Justia Arkansas Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Government Contracts
City of Fort Smith v. Merriott
The Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court denying the City of Fort Smith's motion to compel class notice on Plaintiff's claims alleging illegal exaction and unjust enrichment against on the ground that the City waived notice by moving for summary judgment prior to class certification and notice, holding that the circuit court erroneously interpreted National Enterprises, Inc. v. Kessler, 213 S.W.3d 597 (Ark. 2005). Plaintiff alleged that the City misused public funds from the City's curbside residential recycling program. Twelve days after her complaint was filed Plaintiff moved for class certification. The City responded to the class certification motion and, separately, moved for summary judgment. The circuit court then certified the same class for both claims and, three months later, denied the City's motion for summary judgment. The City later filed its motion to compel class notice. The circuit court held that, under Kessler, the timing of the City's motion for summary judgment waived notice even though the motion was ultimately successful. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court's decision was premised on an erroneous interpretation of the Supreme Court's decision in Kessler. View "City of Fort Smith v. Merriott" on Justia Law
Prince v. Arkansas State Highway Commission
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court granting a motion to dismiss filed by the Arkansas State Highway Commission and the Arkansas Department of Transportation and its director in this challenge to a contract entered into between the Department and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), holding that the circuit court correctly found that the complaint failed to state facts upon which relief could be granted. Under the contract in this case the Department would cede certain property to USFWS in exchange for a fifty-acre easement over land in the Cache River and White River Wildlife Refuges in order to build a new bridge on Highway 79. The agreement further required the Department to convey additional land to USFWS and to demolish three bridges. Appellants filed a motion for preliminary injunction and complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, arguing that the contract was unconscionable, entered into under duress, and constituted a windfall to USFWS. The circuit court dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the complaint lacked sufficient facts to state a claim for an illegal exaction. View "Prince v. Arkansas State Highway Commission" on Justia Law
Duit Constr. Co. v. Ark. State Claims Comm’n
Plaintiff, a construction company, filed this suit after the Arkansas State Claims Commission (ASCC) denied a claim by Plaintiff related to a contract Plaintiff had entered into with the Arkansas State Highway Commission (ASHC) to complete a highway improvement project. Plaintiff named as defendants the ASCC, the ASHC, and the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (ASHTD). In its complaint, Plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of the method by which the State resolves claims against it, asserting that the procedures violated the Due Process Clause. After a remand by the Supreme Court, the circuit court dismissed Plaintiff’s due process claim and equal protection claim as barred by sovereign immunity. On appeal, Plaintiff argued that the circuit court erred in dismissing its due process claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate an unconstitutional act on the part of Defendants that would except its due process claim from the doctrine of sovereign immunity. View "Duit Constr. Co. v. Ark. State Claims Comm'n" on Justia Law
Ark. Highway & Transp. Dep’t v. O.J.’s Serv. Two, Inc.
In 2014, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department issued a bid invitation for a janitorial and cleaning-services contract. O.J.’s Service Two, Inc. submitted a bid for the contract. The Highway Department, however, awarded the contract to another bidder, RazorClean. O.J.’s protested the contract award, contending that RazorClean’s bid did not conform to the specifications in the bid invitation. The Highway Department denied O.J.’s protest. Thereafter, O.J.’s filed suit against the Highway Department and other state defendants (collectively, “Defendants”) requesting a writ of mandamus compelling Defendants to follow the Arkansas procurement laws and regulations and requiring Defendants to declare the contract with RazorClean null and void and to award the contract to O.J.’s. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that O.J.’s claims were barred by sovereign immunity. The circuit court denied the motion. Defendants subsequently filed this interlocutory appeal. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal as moot, holding that because the contract at issue in the lawsuit had been fully performed, the matter is now moot, and none of the exceptions to the mootness doctrine apply. View "Ark. Highway & Transp. Dep't v. O.J.’s Serv. Two, Inc." on Justia Law
Posted in: Government Contracts
Searcy County Counsel for Ethical Gov’t v. Hinchey
The Searcy County Counsel for Ethical Government (SCCEG) filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that Johnny Hinchey, a Searcy County Judge, neglected his duties of office when he failed to sell and convey a county-owned gravel crusher pursuant to the terms of Ark. Code Ann. 14-16-105. Judge Hinchey answered by asserting that the crusher had been determined to have no value to the County and was sold in accordance with the procedures of Ark. Code Ann. 14-16-106(c). The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Judge Hinchey. SCCEG appealed, arguing that the circuit court erred in finding that section 14-16-106(c) was the relevant and applicable section to the sale of the crusher because, it contended, the crusher was not determined to be junk or scrap such that the statute would apply. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the gravel crusher was properly determined to be junk under section 14-16-106(c); and (2) the provisions of section 14-16-105 for sales of county property do not also apply to sales or disposal of surplus property under section 14-16-106. View "Searcy County Counsel for Ethical Gov't v. Hinchey" on Justia Law
Searcy County Counsel for Ethical Gov’t v. Hinchey
Appellant, a group of taxpayers in Searcy County known as the Searcy County Counsel for Ethical Government, filed a complaint alleging that Appellee, a county judge, had unlawfully sold equipment belonging to the county to Opal and Clifford Aday and requested a declaratory judgment that the judge had neglected the official duty of his office and that the sale was null and void. The complaint named the judge and Opal Aday as defendants. The district court granted summary judgment for the judge, finding that the judge complied with Ark. Code Ann. 14-16-106(c) in the sale of the equipment. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant's appeal, holding that although the summary judgment order purported to dismiss Appellant's complaint, it failed to dispose of the claim against Opal Aday, and therefore, the order was not a final, appealable order and the Court was barred from considering the appeal.