S.S., ON BEHALF OF C.S., a Minor Child.
from Dale Circuit Court (DR-18-186).
Jr., appellant, prose.
J. Harrison, Geneva, for appellee.
Jr., appeals from a judgment entered by Dale Circuit Court
("the trial court") in a protection-from-abuse
action commenced by S.S., on behalf of C.S., a minor child.
We dismiss the appeal.
October 31, 2018, S.S. filed, on behalf of her daughter, C.S.
("the child"), a petition for protection from abuse
against L.T.J., Jr. After a trial, the trial court entered a
final protection-from-abuse judgment against L.T.J., Jr., on
November 26, 2018. On November 27, 2018, L.T.J., Jr., filed a
postjudgment motion requesting the trial court to reconsider
the November 26, 2018, judgment; that motion was denied the
December 20, 2018, S.S. filed a motion requesting that the
trial court amend its judgment to prevent S.E. and
"anyone affiliated with [Grassroots Tennis Association]
or IDA, including teammates and teammates parents," from
contacting the child and to order the removal of "any
photos of [the child], her name, and the
video they have posted of `the child effected by racism'
to be pulled off their website and ... to remove the post on
YouTube [an Internet video-streaming service] as well."
On December 21, 2018, the trial court purported to set the
motion to amend filed by S.S. for a hearing to be held on
February 11, 2019. On December 30, 2018, L.T.J., Jr., filed
an "Expedited Motion to Reconsider Hearing &
January 2, 2019, upon the motion of L.T.J., Jr., the trial
court purported to grant an extension of time to appeal until
after the hearing scheduled on February 11, 2019. The hearing
was subsequently continued to March 11, 2019. On March 4,
2019, L.T.J., Jr., filed his notice of appeal to this court.
On March 12, 2019, the trial court purported to amend the
protection-from-abuse judgment as requested by S.S. in her
December 20, 2018, motion.
the parties to this appeal have not challenged our appellate
jurisdiction, we must consider whether we have jurisdiction
over this appeal, because `jurisdictional matters are of such
magnitude that we take notice of them at any time and do so
even ex mero motu.'" Hopper v.
Sims, 777 So.2d 122, 124 (Ala.Civ.App. 2000) (quoting
Wallace v. Tee Jays Mfg. Co., 689 So.2d 210, 211
(Ala.Civ.App. 1997), quoting in turn Nunn v. Baker,
518 So.2d 711, 712 (Ala. 1987)). "The failure to file a
notice of appeal Within the time provided in Rule 4, [Ala. R.
App. P.], is a jurisdictional defect and will result in a
dismissal of the appeal." Buchanan v. Young,
534 So.2d 263, 264 (Ala. 1988). Because the appeal was from a
final protection-from-abuse judgment, the 42-day period for
filing a notice of appeal applies. See,
e.g., Placey v. Placey, 51 So.3d 374, 376
n.3 (Ala.Civ.App. 2010). Therefore, unless the time to appeal
was tolled, L.T.J., Jr., had 42 days from the entry of the
November 26, 2018, judgment within which to file his notice
we note that the time to appeal was tolled by the
postjudgment motion filed by L.T.J., Jr., on November 27,
2018. That motion was denied that same day. See Rule
59.1, Ala. R. Civ. P. Subsequently, on December 20, 2018,
S.S. filed a motion that, in substance, sought to amend her
petition for protection from abuse to add additional parties
and additional requests for relief against those parties.
However, "a trial court has no jurisdiction to entertain
a motion to amend a complaint to add new claims or new
parties after a final judgment has been entered, unless that
`judgment is first set aside or vacated' pursuant to the
state's rules of civil procedure." Faith Props.,
LLC v. First Commercial Bank, 988 So.2d 485, 490 (Ala.
2008). Because in the present case the trial court at no time
"`set aside or vacated'" its November 26, 2018,
judgment, it had no jurisdiction to entertain S.S.'s
motion to amend, id., and thus, her motion did not
toll the time for filing a notice of appeal after the entry
of the postjudgment order on November 27, 2018. Additionally,
we note that "a judgment entered without subject-matter
jurisdiction is void." K.R. v. D.H., 988 So.2d
1050, 1052 (Ala.Civ.App. 2008).
Because the trial court lacked jurisdiction to entertain
S.S.'s motion to amend, the trial court's March 12,
2019, order purporting to amend the protection-from-abuse