Hill v. Cherry

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Writing for the CourtEMBRY; TORBERT
Citation379 So.2d 590
Decision Date11 January 1980
PartiesCora HILL et al. v. Laura Lee CHERRY et al. 78-707.

Page 590

379 So.2d 590
Cora HILL et al.
v.
Laura Lee CHERRY et al.
78-707.
Supreme Court of Alabama.
Jan. 11, 1980.

Page 591

F. Michael Ford of Ford, McElvy & Ford, Tuscaloosa, for appellants.

Demetrius C. Newton of Newton & Tucker, Birmingham, for appellees.

EMBRY, Justice.

This is an appeal from the denial of a Rule 59(a), ARCP, motion for new trial of defendants, Cora Hill, Bessie Hill and Mary Julia Hill, in an action for equitable partition of real property among joint owners in which there was a settlement agreement incorporated into the final judgment. We affirm.

Issue

Did the trial court abuse its discretion by denying defendants' Rule 59(a) motion for new trial?

Facts

Plaintiffs, Laura Lee Cherry and Jennie Hill, filed a bill for partition of real property. Defendants Cora Hill, Bessie Hill and Mary Julia Hill, filed an answer denying the necessity or the desirability of partitioning the property and alleging that Jennie Hill was mentally incompetent.

On the day set for trial, with all parties present together with their respective attorneys, a settlement agreement was reached. The trial court asked the parties if they understood that the agreement would be final and part of the court's decree. The parties did not respond, but their respective attorneys answered in the affirmative. Whereupon, defendants' attorney dictated the agreement into the record and later drafted the final judgment incorporating it. It is that judgment which defendants seek to set aside.

Defendants soon became dissatisfied and filed their 59(a) motion for new trial founded on these bases: (1) they did not understand or appreciate the legal ramifications of the agreement; (2) the agreement as stated in the decree works a hardship on them as well as an inequitable distribution of the property in question; and (3) they did not know and were not informed that the settlement agreement would be a final and conclusive settlement of the case.

Decision

Defendants contend that Rule 60(b), ARCP, required the trial court to set aside the final judgment and order a new trial because: (1) they were not familiar with legal terminology and thus did not understand the agreement dictated into the record; (2) the agreement dictated was not what they had agreed to; (3) their attorney entered into the agreement when it was contrary to what they had agreed to; and (4) they did not know the hearing they attended was to be a final hearing and believed the property would be...

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60 practice notes
  • Black Belt Wood Co., Inc. v. Sessions
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 3, 1986
    ...The decision of whether to grant or deny a motion for a new trial rests within the sound discretion of the trial court. Hill v. Cherry, 379 So.2d 590 (Ala.1980). A denial of a motion for new trial strengthens the presumption of correctness afforded a jury verdict, Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2d......
  • Bowers v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • December 14, 2001
    ...trial. The decision to grant or to deny a motion for a new trial rests within the sound discretion of the trial court. Hill v. Cherry, 379 So.2d 590 (Ala.1980). A denial of a motion for a new trial strengthens the presumption of correctness afforded a jury verdict, Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2......
  • Isbell v. Smith
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • September 29, 1989
    ...by this Court unless some legal right is abused and the record plainly and palpably shows the trial judge to be in error. Hill v. Cherry, 379 So.2d 590 (Ala.1980). In Calvert & Marsh Coal Company v. Pass, 393 So.2d 955 (Ala.1980), the Court " '... [E]ach case would have to be decided on its......
  • Acceptance Ins. Co. v. Brown
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • June 29, 2001
    ...new trial is within the sound discretion of the trial court. Williams v. Williams, 786 So.2d 477, 479 (Ala.2000) (citing Hill v. Cherry, 379 So.2d 590 "`The jury's verdict is presumed to be correct, and that presumption is strengthened by the trial court's denial of the motion for a new tri......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
60 cases
  • Black Belt Wood Co., Inc. v. Sessions
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 3, 1986
    ...The decision of whether to grant or deny a motion for a new trial rests within the sound discretion of the trial court. Hill v. Cherry, 379 So.2d 590 (Ala.1980). A denial of a motion for new trial strengthens the presumption of correctness afforded a jury verdict, Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2d......
  • Bowers v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • December 14, 2001
    ...trial. The decision to grant or to deny a motion for a new trial rests within the sound discretion of the trial court. Hill v. Cherry, 379 So.2d 590 (Ala.1980). A denial of a motion for a new trial strengthens the presumption of correctness afforded a jury verdict, Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2......
  • Isbell v. Smith
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • September 29, 1989
    ...by this Court unless some legal right is abused and the record plainly and palpably shows the trial judge to be in error. Hill v. Cherry, 379 So.2d 590 (Ala.1980). In Calvert & Marsh Coal Company v. Pass, 393 So.2d 955 (Ala.1980), the Court " '... [E]ach case would have to be decided on its......
  • Acceptance Ins. Co. v. Brown
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • June 29, 2001
    ...new trial is within the sound discretion of the trial court. Williams v. Williams, 786 So.2d 477, 479 (Ala.2000) (citing Hill v. Cherry, 379 So.2d 590 "`The jury's verdict is presumed to be correct, and that presumption is strengthened by the trial court's denial of the motion for a new tri......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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