FROM THE JEFFERSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 35CV-09-1027]
HONORABLE JODI RAINES DENNIS, JUDGE.
G. Kizer, P.A., by: Maxie G. Kizer, for appellants.
Law Firm, by: Marceliers Hewett, for appellees.
PHILLIP T. WHITEAKER, Judge.
Williams and Marcie Johnson (hereinafter collectively
"Williams") obtained a writ of garnishment against
Tina and Kenneth Butler ("the Butlers"). The
Butlers filed suit in the Jefferson County Circuit Court
seeking satisfaction of the judgment. The circuit court
entered an order vacating the writ of garnishment and
directing Williams to repay the funds withheld pursuant to
that writ to the Butlers. Williams appeals the order, arguing
that the circuit court erred in vacating the writ of
garnishment because it lost jurisdiction to do so more than
ninety days following entry of the original judgment. For the
reasons set forth below, we dismiss Williams's appeal.
current appeal is a subsequent appeal following this
court's decision in Butler v. Williams, 2012
Ark.App. 5. Butler involved a claim of specific
performance regarding a timeshare condominium in Branson,
Missouri. Williams offered to sell the Butlers her interest
in the timeshare for $6, 000. The Butlers gave Williams $3,
000, but they subsequently decided not to buy the
condominium. Williams refused to refund their $3, 000, and
the Butlers sued for the return of their money. Williams
counterclaimed for specific performance of the contract,
including payment of the additional $3, 000 owed on the
property by the Butlers. The circuit court found that the
parties had contracted for the Butlers to purchase the
timeshare and that Williams was entitled to specific
performance of the contract. Butler, 2012 Ark.App.
5, at 1. This court affirmed. Id. at 3-4.
the issuance of this court's mandate, Williams caused a
writ of garnishment to be issued in July 2013 against the
Butlers' bank account at Relyance Bank, contending that
the Butlers were indebted to her in the amount of $4,
509.24. Relyance Bank answered and stated that it
held a total of $787 in two accounts belonging to the
Butlers. In February 2014, Williams conveyed her interest in
the condominium to Wyndham Vacation Resorts-the owner of the
timeshare property-by execution of a special warranty deed.
Despite having conveyed her interest in the condominium,
Williams obtained and served a writ of garnishment on Tina
Butler's employer, the State of Arkansas, in October
2015. The State agreed to withhold funds from Tina
Butler's paycheck until the total amount of the judgment
was paid or satisfied.
Williams caused the writ of garnishment to be executed on the
State, the Butlers filed an answer to the garnishment and a
motion to satisfy judgment based on Williams's conveyance
of her interest in the condominium. Following a hearing on
the Butlers' motion, the circuit court ruled that the
money that Williams held as a result of the garnishment was
to be returned to the Butlers. Noting the impossibility of
specific performance, the court stated that it did "not
see how Ms. Williams can come to court and ask for money when
she doesn't have anything to produce when the money is
paid." The court subsequently entered a written order in
which it found that the writ of garnishment was invalid and
"all moneys collected as a result of the garnishment
must be returned to Kenneth or Tina Butler or released from a
garnishment hold." It is from this written order that
this appeal ensues.
entry of the circuit court's order, but prior to the
filing of the notice of appeal,  several events occurred that
inform our conclusion to dismiss this appeal. On January 25,
2016, the circuit clerk of Jefferson County caused to be
filed a document titled "Supersedeas, " which
reflected that Williams had "represente[ed] to the clerk
of this court that the garnishment issued herein has been
settled by the parties, and the plaintiff requests and agrees
to the release and discharge of the garnishee." The
garnishee named in that document was the State of Arkansas,
Tina Butler's employer. Another supersedeas, dated
January 26, 2016, likewise stated that Williams
"requests and agrees to the release and discharge of the
garnishee, State of Arkansas." On February 1, 2016,
Williams's attorney sent a letter to the Butlers with a
check for $2, 597.92 "as refund in the above named matter,
along with a copy of the Order superseding the garnishment at
State of Arkansas."
dismiss this appeal. Arkansas caselaw is clear that the
voluntary satisfaction of a judgment constitutes a waiver to
an appeal of that judgment. See Sherman Waterproofing,
Inc. v. Darragh Co., 81 Ark.App. 74, 98 S.W.3d 446
(2003); DeHaven v. T & D Dev., Inc., 50 Ark.App.
193, 901 S.W.2d 30 (1995); Lytle v. Citizens Bank of
Batesville, 4 Ark.App. 294, 630 S.W.2d 546 (1982)
(holding that if an appellant's payment is voluntary,
then the case is moot, but if the payment is involuntary, an
appeal is not precluded). The supreme court has held that
voluntary payment of even part of a judgment can render an
appeal moot. See Hall v. Hall, 2012 Ark. 429, at 2.
More specifically, in Shepherd v. State Auto Property
& Casualty Insurance Co., 312 Ark. 502, 511, 850
S.W.2d 324, 328 (1993), the supreme court stated that it
viewed "voluntary payment of a judgment amount assessed
against a party as entirely inconsistent with a subsequent
appeal directly related to that payment."
the circuit court ordered Williams to return to the Butlers
the funds held pursuant to the order of garnishment. She did
exactly that, and she released and discharged the garnishee.
On appeal, Williams argues that the court erred in vacating
and setting aside the writs of garnishment and ordering her
to repay the garnished funds to the Butlers; however, she has
already done exactly what the court ordered. There is no
indication in any of the documents relating to the release of
the garnishees or the letter to the Butlers that she was
making that payment involuntarily. Because she voluntarily
satisfied the judgment, we must dismiss her appeal in its
Harrison and ...