Articles Posted in Arkansas Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by Appellant challenging the circuit court’s order dismissing her case with prejudice based on the statute of limitations. The circuit court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss with prejudice because Appellant’s various complaints, including Appellant’s fourth amended complaint, were time-barred. In her complaints, Appellant named different defendants, and none of the amended complaints stated that they were incorporating Appellant’s earlier complaints. The Supreme Court held that Appellant’s appeal was not final because not all defendants were dismissed, and therefore, there were still claims pending against some Defendants. View "Henson v. Cradduck" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from the denial of multiple pro se motions he filed in connection with a pro se civil-rights action he filed in the circuit court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, which rendered his two petitions for writ of certiorari, two amended petitions for certiorari, and multiple motions connected with the appeal moot. Appellant filed a complaint alleging that Appellees violated his civil rights. In addition to his civil complaint, Appellant filed multiple motions. The circuit court denied the motions and other pleadings on the basis that Appellant had failed to provide proof of service with respect to the complaint and the related pleadings. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction because there was no final order on the merits. View "Nooner v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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The circuit court imposed upon the City of Little Rock a fine for violations of Ark. R. Civ. P. 11 and found the City in contempt for failure to timely pay the time. The City appealed, arguing that the imposition of Rule 11 sanctions and the finding of contempt constituted a plain, manifest, and gross abuse of discretion. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and dismissed in part, holding (1) the City’s payment of the penalty rendered an appeal from the circuit’s court’s order imposing the fine moot; and (2) the finding of contempt was not clearly against the preponderance of the evidence. View "City of Little Rock v. Circuit Court of Pulaski County" on Justia Law

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Statutory postjudgment interest on attorney’s fees accrues when the fees were actually quantified in dollars and cents rather than when the right thereto was first established. Plaintiff was granted judgment on her claim for retaliation under the Arkansas Whisteblower Protection Act. The circuit court entered judgment “plus costs and reasonable attorney’s fees to be determined by the court.” Three months later, the court entered a second order quantifying attorney’s fees. Defendant paid postjudgment interest on the attorney’s fees from the date that the award was entered. Plaintiff argued that she was entitled to attorney’s fees when the underlying judgment was entered. The circuit court granted the Department’s motion to compel entry of complete satisfaction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that postjudgment interest on an attorney’s-fee award accrues from the order setting the fee amount in dollars and cents. View "Daniel v. Arkansas Department of Human Services" on Justia Law

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Cynthia Frazier, an employee of Baptist Medical Center, was fatally injured when she was struck by a car driven by a fellow Baptist employee as she walked across the Baptist campus. Frazier’s estate sued Baptist for wrongful death. The case was submitted to the jury on interrogatories that asked the jury to both apportion fault and determine damages. The jury found, and the circuit court copied verbatim, the jury’s response to the interrogatories wherein its apportionment of fault and the damages was expressed. In Ford Motor Co. v. Washington, the Supreme Court held that a judgment is not a final order for appellate purposes when it requires interpretation based on information not manifest on the face of the judgment. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal because there existed on the face of the judgment an ambiguity as to whether the jury had apportioned the fault in making its damages award or whether the apportionment had yet to be done. View "Williamson v. Baptist Health Medical Center" on Justia Law

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Sam Perroni filed a complaint with the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and its former executive director (collectively, Commission) against Circuit Judge Tim Fox, alleging that Judge Fox violated several provisions of the Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct. A three-member panel of the Commission found no probable cause on the complaint filed against Judge Fox and dismissed the complaint. Perroni then filed a second complaint with the Commission alleging that Judge Fox violated several laws and abused the prestige of his office. The Commission dismissed the second judicial complaint. Thereafter, Perroni filed an original complaint, an amended complaint, and a second amended complaint against the Commission. The circuit court dismissed the complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The Supreme Court dismissed Perroni’s appeal, holding that the circuit court properly dismissed Perroni’s complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction because a review of the Commission’s decision lies exclusively with the Supreme Court. View "Perroni v. Sachar" on Justia Law

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In this garnishment proceeding, the clerk of court issued a writ of garnishment against Cardinal Health. The circuit court set a hearing for June 1, 2015. Cardinal Health did not receive notice of the hearing and did not appear at the hearing. After the hearing, the circuit court issued an order to pay for $26,874. Cardinal Health filed a motion for relief or, in the alternative, an extension of the time to appeal. The circuit court denied the motion. Cardinal Health then appealed. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s denial of Cardinal Health’s motion for relief from the order to pay and vacated the proceedings in the garnishment action that occurred since the defective notice, holding that Cardinal Health’s due process rights were violated when the circuit court entered an order to pay against it during the June 1, 2015 hearing for which Cardinal Health received no notice. View "Cardinal Health v. Beth's Bail Bonds Inc." on Justia Law

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After Tony Havner was injured in a motorcycle accident involving an overhead communications cable, Havner and his wife, Tina Havner, filed a negligence action against Northeast Arkansas Electric Cooperative (NAEC) and other defendants. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of NAEC. Havner subsequently filed a motion for entry of judgment and an Ark. R. Civ. P. 54(b) certificate with the circuit court. The court entered a judgment and a Rule 54(b) certificate, which was stamped as ‘presented’ and ‘recorded.’ The case was then submitted to the court of appeals. The court of appeals dismissed the appeal without prejudice for lack of a final order, concluding that because the judgment and 54(b) certificate was recorded but never filed, it was not entered as required by court rules. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals opinion, holding that, in light of In re Administrative Order No. 2(b)(2), the circuit court’s summary-judgment order was a final, appealable order. Remanded. View "Havner v. Northeast Arkansas Electric Cooperative" on Justia Law

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Ethel Long filed a complaint against Simon Property Group and later filed an amended complaint substituting McCain Mall Company Limited Partnership as the actual defendant. Long served McCain Mall’s registered agent, but McCain Mall did not file a timely answer. The circuit court granted Long’s motion for default judgment. McCain later filed its answer. Long responded by filing a motion to strike the answer on the ground that a default judgment had already been entered. The circuit court granted Long’s motion. McCain Mall appealed, but one day before lodging the record in its appeal, McCain Mall filed a petition for writ of certiorari, arguing that the circuit court acted without jurisdiction because the summons was fatally defective, as it listed the wrong defendant. The Supreme Court denied the petition, holding that McCain Mall had another adequate remedy through the interlocutory appeal it filed. View "McCain Mall Co. Ltd. P'ship v. Pulaski County Circuit Court" on Justia Law

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Respondent Cindy Clough, as personal representative of the estate of Joyce Vinson, filed an amended complaint against Petitioners Capital SeniorCare Ventures, LLC, et al. (Capital SeniorCare) alleging the same claims as the original complaint she filed in this case and later voluntarily dismissed. Clough did not file a new civil cover sheet or pay a filing fee, and no new summonses were issued to Capital SeniorCare. The circuit court concluded that the case was closed. Clough subsequently filed a new complaint as a new case. Capital SeniorCare filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint for lack of service. The circuit court denied the motion to dismiss, finding that the amended complaint was void because it had been filed in a closed case. Capital SeniorCare filed the instant petition for a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court denied the petition for the writ on the ground that Capital SeniorCare had an adequate remedy in the form of an appeal. View "Capital SeniorCare Ventures LLC v. Circuit Court of Pulaski County" on Justia Law