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 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

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The Supreme Court affirmed an order of the circuit court finding in favor of Welspun Tubular, LLC in this challenge to a disallowed compensating-use-tax exemption, holding that the circuit court did not err.A "sales and use" tax audit of Welspun's books and records for the reporting periods May 1, 2009 through April 30, 2012 resulted in an assessment of compensating-use tax totaling $162,266 on Welspun's purchases of steel grit during the audit period. Welspun brought this suit, arguing that its grit purchases were tax exempt as the purchase of manufacturing equipment. The circuit court found for Welspun, concluding that the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration erred in assessing tax on Welspun's purchases of grit. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not clearly err in finding that the grit was used to manufacture an article of commerce. View "Walther v. Welspun Tubular, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing Appellant's petition for a writ of mandamus with prejudice under Ark. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion.Appellant was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2010, Appellant submitted a request to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory regarding DNA testing. The circuit court ordered the crime lab to release the information. When the file arrived at the prison, it was confiscated by prison officials based on their determination that it contained contraband. In 2019, Appellant filed a petition for writ of mandamus and complaint for conversion seeking to compel Appellees to release his crime lab file and monetary damages for conversion. The circuit court dismissed the case with prejudice and issued a strike. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court correctly dismissed Appellant's petition for writ of mandamus and complaint for conversion on the ground that Appellant had already obtained the crime lab file and that Appellant failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. View "Davis v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission that Appellant was not entitled to a wage-loss award in addition to his impairment rating because Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas (AAA) extended to him a bona fide offer of employment, holding that substantial evidence did not support the Commission's decision.Appellant was driving an AAA van that overturned, injuring Appellant. An ALJ determined that Appellant was entitled to a sixty percent wage-loss award and that Appellees made no bona fide job offer of employment because the position and wages were not clear. The Commission reversed, concluding that any wage-loss award was precluded because AAA made a bona fide and reasonable obtainable job offer. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that AAA did not meet its burden to prove that Appellant was offered employment at wages equal to or greater than his average weekly wage at the time of the accident. View "Calhoun v. Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas" on Justia Law