On August 7, 2014, the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a per curiam opinion (2014 Ark. 340) making changes to Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure 9, 49, and 52.
The changes implement procedural requirements for asserting a claim of nonparty fault. They went into effect January 1, 2015.
These changes stemmed from work of the Special Task Force on Practice and Procedure in Civil Cases. (You can read about the Special Task Force work and their interim report in the per curiam opinion In Re Special Task Force on Practice and Procedure in Civil Cases, 2014 Ark. 5, at this pdf link.)
Rule 9 Nonparty Fault Provisions
Rule 9 now has a part (h) which contains the procedural requirements for a party wanting to have an allocation of fault made to a nonparty.
Rule 9(h) requires notice of the nonparty fault assertion be given in an initial responsive pleading if the basis for the nonparty fault is known then, or in an amended or supplemental pleading (subject to the conditions of Rule 15) after the party discovers the information.
Continue reading Jan. 2015 Nonparty Fault Civil Procedure Rule Changes
In Arkansas Game and Fish Com’n v. Eddings, — S.W.3d —-, 2011 Ark. 47, issued February 9, 2011, the Arkansas Supreme Court held that the Arkansas Constitution’s grant of jurisdiction to county courts over county roads does not create an exception to the State’s sovereign immunity from suit.
Appellee Ben Eddings owns about 40 acres of property near the Buffalo National River in Newton County. The property is landlocked on two sides by National Park Service property and on two sides by the Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area, owned by appellant Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), a state agency.
On April 20, 2005, Eddings filed a petition with the Newton County Court to establish a road across the AGFC property. On January 9, 2006, the county court entered an order permitting Eddings ingress and egress across the AGFC land. AGFC unsuccessfully sought dismissal on the basis of sovereign immunity, and then appealed to the circuit court. The Newton County Circuit Court determined that article 7, section 28 of the Arkansas Constitution, granting to county courts exclusive original jurisdiction over county roads, prevailed over the State’s claim of sovereign immunity.
The Arkansas Supreme Court disagreed. Continue reading SCOA: Sovereign Immunity Trumps County Court Road Jurisdiction