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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Ex-Wife of Football Star Owes Former Attorney

(CN) - The ex-wife of former NFL quarterback Kenny Stabler was once again denied relief this week by an Alabama judge who denied her motion to reconsider a default judgment of more than $200,000 against her.

In a Dec. 8 order, Mobile County Circuit Judge Sarah Hicks Stewart denied Rose Stabler's motion for reconsideration of a motion to set aside a default judgment, which stemmed from a malicious prosecution countersuit.

According to the order, "The Court conducted the hearing on October 31, 2014 as it was scheduled. Neither Ms. Stabler nor anyone on her behalf appeared. Ms. Stabler certainly knew about the hearing because she filed a 'motion waiving right to hearing' the day before the hearing, which this Court denied."

The court concluded that it could not vacate a judgment "without competent evidence."

The origins of the case date back to 2011 when Stabler was accused and convicted of disorderly conduct based on an incident that occurred at the Baldwin County Courthouse. Attorney Jeff Deen defended Stabler in the criminal case, and she subsequently sued him for legal malpractice.

In the malpractice suit, which was filed in the Circuit Court of Mobile County in July of 2013, Stabler claimed Deen should have challenged the judge's participation in the case. Circuit Judge Charles Partin had previously presided over Stabler's divorce case, and she argued that any bias "would carry over into the criminal case." She also argued that the judge had not been properly assigned.

On April 4, 2014, Deen filed a counterclaim against Stabler, citing unpaid legal bills and malicious prosecution.

From the counter claim: "As a consequence of the malicious prosecution by Rose Stabler, Defendants suffered personal injuries, incurred attorney's fees, suffered damage to reputation and standing in the public and legal community and lost time from work."

On Sept. 18, the court entered a default judgment of $202,500 against Stabler, citing her failure to answer the claim.

In a motion to set aside that judgment, Stabler argued that she hadn't received notice of the counterclaim, saying she was "totally unaware" of it until a reporter contacted her for comment on the default judgment.

Kenny Stabler was a quarterback for the University of Alabama in the late 1960s. He also played in the NFL for 15 seasons, passing for over 27,000 career yards. In the 1976 season, he led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Rose and Kenny Stabler were married in 1984. They filed for divorce in 2002.

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