JEFFERSON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES.
from Jefferson Juvenile Court (JU-15-915.02)
Patricia A. Gill, Birmingham, for appellant.
Marshall, atty. gen., and Felicia M. Brooks, chief legal
counsel, and Elizabeth L. Hendrix, asst. atty. gen.,
Department of Human Resources, for appellee.
T. Tunstill of The Tunstill Law Firm, P.C., Birmingham,
guardian ad litem.
January 2017, the Jefferson County Department of Human
Resources ("DHR") filed a petition in the Jefferson
Juvenile Court ("the juvenile court"), seeking to
terminate the parental rights of P.I.M.
("the mother") to A.M.M. ("the child").
In May 2018, the juvenile court entered a judgment
terminating the parental rights of the mother. After her
timely postjudgment motion directed to the
termination-of-parental-rights judgment was denied by
operation of law, see Rule 1(B), Ala. R. Juv. P.,
and Rule 59.1, Ala. R. Civ. P., the mother, through counsel,
filed a notice of appeal; the mother's appeal was
assigned appeal number 2170945. The mother's counsel also
filed contemporaneously with the notice of appeal a motion to
withdraw as counsel for the mother. The juvenile court
granted that motion and appointed new counsel to represent
the mother on appeal. Because the mother's notice of
appeal had been filed more than 14 days after the denial of
the mother's postjudgment motion, we dismissed the
mother's appeal on August 15, 2018. P.I.M. v.
Jefferson Cty. Dep't Human Res., 285 So.3d 839
(Ala.Civ.App. 2018) (table).
August 17, 2018, the mother filed a Rule 60(b), Ala. R. Civ.
P., motion in the juvenile court. On September 5, 2018, this
court's certificate of judgment issued in appeal number
2170945. On that same date, the mother filed a notice of
appeal, having concluded that her Rule 60(b) motion had been
denied by operation of law; that appeal was assigned appeal
number 2171141. On January 8, 2019, the mother filed in the
juvenile court and in this court a motion for leave to file a
revised Rule 60(b) motion; she also filed a revised Rule
60(b) motion in the juvenile court. Because the mother's
Rule 60(b) motion was not capable of being denied by
operation of law, and because her Rule 60(b) motion was
therefore still pending in the juvenile court, this court, on
January 29, 2019, dismissed the mother's appeal as having
been taken from a nonfinal judgment. P.M. v. Jefferson
Cty. Dep't Human Res., 292 So.3d 361 (Ala.Civ.App.
2019) (table). We did not rule on the mother's motion for
leave to file a revised Rule 60(b) motion, because it had
become moot. This court's certificate of judgment in
appeal number 2171141 issued on February 19, 2019.
April 22, 2019, the juvenile court issued an order denying
the mother's Rule 60(b) motion and her revised Rule 60(b)
motion. The mother has timely appealed the order denying her
Rule 60(b) motion. We dismiss the appeal.
explained that, as stated in Rule 60(b) itself, a party must
seek leave of an appellate court to file a Rule 60(b) motion
during the pendency of an appeal in that court. See
ArvinMeritor, Inc. v. Handley, 12 So.3d 669, 693
(Ala.Civ.App. 2007). If a party neglects to do so, the trial
court does not acquire jurisdiction over the Rule 60(b)
motion. See Jenkins v. Covington, 939 So.2d 31, 34
(Ala.Civ.App. 2006) (explaining that "it was incumbent
upon the defendants to obtain leave from the appropriate
appellate court... in order for the defendants to file a
valid motion under Rule 60(b) [while an appeal was pending]
and in order for the trial court to have jurisdiction to rule
upon that motion"). In addition, we have explained that
the pendency of an appeal extends to the date that this court
issues its certificate of judgment and not merely to the date
that this court issues a decision. Ex parte Keeler,
262 So.3d 1225, 1228 (Ala.Civ.App. 2017) (quoting Landry
v. Landry, 91 So.3d 88, 90 (Ala.Civ.App. 2012)).
Therefore, as we explained in Keeler, a Rule 60(b)
motion filed after the announcement of a decision of this
court but before the issuance of this court's certificate
of judgment and without leave from this court does not invoke
the jurisdiction of the trial court over that motion.
Keeler, 262 So.3d at 1228.
mother's initial Rule 60(b) motion was filed after this
court had dismissed
her appeal in appeal number 2170945. However, we had not yet
issued our certificate of judgment when the mother filed that
motion. Thus, like the trial court in Keeler, the
juvenile court in the present case never acquired