Hill v. Chambless
In Hill v. Chambless, 757 So. 2d 409 (Ala. 2000) the Court reversed the trial court's summary judgment in favor of the defendant-police officers because the trial judge had scheduled a hearing on the motion for December 30, 1998, but on December 22, 1998, the judge granted the motion for summary judgment without conducting a hearing.
The Court stated that "because Rule 56(c)(2) specifically provides that a nonmoving party has until two days before the date of the hearing to file 'any statement or affidavit in opposition' to the motion, we conclude that the trial court erred by ruling eight days before the date of the scheduled hearing." Hill, 757 So. 2d at 411.
The Court concluded further that "a nonmoving party has a right to expect that a trial judge, having set a date for a hearing on a summary-judgment motion, will not issue a ruling before that party has had an opportunity to timely respond to the motion." Id.