Jefferson County Department of Human Resources
from Jefferson Juvenile Court, Bessemer Division (DR-17-65
Sr. ("the father"), appeals from judgments of the
Jefferson Juvenile Court, Bessemer Division ("the
juvenile court"), adjudicating A.A., Jr., and K.A. to be
dependent. The judgments are not final, and "[t]his
court must dismiss an appeal taken from a nonfinal
judgment." Stanford v. Feige, 816 So.2d 501,
503 (Ala. Civ. App. 2001). Therefore, for the reasons
discussed herein, the appeals are dismissed.
and Procedural History
father and Vi.A. ("the mother") are the parents of
V.A.A. ("the eldest daughter"), A.A., Jr., K.A.,
and Va.A. ("the youngest daughter").
November 10, 2016, the Jefferson County Department of Human
Resources ("DHR") filed complaints in the juvenile
court alleging that A.A., Jr., and K.A. ("the
sons") were dependent. Upon DHR's request, the
juvenile court entered pickup orders for the sons. DHR also
initiated dependency proceedings regarding the eldest
daughter and the youngest daughter. DHR further alleged that
"[the father had] stated that he also want[ed] to
relinquish custody of [the youngest daughter]."
conducting a shelter-care hearing, the juvenile court entered
an order in each child's case, granting pendente lite
custody of the youngest daughter to DHR and granting pendente
lite custody of the rest of the children to B.B. ("the
maternal aunt"). In the orders, the juvenile court ruled
that the parents and the youngest daughter were not to have
any contact but granted supervised visitation to the parents
with the rest of the children.
juvenile court appointed a guardian ad litem and a court
appointed special advocate to represent the children's
January 31, 2017, after having conducted a preliminary
hearing, the juvenile court entered orders dismissing the
eldest daughter's case because she had reached the age of
18 and continuing the visitation and custody arrangements of
the other children. Along with the maternal aunt, the orders
named E.B. ("the maternal uncle") as a pendente
lite custodian of the sons.
13, 2017, after having conducted a preliminary and permanency
hearing, the juvenile court rendered orders that were later
entered on June 15, 2017. In the orders, the juvenile court
continued the existing custody and visitation arrangements
and set the matter for a "permanency hearing" on
September 12, 2017.
13, 2017, the father filed a "Motion for Hearing on
Father's Entitlement to Custody of His Sons," in
which he stated:
"Comes now [counsel for the father], and moves the Court
for an Order setting a hearing within the next two weeks on
his entitlement vel non to custody of his two minor
"As grounds for the motion, [the father] would show unto
the Court that there has been no hearing, of which he has had
notice, to determine whether he is an unfit parent. ...
"Under Alabama law, [the father] has a prima facie right
to custody of his sons. ...
"WHEREFORE, the premises considered, [the father] prays
that the Court will specially set down this motion within the
next two weeks; and that unless the Plaintiff DHR carries its
burden of proving that he is an unfit parent for his sons,
the Court will grant to him his constitutional right of
custody of his sons. ..."
on June 13, 2017, the mother and the father filed several
objections to the orders rendered on June 13, 2017.
14, 2017, the juvenile court entered orders in the sons'
cases stating that the mother had requested a trial and that
the issues raised by the father's motions and the