Articles Posted in Government Law

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Anita Cooper, who was employed as principal of the Oark, Arkansas schools, was removed from her duties as principal. The Superintendent of the Jasper School District No. 1 of Newton County listed nine reasons as bases for the termination. The District’s Board of Directors then terminated Cooper’s employment. The circuit court reversed the Board’s decision, reinstated Cooper to her position, and awarded Cooper $64,998 in damages. The Superintendent and District appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court did not err in finding that Defendants failed to comply with the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act; (2) the circuit court did not err in concluding that the contract in the case at bar created a property right in Cooper’s position as principal of the Oark schools; and (3) the circuit court’s award to Cooper was neither excessive nor amounted to an award of “double retirement.” View "Jasper Sch. Dist. No. 1 v. Cooper" on Justia Law

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William Curtis was injured when Michael Lemna drove a golf cart over a retaining wall during a game of golf scheduled as part of a sales meeting in Arkansas. Both Curtis and Lemna were employees of Dial Corporation headquartered in Arizona at the time of the accident. Curtis sued Lemna in Benton County Circuit Court alleging negligence. The circuit court dismissed the case without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction until the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission could determine the applicability of Arkansas’ workers’ compensation laws. Curtis subsequently requested a hearing before the Commission. The Commission concluded that Curtis and Lemna were acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident and that co-employee immunity was extended to Lemna acting as the employer providing a safe work environment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Commission had jurisdiction over this case; (2) the Commission’s decision that Curtis’s injury occurred within the scope of his employment was supported by substantial evidence; and (3) the Commission’s decision that Lemna was entitled to immunity was supported by substantial evidence.View "Curtis v. Lemna" on Justia Law

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The Pulaski County Election Commission (PCEC) filed a petition for declaratory judgment in the circuit court challenging the constitutionality of certain emergency rules promulgated by the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners (ASBEC) relating to absentee voters. The circuit court declared (1) the emergency rules were derivative of Act 595 of 2013, which amended the Arkansas election code to require that voters provide proof of identity when voting; (2) the Act was unconstitutional; and (3) the emergency rules were also unconstitutional. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part, holding (1) the circuit court correctly ruled that the rules relating to absentee voters promulgated by the ASBEC were unconstitutional; but (2) the circuit court erred in declaring the Act unconstitutional, as that issue was not pled or developed before the court.View "State Bd. of Election Comm'rs v. Pulaski County Election Comm’n" on Justia Law