MONTGOMERY, AL—On Oct. 30, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld women’s reproductive rights in a case brought against a Huntsville women’s health clinic. Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Sara Tucker has represented the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives, LLC throughout the case—including before the state Supreme Court.
Ryan Magers, a teenager claiming to be the father of an unborn embryo filed a wrongful death suit against the Alabama Women’s Center in 2019 after the mother terminated her pregnancy at the clinic. The case was dismissed in state court, as requested by Tucker and the Alabama Women’s Center, but Magers appealed.
The Alabama Supreme Court denied that appeal and ruled in favor of the Alabama Women’s Center, finding that Magers did not follow the rules required by the court in filing the appeal.
“Magers has failed to comply with Rule 28, leaving this Court with nothing to review on appeal,” the Justices wrote. “Rule 28 requires the argument section of an appellant's initial brief to set out ‘the contentions of the appellant/petitioner with respect to the issues presented, and the reasons therefor, with citations to the cases, statutes, other authorities, and parts of the
record relied on.’”
Instead, Magers’ entire argument consisted of a single sentence, followed by a string of case citations, with no explanation as to how these cases were relevant to his claim.
The Justices wrote in dismissing the claim, “It is not the responsibility of this Court to construct arguments for a party or to fill in gaps from string citations offered in lieu of arguments. Rather, it is our duty to decide whether the arguments presented have merit.”