FROM THE JACKSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 34CV-2013-141]
HONORABLE HAROLD S. ERWIN, JUDGE APPEAL DISMISSED
Garrick Childs; and John W. Walker P.A., by: John W. Walker,
G. Afsordeh, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge
Pamela Miller Doe appeals after the Jackson County Circuit
Court granted summary judgment in favor of appellees. On
October 26, 2015, Doe filed a notice of appeal of the circuit
court's November 19, 2014 and August 19, 2015 orders.
Because we lack a final, appealable order, we must dismiss
August 15, 2011, Pamela Doe gave birth to Robert Doe; the
same day she also tested positive for opiates and
benzodiazepines. Robert Doe's urine tested positive for
amphetamines, opiates, and benzodiazepines. Upon learning
that Pamela Doe's chart in the labor and delivery
department contained no prescription drug entries that would
explain the positive tests, nurse Leann Heisler, an employee
of appellee National Healthcare of Newport Inc. d/b/a Harris
Hospital ("Harris Hospital"), and a mandated
reporter of child maltreatment under Arkansas law, contacted
the child-abuse hotline to report the positive tests and
ultimately spoke to appellee Amber Campbell of the Arkansas
Department of Human Services ("DHS"). A later
meconium test result for Robert Doe was negative for
amphetamines and benzodiazepines, and inconclusive as to
opiates. DHS then terminated its investigation.
filed a defamation suit against Harris Hospital and Dr. Chris
Nwokeji on October 22, 2013. Harris Hospital and
Dr. Nwokeji ("the Hospital Appellees") moved for
summary judgment, arguing that the report to the child-abuse
hotline was required by law, and because it was made in good
faith, they were immune from suit. The circuit court held a
hearing on the motion and ultimately granted the motion for
summary judgment on November 19, 2014.
also brought the same defamation suit against separate
appellees Susan Simmons and Amber Campbell, DHS social
workers, in their individual capacities. Simmons and Campbell
filed motions to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a
claim as required by Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)
and pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated section 19-10-305
(Supp. 2015), arguing that they were entitled to statutory
August 5, 2015, the circuit court held a hearing on
Simmons's and Campbell's motions to dismiss. Because
Simmons and Campbell are both DHS employees, they were
represented by the same attorney, Nader Afsordeh, with the
office of chief counsel at DHS. On August 19, 2015, the
circuit court entered an order that read,
Now on this 5th day of August, 2015 comes on before the court
the oral motion for summary judgment presented by the
defendants and from examination of the pleadings and other
things and matters before the court, the court finds that:
1. The motion for summary judgment is granted. No findings of
fact is [sic] given by the court.
2. Mr. Afsordeh is to prepare the order.
WHEREFORE the motion for summary judgment is granted.
filed a motion for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 52(b)(1)
of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure on August 28, 2015.
The court neither granted nor denied the motion within thirty