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Fire Systems Technology, Inc. v. First Community Bank of Crawford County

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

May 20, 2015

FIRE SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY, INC., APPELLANT
v.
FIRST COMMUNITY BANK OF CRAWFORD COUNTY, APPELLEE

Editorial Note:

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the printed official reporter.

APPEAL FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. 17CV-12-60. HONORABLE MICHAEL MEDLOCK, JUDGE.

The Overton Law Firm, LLC, by: J. Don Overton; and The Corbitt Law Firm, LLC, by: Chris P. Corbitt, for appellant.

Hardin, Jesson & Terry, PLC, by: Rex M. Terry, for appellee.

LARRY D. VAUGHT, Judge. HARRISON and GRUBER, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 126

LARRY D. VAUGHT, Judge

Appellant Fire Systems Technology, Inc. (FST), appeals from the Crawford County Circuit Court's order granting partial summary judgment foreclosing on construction loans made by appellee First Community Bank of Crawford County. The bank has raised the issue of whether FST timely filed the record on appeal, a jurisdictional requirement. We conclude that we lack jurisdiction to decide this appeal; therefore, we dismiss it.

The events leading up to this appeal began in 2009 when Armstrong Remodeling and Construction, LLC; Armstrong Remodeling, LLC; James Eric Armstrong; Gary Armstrong; and Harvester's Fellowship Church (collectively, Armstrong) contracted with FST to act as a subcontractor for two construction projects located at an adjacent apartment complex and church. The bank financed the projects with a series of construction loans and took mortgages to secure the debts.

Contending that it had completed its work without receiving payment, FST filed a materialmen's lien against the property in July 2010. It later filed suit in August 2011 to foreclose its lien, but did not name the bank as a party. In July 2012, FST obtained a foreclosure judgment against Armstrong, containing a declaration that its lien held first priority. The property was ordered to be sold if the judgment was not paid. Two separate sales were held, one for each property, with FST the successful bidder in both instances for the amount of its judgment.

In the meantime, on January 25, 2012, the bank filed a separate case seeking to foreclose on three construction notes and mortgages it received from Armstrong for the apartment complex. The bank was also seeking to enforce personal guaranties. In an amended complaint, the bank added FST and another judgment creditor of Armstrong as defendants. The bank amended its complaint a second time, to seek foreclosure on two more notes and mortgages on the church property.

FST answered, denying the material allegations and asserting that it held a first-priority judgment lien against the property, based on the judgment it had previously received in the lien-foreclosure case. Later, FST filed a counterclaim to the bank's foreclosure action seeking to quiet title to the property it received through the two commissioner's deeds. FST also claimed that any lien the bank may have was junior to its lien because the bank did not record its mortgages until after construction had begun. The bank answered the amended counterclaim and filed a motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment.

On February 14, 2013, the bank filed a motion for partial summary judgment to declare its mortgage superior to all other liens. The bank asserted that, even if ...


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