Harden v. Laney

Decision Date04 January 2013
Docket Number1111130.
Citation118 So.3d 186
PartiesBob J. HARDEN v. Bennie C. LANEY and Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company.
CourtAlabama Supreme Court

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Joseph N. Harden and Eleanor R. Harden of Harden Law Firm, P.C., Carrollton, Georgia, for appellant.

William H. Webster and T. Randall Lyons of Webster, Henry, Lyons, White, Bradwell & Black, P.C., Montgomery, for appellee Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company.

STUART, Justice.

Bob J. Harden appeals the trial court's order striking his notice of appeal. Because we hold that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter that order, the order will not support an appeal, and we must dismiss Harden's appeal.

On June 26, 2007, Harden sued Bennie C. Laney, alleging that Laney's negligence and wantonness resulted in an automobile accident in which Harden was injured. Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company (“GFB”) intervened in the action to protect its rights as an uninsured- or underinsured-motorist insurance carrier or subrogee and moved for a summary judgment. On February 16, 2012, the trial court entered a summary judgment for GFB and dismissed the case with prejudice.1 On March 29, 2012, Harden filed a notice of appeal in the trial court. On April 9, 2012, GFB moved the trial court to strike the notice of appeal, arguing that, because Harden's notice of appeal was filed by an attorney who, at the time the notice of appeal was filed, did not possess an active license to practice law in the State of Alabama, Harden's notice of appeal was a nullity. In its motion, GFB acknowledged that Harden's notice of appeal was filed on “the forty-second day following this Court's entry of its final order—the deadline to file such a notice pursuant to Rule 4 of the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure.” The trial court entered an order striking Harden's notice of appeal on the basis that Harden's attorney “was in an ‘Inactive’ status with the Alabama State Bar Association.” Harden appeals the trial court's order striking his notice of appeal.

[J]urisdictional matters are of such magnitude that we take notice of them at any time and do so even ex mero motu. Nunn v. Baker, 518 So.2d 711, 712 (Ala.1987). The timely filing of a notice of appeal invokes the jurisdiction of an appellate court and divests the trial court of jurisdiction to act except in matters entirely collateral to the appeal. Altmayer v. Stremmel, 891 So.2d 305, 309 (Ala.2004); Osborn v. Riley, 331 So.2d 268 (Ala.1976). See also Committee Comments to Rule 3, Ala. R.App. P. (“Timely filing of the notice of appeal is a jurisdictional act. It is the only step in the appellate process which is jurisdictional.”).

In this case, the trial court did not...

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  • Craig F. Dyas & Dyas, LLC v. Stringfellow
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • February 26, 2021
    ...the notice of appeal is a jurisdictional act. It is the only step in the appellate process which is jurisdictional.’)." Harden v. Laney, 118 So. 3d 186, 187 (Ala. 2013).In Horton v. Horton, 822 So. 2d 431 (Ala. Civ. App. 2001), a husband filed a complaint seeking a divorce from his wife as ......
  • Howell v. Alfa Ins. Corp. (In re Alfa Ins. Corp.)
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • April 6, 2018
    ...court and divests the trial court of jurisdiction to act except in matters entirely collateral to the appeal. See Harden v. Laney, 118 So.3d 186, 187 (Ala. 2013) ; Altmayer v. Stremmel, 891 So.2d 305, 309 (Ala. 2004) ; and Osborn v. Riley, 331 So.2d 268 (Ala. 1976). See also Committee Comme......
  • Erskine v. Guin
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • January 6, 2023
    ... ... to enter the March 8, 2021, order, and that order is a ... nullity. See, e.g., Harden v. Laney, 118 So.3d 186, ... 187 (Ala. 2013) ("Because jurisdiction over Harden's ... appeal rested in this Court when the trial court ... ...
  • Cooner v. Ala. State Bar
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • May 9, 2014
    ...nullity.’ ” (quoting Ex parte Punturo, 928 So.2d 1030, 1034 (Ala.2002) )). “[A] nullity ... will not support an appeal.” Harden v. Laney, 118 So.3d 186, 187 (Ala.2013).Additionally, even if the motion had been properly before the Board, the Board had no authority to alter, amend, or vacate ......
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