Justia Arkansas Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Education Law
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Appellant school district filed an action on its own behalf and on behalf of its students and taxpayers to enjoin State actions in violation of state law and the Arkansas Constitution, asserting two claims for relief. The circuit court granted Appellant's motion to dismiss its second claim without prejudice. The court then entered an order dismissing Appellant's claims against all Appellees. Appellant appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal without prejudice, holding that the order from which Appellant appealed was not a final, appealable order, as the nonsuit of Appellant's second claim did not operate to make the circuit court's order final because the second claim could be refiled and the requirements of Ark. R. Civ. P. 54(b) had not been met. View "Deer-Mt. Judea Sch. Dist. v. Beebe" on Justia Law

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Brett Nelson entered into contracts with the Arkansas Rural Medical Practice Student Loan and Scholarship Board and the rural community Forrest City pursuant to the state's community-match program that loaned Nelson money for his medical schooling and obliged him to practice medicine full time in Forrest City for four years upon the completion of his residency. Nelson began serving his four-year commitment in Forrest City, but when the hospital he was employed with did not renew his employment contract the next year, Nelson left Forest City to practice medicine in another state. The Board filed a complaint against Nelson for breach of contract and, alternatively, unjust enrichment. Nelson answered, asserting several affirmative defenses and making several counterclaims. The circuit court granted the Board's motion for summary judgment and entered judgment against Nelson in the amount of $133,152. The Supreme Court (1) reversed the grant of summary judgment to the Board on its breach of contract claim because questions of fact remained as to Nelson's counterclaims and defenses; and (2) otherwise affirmed. Remanded.

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The Harrisburg School District No. 6 and the Board of Education (the District) appealed an order from the circuit court that granted Appellee Byron Neal's motion for summary judgment. Mr. Neal was elected to one of five positions on the District's board of directors. His term did not expire until September, 2014. In February, 2010, the Weiner School District faced declining enrollment, and as a result, the Harrisburg and Weiner Districts entered into an agreement for an administrative annexation of the two districts. Mr. Neal was present at the February, 2010 meeting of the Harrisburg board of directors and voted in favor of the annexation. In March, an interim school board was formed from the annexed districts. The Harrisburg District chose its interim board members by selecting four of its five members to serve. Mr. Neal lost his position. In June, Mr. Neal filed his complaint with the circuit court to stop the District from removing him as a board member. On appeal to the Supreme Court, the District argued that state law gave it the authority to agree on how the board of directors would be staffed, and therefore the circuit court erred in granting Mr. Neal summary judgment. The Supreme Court found no error by the circuit court and affirmed the grant of summary judgment to Mr. Neal.