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Arkansas Courts

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 07:01:00

Judge orders state to pay $69,000 as cost of abortion lawsuit

Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright has ordered the state of Arkansas to pay more than $69,000 in the lawsuit striking down the state's ban on most abortions at 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014 - 07:27:00

Briefing schedule set in Voter ID case

The record of the trial of the challenge of the Voter ID law was filed at the Arkansas Supreme Court last week and a briefing schedule was set.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 20:31:00

Faulkner County: no marriage licenses for same sex couples on Monday

In a press release issued Sunday, Faulkner County attorney David Hogue says that the office of Faulkner County Clerk Melinda Reynolds will refuse to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples this week. According to the press release from Hogue, the basis of Reynolds' refusal is three-fold, including the question of whether Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza has the authority to strike down a statewide law.

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday, May 2, 2014 - 14:41:00

Judge Tim Fox again finds Arkansas Voter ID law unconstitutional but stays ruling

Circuit Judge Tim Fox, who last week struck down the 2013 Voter ID law because it unconstitutionally adds additional requirements to be eligible to vote, today again found the law unconstitutional in a separate case, but stayed his decision, citing the beginning of early voting on Monday. He said he didn't want to create turmoil at the polls.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 10:13:00

$500,000 bond set for Paragould OBGYN in video voyeurism case

A Paragould OBGYN accused of five counts of video voyeurism in a case in which a patient said he photographed her without her consent during an examination has seen his bond set at a half-million dollars. Dr. Paul Becton, Jr. 68, is currently being held in the Greene County Detention Center, and has been ordered to surrender his passport, have no contact with the alleged victim in the case, and to not travel outside the Second Judicial District without approval from the court if he bonds out of jail.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 17:00:00

One more thing about those judicial suspensions

For the 10s of you following the state judicial eligibility saga, a quick note about this morning Arkansas Democrat-Gazette story that led with the finding that nearly a third of sitting judges in the state have been suspended for not paying their bar dues since 2006: Aside from serving as further evidence that judges are slackers like the rest of it, the story didn't tell us much.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 16:21:00

Piazza to rule in two weeks on same-sex marriage lawsuit

A lengthy and sometimes moving hearing before Judge Chris Piazza today at the Pulaski County Courthouse, with the attorneys for the plaintiffs both sometimes choking back tears and they argued in favor of a motion for summary judgment in their challenge to Arkansas's ban on same-sex marriage, with Pulaski Co. Judge Chris Piazza says he will rule in two weeks' time on a motion for summary judgment that could overturn Arkansas's ban on same-sex marriage.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 10:50:00

Arkansas Supreme Court denies petition asking Court to rule on law-license suspension kerfuffle

The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied the petition from Circuit Judge H.G. Foster asking the Court to settle the ongoing matter of what counts as a law-license suspension for judicial candidates once and for all.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 09:34:00

Judge Tim Fox ruled eligible for election despite past law license suspension

Circuit Judge Sam Bird yesterday ruled that Circuit Judge Tim Fox is an eligible candidate for re-election. A lawsuit was filed earlier this month alleging that Fox should be disqualified because of a suspension in his law license in 2013 for failure to pay bar dues. The Arkansas Constitution requires judicial candidates to have been licensed attorneys in the state for six consecutive years prior to taking the seat (eight for Supreme Court judges). Bird ruled that an administrative suspension for late payment, unlike a punitive suspension for misconduct, would not disqualify a candidate.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 15:05:00

Judge Tim Fox allows Arkansas Republicans to assist in Voter ID lawsuit

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox today ruled that the Republican Party of Arkansas will be able to help defend the state in a lawsuit over how to deal with absentee ballots under the state's Voter ID law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature last year almost completely on partisan lines, overriding Gov. Mike Beebe's veto.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014 - 09:52:00

Judge Wendell Griffen: Angela Byrd's law-license suspension violated her due process rights

Here's the ruling from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen finding that it's unconstitutional to automatically suspend the law license of an attorney (in the case for non-payment of dues) without giving a chance for the attorney to contest the suspension. Griffen declared the automatic suspensions unconstitutional on Wednesday and released his 18-page ruling yesterday.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 10:05:00

