petition for modification until he purges
himself" of contempt. However, the mother did not raise
this argument before the juvenile court, and she may not
seek, for the first time on appeal, to hold the juvenile
court in error with regard to an issue ...