Articles Posted in Arkansas Supreme Court

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In this appeal from the circuit court's order certifying a class action lawsuit filed by Employees against Employer, the Supreme Court remanded the case with instructions to enter an order that complies with Ark. R. Civ. P. 23, holding that the order must reflect the circuit court's analysis to determine whether the Rule 23 requirements have been met. Employees filed this suit pursuant to the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act, Ark. Code Ann. 11-4-201 et seq., for unpaid overtime. After filing their complaint Employees moved to certify a class of individuals who were, are, or will be employed by Employer as hourly paid employees. The circuit court granted Employees' motion for class certification. The Supreme Court remanded the case with instructions, holding that, in conformity with Industrial Welding Supplies of Hattiesburg, LLC v. Pinson, 530 S.W.3d 854 (Ark. 2017), the class certification order was deficient. View "Koppers, Inc. v. Trotter" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court denying Appellant’s third amended motion for class certification and remanded for further proceedings, holding that the trial court abused its discretion by not providing Appellants with specific findings of fact and conclusions of law thereon in its order denying class certification. After filing a third amended motion for class certification, Appellant filed a request pursuant to Ark. R. Civ. P. 23 and Ark. R. Civ. P. 52 for specific findings of fact and conclusion of law with respect to his request for class certification. The circuit court denied class certification without speaking to adequacy, predominance or superiority. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the circuit court’s order did not satisfy Rule 52’s requirements of “specific findings of fact and conclusions of law”; and (2) it would be advisory to address the parties’ remaining arguments at this juncture. View "Conley v. Boll Weevil Pawn Co., Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the circuit court in this dispute over reimbursement for costs arising out of a settlement, holding that some of the circuit court’s findings were proper and that others were inconsistent with this Court’s remand order. The circuit court granted the State’s petition for reimbursement for costs of care out of funds received by Appellant in connection with the settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed against a city and a county. The Supreme Court remanded and directed the circuit court to enter findings that were statutorily mandated before disbursing funds to the State pursuant to the State Prison and Inmate Care and Custody Reimbursement Act, Ark. Code Ann. 12-29-501 to -507. After the circuit court issued its findings, Appellant appealed. The Supreme Court held (1) neither restitution nor attorney’s fees were owed by Appellant, and Appellant’s previous claims were not subject to further review; (2) the circuit court’s findings with respect to the amounts of money owed to Appellant, as well as Appellant’s entitlement to an offset for liens and obligations were inconsistent with this Court’s remand order; and (3) the circuit court’s finding that Appellant’s father had a legally enforceable right to support was uncontested and therefore affirmed. View "Harmon v. State" on Justia Law

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Appellant filed a notice of appeal from a circuit court’s grant of the Office of Child Support Enforcement’s motion to modify support and for judgment for past due child support. The court of appeals reversed the judgment. The Supreme Court granted Appellant’s petition for review, but Appellant then failed timely to file a brief for the court’s consideration. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals’ decision, dismissed the appeal, and reinstated the decision of the circuit court, holding that because Appellant failed to timely file a brief for the court’s consideration, there was no argument for reversal on the merits. View "Harley v. Dempster" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial court in denying Appellants’ motion to certify two classes in litigation against Appellee. Appellee opposed certification, arguing that no class could be certified because no class existed and that the requirements of Ark. R. Civ. P. 23 were not satisfied. The trial court agreed and denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, as in Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages, Inc. v. Pipkin Enterprises, Inc., 198 S.W.3d 115 (Ark. 2004), the definitions of the proposed classes were not based on objective criteria, and therefore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to certify the classes. View "Walker v. Wilmoe Corp." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s order certifying a class in this action filed by Appellees alleging that Appellants’ business practices violated the anti-usury language of amendment 89 to the Arkansas Constitution and of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The circuit court’s order defined the class as any and all “persons who have owed, currently owe or will incur debts” arising out of transactions with Appellants. For the reasons set forth in Arch Street Pawn Shop, LLC v. Gunn, 2017 Ark. 341, also decided today, the Supreme Court held that the circuit court abused its discretion in certifying the class. View "Pawnderosa Pawn Shops, Inc. v. Conley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that the circuit court’s order certifying a class action filed by Employees failed to comply with Ark. R. Civ. P. 23(b). In their complaint, Employees alleged claims of breach of contract and unjust enrichment based on Employer’s failure to compensate Employees for earned but unused vacation time. The circuit court granted Employees’ motion for class certification. Appellants filed this interlocutory appeal arguing that Employees failed to demonstrate commonality, predominance, and superiority as to their breach of contract claim. The Supreme Court remanded the case, holding that the circuit court’s bare conclusion that “Plaintiffs have satisfied all elements of Rule 23 of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure and class certification is appropriate in this case” was clearly insufficient for the Supreme Court to conduct a meaningful review. View "Industrial Welding Supplies of Hattiesburg, LLC v. Pinson" on Justia Law

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In this complaint filed against Robinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, LLC and related entities (collectively, Robinson), the Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s order granting class certification in part and reversed it in part. Andrew Phillips filed a first amended class-action complaint challenging Robinson’s business practice of chronic understaffing. Robinson appealed the order granting class certification, arguing that Phillips did not meet his burden of proving commonality, predominance, typicality, and superiority, and that the class definition was overbroad. The Supreme Court held that the circuit court (1) properly granted class certification as to Phillips’s claims of breach of contract, Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA), and unjust enrichment; and (2) abused its discretion in certifying the class action as to Phillips’s negligence claim. View "Robinson Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, LLC v. Phillips" on Justia Law

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Appellees, class representatives of property owners located in a subdivision, sought declaratory judgment that certain “tie-in rights” were unenforceable. During the suit, Appellant filed an interlocutory appeal of the circuit court’s denial of its motion to compel arbitration with the unnamed class members. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded case number CV 14-618 to rule on whether there was a valid agreement to arbitrate between Appellant and the unnamed class members. The mandate issued pursuant to an opinion that ordered Appellees to pay Appellant $5,091 for costs in the appeal. Appellees subsequently filed a motion regarding costs and a motion to recall and amend the mandate. Both motions were denied. The Supreme Court recalled the mandate in case number CV-14-618 and directed the clerk to amend the mandate to reflect that each party is to bear its own costs, holding that the circuit court was without jurisdiction to award judgment for costs. View "Dye v. Diamante, a Private Membership Golf Club, LLC" on Justia Law

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Appellants in this case were class representatives of a group of property owners located in Hot Springs Village. Appellants filed suit against a private golf club associated with the development seeking a declaratory judgment that the provisions contained in supplemental declarations were unenforceable. The circuit court declared that the supplemental provisions were valid and enforceable and that there had been no breach of the declarations. The court also denied the disgorgement of any dues paid during the suit. Appellants raised eight points of appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no error in the circuit court’s decision. View "Dye v. Diamante, a Private Membership Golf Club, LLC" on Justia Law