An explanation needed
by our readers
Mar 20, 2013 | 2786 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Why won’t the Alabama Supreme Court explain its decisions? In 1995, my grandmother, Willa Walden, was sued in Montgomery. Nearly 10 years later, in October 2004, the case was settled. The highly respected circuit judge Charles Price approved a settlement agreement and entered a judgment by consent.

Surprisingly, two years later an Autauga judge in a related case purportedly overruled Judge Price. In response, Judge Price ruled that the settlement agreement and the consent judgment were legal and could not be overruled. My 96-year-old grandmother in 2011 went to the property she acquired in the Montgomery case, and the Autauga judge put her in jail for defying his prior order not to go to the property. He also put her lawyers in jail so she wouldn’t have legal representation.

I’m told it is illegal for one circuit judge to overrule another circuit judge. It’s known in law as an “impermissible collateral attack.” But when she appealed, the Alabama Supreme Court handed down a “no-opinion” decision.

Why does the Supreme Court fail to resolve serious legal disputes or explain the reasons for its decisions? Why is this stalemate between two judges allowed to continue? Is my grandmother’s court-approved settlement agreement valid or not? Is Judge Price’s un-reversed consent judgment valid or not? I think this is shameful, dishonorable and very unfair to my grandmother.

Jackie Wingard
Montgomery
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