Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Arkansas Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court granting a preliminary injunction in favor of Plaintiffs, holding that the grounds on which the trial court relied in entering the preliminary injunction had become moot.Plaintiffs were five Arkansas residents who had been receiving pandemic-related unemployment benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation prior to the State's termination of its participation in these programs. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that Defendants - Governor Asa Hutchison and Arkansas Division of Workforce Services Director Charisse Childers - lacked the authority under Ark. Code Ann. 11-10-312 to terminate the State's participation in the programs. The trial court granted Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction ordering Defendants to reengage in the terminated programs. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the grounds for the preliminary injunction had been rendered moot by the General Assembly's passage of Act 1 of the First Extraordinary Session of 2021. View "Hutchinson v. Armstrong" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the circuit court denying the State's motion to dismiss and granting a preliminary injunction in favor of Plaintiff, holding that the preliminary injunction was granted erroneously.Plaintiff, a hearing-instrument dispenser whose license was not renewed, brought this action against the Arkansas Department of Health, the Secretary of Health, and Arkansas Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers, and the Executive Director of the Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers (collectively, the State), arguing that the Board's refusal to provide him a proper renewal notice and a hearing violated his due process and equal protection rights and was an arbitrary and capricious abuse of the Board's power. The circuit court granted Plaintiff's request for a temporary injunction and declaratory relief. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) Plaintiff adequately pleaded a due process claim; (2) Plaintiff's equal protection claim was barred by sovereign immunity; and (3) because the preliminary injunction order contained no findings on irreparable harm or likelihood of success on the merits, the case must be remanded for findings in accordance with Ark. R. Civ. P. 65(d)(1). View "Arkansas Department of Health v. Solomon" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court granting a motion to dismiss filed by Appellees - Arkansas Parole Board, John Felts, and Andy Shock - in Appellant's action filed pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), Ark. Code Ann. 25-15-201 through 25-15-220, holding that Appellant failed to state a sufficient basis for judicial review under the APA.Appellant pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of a fifteen-year-old and was sentenced to thirty years' imprisonment. Years later, the parole board denied Appellant parole for a two-year period of time. Appellant filed a petition for judicial review from the denial of his parole under the APA, alleging that Appellees failed to adhere to parole statutes and the APA, in violation of his due process rights. The circuit court dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion when it dismissed Appellant's complaint for failing to state a claim for relief pursuant to the APA. View "Wood v. Arkansas Parole Board" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court denying Bayer Cropscience, LP's motion to intervene in a lawsuit challenging a rule adopted by the Arkansas State Plant Board, holding that the circuit court erred in denying Bayer's motion to intervene as a matter of right.Plaintiffs filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that the Plant Board violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by adopting the 2021 Dicamba Rule. Bayer, which manufactures and sells the herbicide Dicamba, moved to intervene in the action. The circuit court denied the motion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Bayer was entitled to intervene as a matter of right because it satisfied all of the requirements set forth in Ark. R. Civ. P. 24. View "Bayer Cropscience, LP v. Hooks" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court that granted Appellant's mandamus petition alleging that the Arkansas Department of Correction had miscalculated his parole eligibility, holding that Appellant was entitled to a parole-eligibility calculation for his enhanced sentence.At issue was the calculation of Defendant's parole eligibility in connection with his sentence of 180 months' imprisonment for a use of a firearm in the commission of a felony offense. Relying on the amended version of Ark. Code Ann. 16-90-120(e), the circuit court determined that the offense of aggravated robbery and the enhancement based on the use of a firearm were separate for purposes of determining parole eligibility. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Defendant was entitled to a parole-eligibility calculation for the enhanced sentence pursuant to the statutes in effect when he committed aggravated robbery. View "Rogers v. Arkansas Department of Correction" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court ordering disclosure of the documents requested by Russell R. Racop under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Ark. Code Ann. 25-19-101 et seq., holding that the trial court erred in finding that the requested documents were not exempt from FOIA under Ark. Code Ann. 25-19-105(b)(10).Racop sent an email request for public records to the Arkansas State Police and its director and the attorney for the Arkansas Department of Public Safety/Arkansas State Police (collectively, ASP), which ASP denied. Racop then brought this action seeking an order requiring disclosure under FOIA. The trial court granted the request. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Racop's request was exempt from disclosure under section 25-19-105(b)(10)(a). View "Arkansas State Police v. Recop" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed the circuit court's dismissal of Plaintiff's lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission (collectively, State Defendants) and Nature's Herbs and Wellness of Arkansas, LLC, holding that the Court lacked jurisdiction.Plaintiff brought this suit alleging violations of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission's administrative rules, the Administrative Procedure Act, and Plaintiff's equal protection and due process rights. The circuit court concluded that Plaintiff lacked standing to bring its lawsuit and dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court dismissed Plaintiff's appeal, holding that because the record was not filed within ninety days from the filing of the first notice of appeal this Court lacked jurisdiction over the appeal. View "Medicanna, LLC v. Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition to proceed in forma pauperis with respect to a petition for writ of certiorari, holding that Petitioner was not entitled to relief.Petitioner, proceeding pro se, submitted a complaint to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission concerning the circuit judge who presided at his criminal trial. Petitioner then tendered a petition for writ of certiorari to complete the record and to review the Commission's disposition of the complaint with the petition to proceed in forma pauperis seeking file the petition for writ of certiorari without remitting the required filing fee. The Supreme Court denied the petition, holding that where no fundamental right was involved, the filing fees did not violate due process. View "Burnside v. Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed on direct appeal the order of the circuit court denying in part Monsanto Company's motion for judgment on the pleadings and concluding that the Arkansas State Plant Board's Regulation 7 does not violate the Commerce Clause of the federal Constitution and is not invalid as being enacted by an unconstitutionally appointed board, holding that the circuit court did not err.The circuit court denied Monsanto's motion challenging the constitutionality of Regulation 7 and further granted judgment in favor of Monsanto on its claim that Ark. Code Ann. 2-16-206, the statute governing appointment of Board members, is an unconstitutional delegation of the appointment power. The Supreme Court dismissed on direct appeal and affirmed on cross-appeal, holding (1) the circuit court did not err in ruling that Regulation 7 does not violate the Commerce Clause or in rejecting Monsanto's argument that Regulation 7 was enacted by an unconstitutionally appointed board; and (2) the circuit court properly ruled that section 2-16-206(a)(5)-(13) is an invalid delegation of the appointment power. View "Monsanto Co. v. Arkansas State Plant Board" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court finding that Ark. Code Ann. 2-16-206(a), which sets forth the appointment process for members of the Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB), was constitutional, holding that the circuit court erred in ruling that the statute is constitutional.Appellant filed a complaint generally challenging the ASPB's dicamba cutoff rule and the denial of a petition for rule making submitted by Appellants and also sought a declaration that section 2-16-206(a) is unconstitutional. The circuit court concluded that the challenged rule was void ab initio and null and void as to Appellant. On remand from the Supreme Court the circuit court found that section 2-16-206(a) was constitutional. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that section 2-16-206(a) is unconstitutional. View "McCarty v. Arkansas State Plant Board" on Justia Law