Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ex parte Alabama Medicaid Agency

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

January 10, 2020

Ex parte Alabama Medicaid Agency
v.
Alabama Medicaid Agency In re: Carol H. Armstrong

          Chilton Circuit Court, CV-19-900120

          PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS

          DONALDSON, JUDGE.

         Alabama Medicaid Agency ("the agency") petitions this court for a writ of mandamus directing the Chilton Circuit Court ("the trial court") to dismiss the underlying action initiated by Carol H. Armstrong for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, pursuant to § 41-22-1 et seq., Ala. Code 1975, the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act ("the AAPA").[1] We grant the petition and issue the writ.

         The materials submitted by the parties indicate the following.[2] On October 30, 2018, the agency awarded Armstrong eligibility for nursing-home benefits subject to a transfer penalty regarding a real-estate transaction. Armstrong requested a fair hearing regarding the award and the transfer penalty. In a letter dated May 17, 2019, the agency informed Armstrong that it was denying her request for a fair hearing on the basis that her request had been untimely. The agency stated in the letter that the notice of the award and the transfer penalty provided to Armstrong was dated October 30, 2018, and that it did not receive a request for a fair hearing on the matter until March 14, 2019, more than 60 days after the notice. On May 21, 2019, the letter, which was addressed to Armstrong's counsel and guardian, [3] was delivered and received, as indicated in a document from the United States Postal Service.

         On May 28, 2019, Armstrong filed a complaint in the trial court seeking an appeal of the agency's denial of her request for a fair hearing. Among other allegations, Armstrong alleged that she had timely filed a request to the agency for a fair hearing within 60 days of October 30, 2018. The agency was served the complaint on July 23, 2019.

         On August 21, 2019, the agency filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. In part, the agency argued that Armstrong had failed to comply with the requirements of the AAPA to perfect an appeal from the agency's decision to deny her request for a fair hearing. On October 18, 2019, the trial court entered an order stating that it had heard arguments on the agency's motion to dismiss. In the order, the trial court stayed the case "while [the agency] sets ups [sic] and provides [Armstrong] a 'fair hearing on the merits of this contested case of denial of benefits for ... Armstrong.'"

         On October 18, 2019, the agency filed a "Motion to Alter, Amend, or Vacate Order." In the motion, the agency argued that the directives in the October 18, 2019, order were premature because there was no justiciable controversy before the trial court. The agency asserted that it had not filed an answer and had filed only a motion to dismiss the complaint. On October 20, 2019, the trial court entered an order denying the agency's motion to dismiss.

         On October 29, 2019, the agency filed the present petition for a writ of mandamus to this court. Armstrong submitted a response to the petition on November 12, 2019. We have jurisdiction over the petition pursuant to § 12-3-10, Ala. Code 1975, and § 12-3-11, Ala. Code 1975.

         A petition for a writ of mandamus is the appropriate means to review the denial of an administrative agency's motion to dismiss a complaint in a circuit court for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. See Ex parte Builders & Contractors Ass'n of Mississippi Self-Insurer's Fund, 980 So.2d 1003, 1006 (Ala. Civ. App. 2007) (mandamus review of denial of motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction). We apply the following standard of review to the agency's petition:

"'Mandamus is a drastic and extraordinary writ, to be issued only where there is (1) a clear legal right in the petitioner to the order sought; (2) an imperative duty upon the respondent to perform, accompanied by a refusal to do so; (3) the lack of another adequate remedy; and (4) properly invoked jurisdiction of the court.'"

Ex parte Perfection Siding, Inc., 882 So.2d 307, 309-10 (Ala. 2003) (quoting Ex parte Integon Corp., 672 So.2d 497, 499 (Ala. 1995)).

         The agency argues that the trial court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because, it asserts, Armstrong did not comply with the requirements in § 41-22-20, Ala. Code 1975, for filing a notice of appeal.

"Anyone aggrieved by a final decision of an administrative agency in a contested case is entitled to judicial review as provided in Ala. Code 1975, § 41-22-20. 'Appeals from [administrative-agency] decisions are purely statutory and the time periods provided by the statute must be strictly observed.... In other words, the jurisdiction of the trial court is determined by compliance with these statutory time periods.' State Medicaid Agency v. Anthony, 528 So.2d 326, 327 (Ala. Civ. App. 1988). ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.