Articles Posted in Arkansas Supreme Court

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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

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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 one person, 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. Wallace" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed and remanded this case to the Workers’ Compensation Commission for further proceedings, holding that the evidence indicating that Deputy Cleon Morgan was an independent contractor and, therefore, there was not substantial evidence to support the Commission’s decision that Morgan was an employee at the time of his injury. The Commission found that, at the time of his injury, Deputy Morgan had two employers, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and Brookshire Grocery Company. The Commission concluded that both were liable for Deputy Morgan’s workers’ compensation benefits as “joint employers.” Brookshire appealed. The Supreme Court reversed the Commission’s decision, holding that where all the factors that are to be considered in determining if Deputy Morgan was an employee or an independent contractor indicate that Deputy Morgan was an independent contractor, the case must be remanded for further proceedings for a determination as to whether Brookshire was indeed liable for workers’ compensation benefits. View "Brookshire Grocery Co. v. Morgan" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment and dismissal of Plaintiff’s civil rights and tort complaint on the ground of failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Plaintiff, an inmate incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC), filed a complaint against ADC officials in their individual capacities under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993 (ACRA), Ark. Code Ann. 16-123-101 to -108. Plaintiff alleged that Defendants violated his due process rights when they failed timely to release him from punitive isolation and that Defendants committed the torts of false imprisonment, negligence, and excessive confinement. The circuit court found that Plaintiff had failed to exhaust his due process and tort claims as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PRLA), 42 U.S.C. 1997e. Because the PRLA is a federal law that is not applicable to actions brought against public officials in their individual capacities under ACRA and Arkansas tort law, the circuit court erred in granting Defendants’ motion for summary judgment and dismissing Plaintiff’s case for failure to exhaust. View "Harmon v. Jackson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed an interlocutory order granting a permanent injunction in favor of DataScout, LLC on its claims that Apprentice Information Systems, Inc. and David Randall Lamp (collectively, AIS) were liable for violations of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and for tortious interference with a business expectancy. The circuit court concluded that AIS was liable to DataScout and ordered a permanent injunction against AIS. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court’s grant of a permanent injunction was an abuse of discretion because (1) DataScout only brought an action against a private entity under FOIA and failed to sue an entity covered by FOIA; (2) DataScout failed to prove with particularity any business expectancy with whom AIS interfered; and (3) DataScout’s ADPTA claim did not provide for injunctive relief. View "Apprentice Information Systems, Inc. v. DataScout, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s final judgment awarding damages to DataScout, LLC on DataScout’s claims that Apprentice Information Systems, Inc. and David Randall Lamp (collectively, Appellants) violated the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and tortiously interfered with DataScout’s business expectancy. The Court held (1) for the reasons set out in another appeal decided today, Apprentice Information Systems, Inc. V. DataScout, LLC, 2018 Ark. 284, the circuit court’s findings that Appellants engaged in tortious interference with a valid business expectancy and violated FOIA are reversed; (2) the circuit court erred in finding that Appellants violated the ADTPA and in awarding compensatory damages; and (3) having no basis to award compensatory damages, the circuit court erred in awarding punitive damages to DataScout. View "Apprentice Information Systems, Inc. v. DataScout, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s order granting attorney’s fees to DataScout, LLC after DataScout prevailed on its claims against Appellants. DataScout sued Apprentice Information Systems, Inc. and David Randall Lamp (collectively, Appellants), alleging violations of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and that Appellants tortiously interfered with DataScout’s business expectancy. On appeal, Appellants argued that the circuit court abused its discretion in awarding attorney’s fees pursuant to FOIA and the ADTPA because those claims should have been denied on the merits. Because the Supreme Court reversed the circuit court on the merits of the FOIA and ADTPA claims, it also reversed the order granting attorney’s fees to DataScout and remanded for a determination of the fee attributable to the motions to compel and for sanctions. View "Apprentice Information Systems, Inc. v. DataScout, LLC" on Justia Law

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The circuit court correctly determined that the immunity provisions of Ark. Code Ann. 16-105-502 barred Appellants’ noise-based lawsuit against Brown-Wright Post No. 158 of the American Legion, Department of Arkansas, Inc. (the Legion) and correctly found that the immunity statute did not constitute a taking under the Arkansas Constitution. Appellants filed a complaint alleging that noise from a shooting range that the Legion had built interfered with the use and enjoyment of their land and constituted a nuisance. The Legion filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the complaint should be dismissed because it was based only on noise, and Ark. Code Ann. 16-105-502 grants shooting ranges immunity for noise-based lawsuits if the range is in compliance with local noise-control ordinances. The circuit court granted the Legion’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Legion was entitled to immunity as long the shooting range did not violate any local noise ordinances; and (2) section 16-105-52 did not violate Appellants’ constitutionally protected property rights. View "3 Rivers Logistics, Inc. v. Brown-Wright Post No. 158 of the American Legion, Department of Arkansas, Inc." on Justia Law

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The circuit court correctly determined that the immunity provisions of Ark. Code Ann. 16-105-502 barred Appellants’ noise-based lawsuit against Brown-Wright Post No. 158 of the American Legion, Department of Arkansas, Inc. (the Legion) and correctly found that the immunity statute did not constitute a taking under the Arkansas Constitution. Appellants filed a complaint alleging that noise from a shooting range that the Legion had built interfered with the use and enjoyment of their land and constituted a nuisance. The Legion filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the complaint should be dismissed because it was based only on noise, and Ark. Code Ann. 16-105-502 grants shooting ranges immunity for noise-based lawsuits if the range is in compliance with local noise-control ordinances. The circuit court granted the Legion’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Legion was entitled to immunity as long the shooting range did not violate any local noise ordinances; and (2) section 16-105-52 did not violate Appellants’ constitutionally protected property rights. View "3 Rivers Logistics, Inc. v. Brown-Wright Post No. 158 of the American Legion, Department of Arkansas, Inc." on Justia Law