COURTYARD MANOR HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION, INC.
CITY OF PELHAM.
from Shelby Circuit Court (CV-18-900823).
Eugene Rutledge of The Rutledge Law Firm, LLC, Hoover, for
C. Ellis, Jr., J. Bentley Owens III, and William R. Justice
of Ellis, Head, Owens, Justice & Arnold, Columbiana, for
Manor Homeowners' Association, Inc. ("Courtyard
Manor"), appeals from the Shelby Circuit
Court's dismissal of its complaint filed against the City
of Pelham ("the City"). We affirm.
August 2018, Courtyard Manor filed a complaint against the
City after the City failed to conduct a hearing or otherwise
to respond to Courtyard Manor's petition, filed with the
City in September 2017, seeking to be deannexed from the
municipal limits. Courtyard Manor averred in its complaint
that the City had agreed to apply its deannexation criteria
to the matter, that the City had a duty to set the matter for
a hearing, and that the City had de facto denied the petition
by failing to take any action on it. Courtyard Manor
requested that the circuit court conduct a hearing on the
petition and enter an order deannexing Courtyard Manor from
the City. Alternatively, Courtyard Manor requested that the
circuit court order the Pelham City Council to hold a hearing
on the petition and to report its decision to the circuit
City moved the circuit court to dismiss the complaint
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), Ala. R. Civ. P., for failure
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The City
argued that, in deciding whether to deannex property, a
municipal governing body acts in a legislative capacity, that
a municipal governing body has discretion to determine if and
when to deannex property, that the governing body's
discretion in determining if and when to deannex property is
not subject to interference by the courts, that the
City's governing body has not determined that the
corporate limits of the City should be reduced in the manner
requested by Courtyard Manor, and that the City had no duty
to hold a hearing on Courtyard Manor's petition. The
circuit court granted the City's motion to dismiss. This
Standard of Review
appeal, a dismissal is not entitled to a presumption of
correctness. Jones v. Lee County Commission, 394
So.2d 928, 930 (Ala. 1981); Allen v. Johnny Baker
Hauling, Inc., 545 So.2d 771, 772 (Ala.Civ.App. 1989).
The appropriate standard of review under Rule 12(b)(6) is
whether, when the allegations of the complaint are viewed
most strongly in the pleader's favor, it appears that the
pleader could prove any set of circumstances that would
entitle her to relief. Raley v. Citibanc of
Alabama/Andalusia, 474 So.2d 640, 641 (Ala. 1985);
Hill v. Falletta, 589 So.2d 746 (Ala.Civ.App. 1991).
In making this determination, this Court does not consider
whether the plaintiff will ultimately prevail, but only
whether she may possibly prevail. Fontenot v.
Bramlett, 470 So.2d 669, 671 (Ala. 1985); Rice v.
United Ins. Co. of America, 465 So.2d 1100, 1101 (Ala.
1984). We note that a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal is proper only
when it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no
set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle the
plaintiff to relief. Garrett v. Hadden, 495 So.2d
616, 617 (Ala. 1986); Hill v. Kraft, Inc., 496 So.2d
768, 769 (Ala. 1986)."
v. Matthews, 622 So.2d 297, 299 (Ala. 1993). This Court
reviews de novo questions of law concerning statutory
construction. Continental Nat'l Indem. Co. v.
Fields, 926 So.2d 1033 (Ala. 2005).