Luther, Collier, Hodges & Cash, LLP – Attorneys at Law

ALABAMA – Appellate Procedure – Pro Se Litigants

The Supreme Court of Alabama has reaffirmed its adherence to procedural rules, imposing them equally on litigants with and without counsel. This case involved S.B., the mother of a child in preschool, who sued the church that ran the preschool. The mother alleged that her child had been assaulted by another child while in the bathroom of the church’s preschool facility. After S.B. brought suit against the church, the church moved for summary judgment which was granted. Thereafter, S.B.’s legal counsel withdrew from the case.

Undeterred, S.B. attempted to appeal the matter on her own, and filed a notice of appeal challenging the summary judgment awarded by the trial court. However, when S.B. filed her appeal, it was in the form of a two-page letter, stating to the Court what she felt the effect of the assault had been on her family. In the letter, she did not identify where the trial court had committed error, nor did it comply with any of the form or style requirements set forth in Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure 28. It made no legal argument, had no table of cases, had no table of contents, and cited no legal authority whatsoever. The Court stated that it imposes the rules of procedure equally on all litigants before it, and would make no exceptions for pro se litigants. Noting that it had nothing to review on appeal, the Court affirmed the summary judgment granted by the trial court.

S.B. v. Monument of Love Christian Life Ministry, Inc., (November 15, 2019).


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