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Rodney Fulgham argued that the trial judge erred by denying his motion to dismiss as suit brought by plaintiff, Clara Jackson. Fulgham contended Jackson failed to show good cause justifying a second enlargement of time to serve process. Finding no error with the trial judge determined as “good cause” for the enlargements of time, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed denial of Fulgham’s motion to dismiss. View "Fulgham v. Jackson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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In 2014, the Mississippi Supreme Court issued its opinion in Gutierrez v. Gutierrez, 153 So.3d 703 (2014), affirming the chancellor’s judgment in part and reversing it in part, remanding the case for the resolution of three overarching issues. Clayton Gutierrez appealed the chancellor’s decisions concerning the issues on remand, outlined in the chancery court’s September 22, 2015, December 29, 2015, and February 26, 2016, orders. In all, Clayton raised five alleged errors. Finding that the court neither abused its discretion nor erred in its decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the chancellor’s judgments on the matter. View "Gutierrez v. Gutierrez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Timothy Evans was tried and convicted of capital murder with the underlying felony of robbery for the death of Wenda Holling. At the conclusion of the sentencing phase, the jury imposed the death penalty. Evans’s post-trial motions were denied. Evans appealed, raising ten assignments of error. Finding no error, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed. View "Evans v. Mississippi" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Craig Jones filed a petition for judicial review of the Tunica County Democratic Executive Committee’s (TCDEC) decision that he was not qualified to run in its primary for Tunica County Board of Supervisors, Beat Five position. The trial court found that Jones’ name should be on the primary ballot. TCDEC appealed, but failed to prosecute the appeal and kept Jones’ name off the primary ballot. The trial court then vacated the primary election one day before the general election, which took place and which was won by an independent candidate. Jones then petitioned under Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 60 for relief from the judgment vacating the primary election, which the trial court granted. Because the trial court lacked authority to enter the second and third orders, as no election contest was ever filed, the Mississippi Supreme Court vacated those orders and held the uncontested election results currently stand. View "Tunica County Democratic Executive Committee v. Jones" on Justia Law

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The Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC) adopted a rule requiring utilities to waive utility deposits for certified domestic violence victims for a period of sixty days. The rule also required the utilities to keep the information regarding the domestic violence victims confidential and established penalties for violating that confidentiality. The Mississippi Rural Water Association, Inc. (“Water Association”) appealed, objecting to the promulgation of the new rule, but the chancery court affirmed the MPSC’s decision. The Mississippi Supreme Court found the MPSC lacked statutory authority to adopt any rule regulating the rates of nonprofit water utility associations and corporations. Accordingly, the Court reversed the order adopting the new rule and remanded this case to the MPSC for further proceedings. View "Mississippi Rural Water Association, Inc. v. Mississippi Public Service Comm'n" on Justia Law

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Melvin Potts appealed his convictions of first-degree murder and motor-vehicle theft, arguing that the trial judge erred by providing additional instructions to the jury, not declaring a mistrial when the jury stated it was deadlocked, and granting and refusing certain jury instructions. Potts further argued insufficient evidence supported his conviction, and that his conviction was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence. Finding no error, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed. View "Potts v. Mississippi" on Justia Law

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Kelvin Ashford was indicted, tried, and found guilty by a jury on eight counts of sexual battery and two counts of fondling. He appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence, arguing the verdict was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence, and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Finding no error, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed. View "Ashford v. Mississippi" on Justia Law

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This appeal arose out of a breach-of-contract action between Marc Daniels, Sandra Daniels, Crocker & Associates, Inc., and Maxx Investments, LLC (collectively, “the Danielses”) and Dennis Crocker, Gail Crocker and Crocker, Ltd. (collectively, “the Crockers”). The Danielses entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement (the “Agreement”) with the Crockers to acquire Crocker & Associates, Inc. (“C&A”). Within eighteen months of the sale, C&A lost a number of important contracts and its employees resigned. The Danielses sued the Crockers for failing to disclose all material information about C&A as required by the Agreement. The Crockers answered the suit and brought counterclaims. After extensive discovery, the trial court granted the Crockers’ motion for summary judgment on the Danielses’ claims against them. The Danielses now appeal the trial court’s grant of summary judgment. Because the record contained a genuine issue as to material fact concerning the Danielses’ contract claims and negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation claims, the Mississippi Supreme Court concluded the trial court erred in granting summary judgment on these claims. Further, because the Court remanded these claims for a jury to determine if the Danielses were entitled to compensation, the Court reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment on the punitive damages claim. The Court affirmed in all other respects, and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Daniels v. Crocker" on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law, Contracts

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Under Mississippi civil discovery rules, a party who fails to attend his own properly noticed deposition may be sanctioned. Here, the plaintiff in a will contest intentionally skipped out on his deposition. This prompted the chancellor to grant the defendant’s motion for sanctions, dismissing the will contest. While this sanction was harsh, the Mississippi Supreme Court concluded it was within the chancellor’s discretion to impose. The Court thus affirmed. View "In the Matter of the Estate of Robert Ernie Johnson" on Justia Law

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The Mississippi Supreme Court held Byron Perry’s constitutional and statutory rights to a speedy trial were not violated. Further, the Court found no merit in Perry’s argument that one of the two sentencing orders submitted by the State was insufficient to support a finding beyond a reasonable doubt that Perry was sentenced to one year or more and qualified as a habitual offender under Mississippi Code Section 99-19-81. A jury convicted Perry of aggravated assault and possession of a weapon by a previously convicted felon. The circuit court sentenced him as a habitual offender to twenty years for the aggravated-assault conviction and ten years for the weapon conviction, to run consecutively. Perry appealed, arguing that his constitutional and statutory rights to a speedy trial were violated and that the evidence was insufficient to support the trial court’s finding that he was a habitual offender. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed Perry’s convictions and sentences. View "Perry v. Mississippi" on Justia Law