Bull Shoals police chief ordered by fed. judge to live with the mayor

In Bull Shoals, sitting police chief Dan Sutterfield has been ordered by a federal judge to live with the town's mayor, Bruce Powell, as a condition of his release from jail after Sutterfield was arrested on FBI allegations that he hit, kicked and tased a handcuffed suspect.. Powell says he will not ask Sutterfield to step down.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 17:02:00

Every Arkansas Supreme Court Justice has paid annual bar dues late

All seven Arkansas Supreme Court justices have paid their annual bar fees late in the past. Two justices, Justice Karen Baker and Justice Courtney Hudson Henry, failed to pay their annual dues within eight years of joining the Court. That time window may be significant because Amendment 80 of the Arkansas Constitution requires Supreme Court justices to be licensed attorneys at least eight years immediately preceding the date they assumed office.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 19:24:00

Hastings files to be reinstated with the LRPD

Less than 24 hours after manslaughter charges against him were dismissed, former LRPD officer Josh Hastings has filed for a hearing with the Civil Service Commission which could help him regain his position with the department. Little Rock attorney Bill James tells KTHV that he will represent Hastings in his hearing before the commission, and will submit evidence that the jury wasn't allowed to hear.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 12:07:00

Pulaski County Election Commission objects to state GOP taking role in Voter ID lawsuit

The Arkansas Republican Party is hoping to intervene in the lawsuit over how to deal with absentee ballots under the state's Voter ID law, but the Pulaski County Election Commission yesterday asked a Pulaski County judge to turn down the GOP's request, the AP reports. The commission filed suit last month against the state Board of Election Commissioners, arguing that the board overstepped its authority when it followed the guidance of Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin and adopted a rule that absentee votes without ID should be treated as provisional ballots, with the voter having until the Monday after the election to present ID.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 09:14:00

Bobby Moore's mother speaks out about Hastings case dismissal

The mother of Bobby Moore III, the 15-year-old shot by former Little Rock Police officer Josh Hastings in Aug. 2012, is speaking out about the dismissal of manslaughter charges against Hastings yesterday. Sylvia Perkins, Moore's mother, told THV This Morning today that the dismissal of the charges has been a nightmare for her family. Perkins said that she prays that Josh Hastings isn't able to regain his position with the police department. Hastings' attorney Bill James said yesterday that Hastings plans to seek a civil service hearing to try and get his job back. "Closure and justice," Perkins said. "That's all I want. That's all I ever wanted."

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 09:01:00

You get a lawsuit! You get a lawsuit! Blue Hog digs up more judges with licenses

The beat goes on in the kerfuffle over suspended law licenses, as Blue Hog Report lists off a whopping 59 currently sitting district, circuit, and Court of Appeals judges who have had their licence suspended for failure to pay bar dues within the timeframe that would arguably have disqualified from running in the first place (or running for re-election).

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014 - 17:04:00

Attorney General McDaniel asks Supreme Court to settle judicial eligibility question; argues administrative suspensions shouldn't matter

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wants the Arkansas Supreme Court to sort out this judicial candidate eligibility business, too. In an answer to Circuit Judge H.G. Foster's petition to the Court, McDaniel agrees that, among other reasons, "matters of substantial public interest" are within the Court's jurisdiction. He also argues that administrative fees shouldn't affect a judge's eligibility to hold office.

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Monday, April 7, 2014 - 16:44:00

Foster asks Supreme Court to rule on judicial qualification question

Circuit Judge H.G. Foster has asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to assume jurisdiction in a recently filed lawsuit that alleges that Foster doesn't meet the constitutional requirement to hold office.

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Monday, April 7, 2014 - 15:49:00

'Cheer Perfection' mom pleads not guilty to rape

Andrea Clevenger, the former reality show figure who was charged with rape in January, accussed of having sex with a 13-year-old boy, appeared in court this morning in Pulaski County and plead not guilty. The office of Seventh Division Circuit Judge Barry Sims said that the Judge set an Aug. 7 pretrial hearing in the case, with trial dates set for Sept. 9-11. Sims also issued a no-contact order between Clevenger and the victim in the case.

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