SCOA: Imprisonment for Failure to Pay Requires Finding Ability to Pay


Stehle v. Zimmerebner, 2016 Ark. 290, 497 S.W.3d 188 (2016).

Appellant appealed circuit court order holding her in contempt for making insufficient efforts to comply with order to pay child support arrearage.

The circuit court ordered appellant held in detention every weekend until she made “proper effort” to pay off the sums previously ordered. Its order said it would take into account substantial payment, additional employment, and other actions showing that she was taking the obligation seriously.

The Arkansas Supreme Court reversed and remanded holding that it is in violation of the Arkansas Constitution to imprison a debtor for failing to pay money without finding that she has an ability to pay. Ark. Const. art. 2, § 16. 

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ACOA: Summons Directed to Multiple Defendants Not Fatally Defective


Hall v. State Farm Bank, 2015 Ark. App. 287, 462 S.W.3d 701 (2015).

Appellant debtor sought to invalidate a default judgment issued against him on the basis of an allegedly defective summons.

The debtor, John Hall, claimed that the summons sent to him was invalid because it stated “THE STATE OF ARKANSAS TO DEFENDANT: John and Susan Hall.” The debtor argued that his summons should have only been directed to him.

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ACOA: If 54(b) Certificate Granted, Interlocutory Appeal Must Be Filed in 30 Days or Waiver

Fire Systems Technology, Inc. v. First Community Bank of Crawford County, 2015 Ark. App. 334, 464 S.W.3d 125 (2015).

Appellant subcontractor appealed partial summary judgment order granting loan foreclosure to bank. Circuit court had granted the foreclosure in an interlocutory order which contained a Rule 54(b) certificate.

The subcontractor had filed a notice of appeal within 30 days of that order, but never lodged the record for the interlocutory appeal. Later, once the entire case concluded, the subcontractor appealed the foreclosure order.

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SCOA: At Present, No Rule Permitting Party Substitution During Appeal

Planchon v. Local Police & Fire Retirement System, 2015 Ark. 131, 458 S.W.3d 728 (2015).

Appellant died after appeal record was lodged.

Arkansas Supreme Court remanded the case to circuit court for revivor and substitution because there presently is no authority by rule or statute for a substitution on appeal.

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SCOA: Extension of Time to Lodge Appeal Record Unjustified If No Deposit Until Extension Deadline

City of Little Rock v. Hermitage Development Corporation, 2015 Ark. 453, 476 S.W.3d 788 (2015).

Circuit court granted appellant’s motion for extension of time to lodge record on appeal per Rule 5 of the Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure–Civil.

Appellees filed a motion to dismiss the appeal arguing the extension of time to lodge record was granted in error.

The Arkansas Supreme Court agreed and dismissed the appeal.

The supreme court noted that the court reporter’s deposit for preparing the record was not paid until the last day that the extension could be granted.

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