Appeals of Tax Sale Lawsuits


This is a warning about appeals of tax sale lawsuits.  Normally, the losing party will appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.  As allowed under the rules, the Supreme Court often transfers tax sale appeals to the Court of Civil Appeals for review and decision. This does not mean the party could have appealed to the Court of Civil Appeals. The transfer is just a mechanism by which the overworked Supreme Court can move part of its work load to another court.

If you arrive in the Court of Civil Appeals via that route, and you lose, you cannot just appeal and get back to the Supreme Court.  You can ask them to consider your case and overrule the Court of Civil Appeals, but they can decline.  It is just like cases getting to the United States Supreme Court on certiorari.  The vast majority of people who lose in the federal circuit courts will have certiorari denied if they try to move up to the Supreme Court.

The Alabama Supreme Court certiorari process is the same. If your case is transferred to the Court of Civil Appeals, then give it 100% of your talent, time, energy, and persuasive abilities.  Losers do  not automatically get a second bite of the apple by doing a better job in the Supreme Court. Certiorari might be denied!  In addition, there are many technical traps that can cause your case to be rejected, not on the merits, but on technicalities.

For lawyers facing a possible adverse decision in the Court of Civil Appeals, I HIGHLY recommend you watch the streaming video on certiorari practice by Bradley, Arant attorney Marc James Ayers, available HERE.  It will be the best $40  you will ever spend, and it earns 0.8 hours of MCLE credit!