Justia Arkansas Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Civil Procedure
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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant's appeal from an order of the circuit court dismissing without prejudice his pro se "motion for writ of mandamus order," holding that Appellant appealed from an order that was not final, rendering his motions and petition filed in relation to the appeal moot. The circuit court dismissed Appellant's motion for failure to provide proof of service in compliance with Ark. R. Civ. P. 4(i)(1). Appellant appealed and filed a motion to proceed without a complete record, a "third motion to file incomplete record, motion for extension of time, and motion against the clerk," a petition for certiorari to complete the record, and a motion seeking waiver of the addendum obligation. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the order from which Appellant appealed was not final. View "Hill v. Honorable Jodi Dennis" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure
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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellants' appeal from the order of the circuit court granting Appellees' motion for sanctions, holding that the order was not final. Appellant filed a personal injury complaint against Appellees. When Appellees discovered inconsistencies in Appellant's testimony and discovery responses, Appellees filed a motion for sanctions seeking dismissal of the complaint and an allocation of costs and fees. The circuit court granted the motion. Appellant and two attorneys filed a notice of appeal. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the Ark. R. Civ. P. 11 order was not final under the facts of this case. View "McHughes v. Wayland" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal brought by the Arkansas Department of Humanitarian Services (DHS) challenging the permanent injunction against its 2015 ARChoices Medicaid waiver rule, holding that this case was moot. During the course of this appeal, DHS promulgated a new rule. The circuit court found that DHS had properly promulgated the rule and dissolved the injunction. DHS argued before the Supreme Court that two exceptions to the mootness doctrine - matters capable of repetition yet evading review and matters of substantial public interest that are likely to be litigated in the future - applied in this case. The Supreme Court disagreed and dismissed this appeal, holding that none of the exceptions to the mootness doctrine applied. View "Arkansas Department of Human Services v. Ledgerwood" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court dismissing Appellant's premises-liability suit against Simmons Sporting Goods, Inc. for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that Arkansas courts did not have jurisdiction to hear Appellant's claims against Simmons. Simmons, which was incorporated in Louisiana with its principal place of business in Louisiana, operated a retail sporting goods store in Louisiana. Appellant, a resident of Arkansas, broke her arm when entering the Simmons store. Appellant filed suit against Simmons in the Ashley County Circuit Court, arguing that personal jurisdiction because Simmons advertised in Arkansas, held a contest in Arkansas, and used an Arkansas printing company to produce advertisements for its store. The circuit court dismissed the case, finding that Arkansas lacked personal jurisdiction over Simmons. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Simmons' acts of advertising and conducting promotional activities in Arkansas was not sufficient for personal jurisdiction. View "Lawson v. Simmons Sporting Goods, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from an order entered in the circuit court dismissing without prejudice Appellant’s pro se civil rights complaint for failure to provide proof of service in compliance with Ark. R. Civ. P. 4(i)(1), holding that the order appealed from was not final. The Supreme Court noted that a plaintiff who has had his case dismissed without prejudice under Rule 4(i) may refile those claims. Because this was the first dismissal of Appellant’s underlying complaint, his complaint may be refiled under the provisions of Ark. R. Civ. P. 41. Therefore, the Court held that there was no final order on the merits and this Court did not have appellate jurisdiction. View "Nooner v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court the circuit court’s denial of Appellant’s motion to dismiss and grant of a default judgment in favor of Arkansas Teachers Federal Credit Union (ATFCU), holding that the circuit court did not err in granting a default judgment. On appeal, Appellant argued that the default judgment entered against him was void because he was not timely served. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that Appellant was served one day before the time for service was expired, and therefore, the circuit court properly denied the motion to dismiss and properly granted default judgment in favor of ATFCU. View "Gore v. Arkansas Teachers Federal Credit Union" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court and dismissed this matter in its entirety, holding that the circuit court exceeded its jurisdiction on remand, and therefore, its actions following remand were void. The Supreme Court decided a previous appeal in this case brought by Appellants seeking to join the enforcement of an ordinance passed by the City of Fayetteville. On appeal, the Court held that the circuit court erred in finding that the ordinance did not violate Act 137 of 2015, Ark. Code Ann. 14-1-401 to -403. At the time the case was remanded, the only claim before the circuit court was Appellants’ request for a declaratory judgment and injunction. On remand, however, the circuit court allowed certain parties to intervene and raise a new claim regarding the constitutionality of Act 137. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s order denying a preliminary injunction, holding that the circuit court exceeded its jurisdiction on remand, and because the sole issue over which the circuit court properly had jurisdiction was conclusively decided by the Supreme Court in its previous opinion, the Court dismissed the matter in its entirety. View "Protect Fayetteville v. City of Fayetteville" on Justia Law

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In this interlocutory appeal concerning legislative and executive privilege in Arkansas the Supreme Court held that the legislative and executive privileges exist in Arkansas. At issue in this case was whether Ordinance 5781, passed by the City of Fayetteville following the passage of Act 137, conflicted with Act 137. The Supreme Court held that Fayetteville’s ordinance conflicted with Act 137 and could not stand. On remand, the State moved to quash subpoenas of two state legislators and for a discovery order barring discovery requests for the production of documents held by the legislative and executive branches. The circuit court denied the State’s motions. The State appealed. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding (1) this case was moot but the mootness exception applies; (2) the Speech and Debate Clause affords legislators privilege form certain discovery and testimony, and the privilege extends beyond statements and acts made on the literal floor of the House; and (3) the executive privilege also exists in Arkansas. View "Protect Fayetteville v. City of Fayetteville" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from the circuit court’s denial of his motion for reconsideration of an order that set a partial filing fee of twenty dollars with respect to Appellant’s pro se civil complaint in tort against four persons, holding that the circuit court did not err when it denied the motion for reconsideration. The circuit court denied Appellant’s request for reconsideration because it was not timely filed pursuant to Ark. R. Civ. P. 60(a). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Appellant did not ask for reconsideration of the circuit court’s order until 155 days after the order had been entered, Appellant’s motion was untimely, and therefore, the circuit court did not err in denying it. View "Whitney v. Wells" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from the circuit court’s denial of his motion for reconsideration of an order that set a partial filing fee of thirty-five dollars with respect to Appellant’s pro se civil complaint in tort against the Washington County Sheriff and others, holding that the circuit court did not err when it denied the motion for reconsideration. The circuit court denied Appellant’s request for reconsideration because it was not timely filed pursuant to Ark. R. Civ. P. 60(a). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Appellant did not ask for reconsideration of the circuit court’s order until 197 days after the order had been entered, Appellant’s motion was untimely, and therefore, the circuit court did not err in denying it. View "Whitney v. Washington County Sheriff" on Justia Law