July 31, 2014
KAREN COOPER AND JACK DOWELL PETITIONERS
FAULKNER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT RESPONDENT
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE DISMISSED.
We ordered attorneys Gary D. Jiles and Matthew K. Brown to appear before this court and show cause why they should not be held in contempt for violating a stay issued by this court in the matter of City of Conway & Conway Corp. v. Cooper, No. 23CV-11-940, then pending in the Faulkner County Circuit Court. Cooper v. Faulkner Cty. Cir. Ct., 2013 Ark. 321 (per curiam). Both Mr. Jiles and Mr. Brown appeared, pleaded not guilty, and this court appointed the Honorable John Plegge as a master to hold a hearing and make findings of fact.
A hearing was held on April 8, 2014. Judge Plegge heard testimony from the following witnesses: Kent Walker, attorney for Karen Cooper and Jack Dowell, landowners in the underlying condemnation action; Jillian Janik, an associate attorney at the Walker Law Firm; Jessica Wells, an employee of Millar Jiles, LLP; Amanda Duran, an employee of Millar Jiles, LLP; as well as Mr. Jiles and Mr. Brown. At the conclusion of that hearing, Judge Plegge asked counsel for Mr. Jiles and Mr. Brown, as well as counsel for Mr. Walker, to each submit proposed findings of fact. Thereafter, Mr. Jiles and Mr. Brown, through their attorney, submitted proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. Mr. Walker and his attorney notified Judge Plegge that they would not be submitting any findings of fact.
On June 23, 2014, Judge Plegge notified this court in writing that he had reviewed each of the proposed findings and was in agreement with each of them, with the exception of two matters he believed to be within this court's purview. The proposed findings, as well as all exhibits received into evidence during the hearing, were attached to Judge Plegge's letter, and these items were filed with our clerk that same day. We thank Judge Plegge for his service in this matter.
Upon reviewing the transcript, exhibits, and proposed findings, we conclude that there was no willful violation of this court's stay by either Mr. Jiles or Mr. Brown. We therefore dismiss the order to show cause.