Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

American Express Bank, FSB v. Davenport

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

February 22, 2017

AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK, FSB APPELLANT
v.
DAVID DAVENPORT AND MODAWG CYCLES, INC. APPELLEES

         APPEAL FROM THE SALINE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 63CV-11-284] HONORABLE GARY ARNOLD, JUDGE AFFIRMED; MOTION TO DISMISS DENIED.

          Hood & Stacy, P.A., by: Nicholas R. Hood and Rickard W. Hood, for appellant.

          Chaney Law Firm, P.A., by: Don P. Chaney and S. Taylor Chaney, for appellee.

          DAVID M. GLOVER, Judge.

         This is the second appeal in this case. This case primarily concerns the Saline County Circuit Court's award of $30, 597.50 in attorney's fees to appellees David Davenport and Modawg Cycles, Inc. (Davenport), in appellant American Express's suit to recover $13, 901.46 in credit-card debt. American Express filed suit against Davenport in April 2011 to recover the outstanding balance on Davenport's credit card; Davenport then filed counterclaims against American Express for conversion, outrage, defamation, abuse of process, negligence, and violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, seeking $75, 000 in compensatory damages, punitive damages in excess of $75, 000, and damages for conversion in the amount of $18, 478.21.[1] Davenport also filed a third-party complaint against Cathy Heathscott, his employee, alleging she obtained the credit card without his permission and made unauthorized charges on it; Davenport asserted claims for conversion, outrage, and fraud against Heathscott, which she denied.

         A bench trial was held in January 2014. On August 27, 2014, the trial court entered what was designated as the "Final Order." Neither American Express nor Davenport were awarded any damages on their respective claims. Davenport then filed a motion for attorney's fees in the amount of $37, 597.50, as well as costs; the circuit court entered an order on February 12, 2015, finding Davenport was the prevailing party and awarding him $30, 597.50 in attorney's fees, plus costs. American Express filed a timely notice of appeal from the attorney's fee award on March 4, 2015. In that appeal, American Express contended the trial court abused its discretion in determining Davenport was the prevailing party and was thus entitled to an award of attorney's fees. The first appeal was dismissed without prejudice because it appeared on the record before us that Davenport's third-party complaint against Heathscott had not been disposed of by written order, thus making the order awarding attorney's fees that American Express appealed from not final and appealable, depriving this court of jurisdiction to hear the appeal. See American Express Bank, FSB v. Davenport, 2015 Ark.App. 705.

         American Express returned to the Saline County Circuit Court to obtain an order dismissing the third-party complaint; the trial court declined to do so in an order filed on March 15, 2016, finding it had signed and filed an order of dismissal on August 23, 2013, dismissing all claims involving Cathy Heathscott in two cases-the present case on appeal and a separate case between Davenport and Heathscott to which American Express was not a party. The order noted that, as explained in an affidavit from the Saline County Circuit Clerk (which was filed in the case file on December 22, 2015, with the order of dismissal from August 23, 2013, attached), the order of dismissal had been placed only in the file of the other case, not the present case. In its order refusing to sign a second order of dismissal, the circuit court noted that a copy of the first order of dismissal had been placed in the file of the present case, thus making it unnecessary to file an additional, duplicative order of dismissal. American Express timely filed a notice of appeal on April 4, 2016, appealing from both the order denying entry of the second dismissal order as well as the order granting attorney's fees to Davenport entered on February 12, 2015.

         Davenport filed a motion to dismiss an untimely second appeal with this court. In it, he argues that American Express's right to appeal from the February 12, 2015 order granting him an award of attorney's fees became ripe when the order dismissing the Heathscott claim was filed in the case file on December 22, 2015, and American Express's notice of appeal was not filed until April 4, 2016, which was not within thirty days; therefore, there was no timely appeal from the order granting attorney's fees filed on February 12, 2015.

         We deny Davenport's motion to dismiss American Express's appeal from the award of attorney's fees. Administrative Order Number 2(b)(2) of the Administrative Orders of the Supreme Court, addressing judgments and orders, provides:

The clerk shall denote the date and time that a judgment, decree or order is filed by stamping or otherwise marking it with the date and time and the word "filed." A judgment, decree or order is entered when so stamped or marked by the clerk, irrespective of when it is recorded in the judgment record book.

(Emphasis added.) Here, the order dismissing Cathy Heathscott from both the present case and the related case (both case numbers were contained in the order) was stamped "filed" on August 23, 2013. Accordingly, the dismissal order was entered on that date. The problem in the first appeal was that the order dismissing Heathscott was not yet placed in the present case's file. The absence of this order in the record in the first appeal made it appear that, although American Express timely appealed the award of attorney's fees, the third-party complaint was still outstanding, and therefore there was no final, appealable order.

         We now are aware there had in fact been an order dismissing Heathscott from the case filed on August 23, 2013, and that order has been placed in the record. Because the order of dismissal was entered when it was stamped on August 23, 2013, and American Express filed a timely appeal from the award of attorney's fees, we have jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Therefore, Davenport's motion to dismiss the second appeal as untimely is denied.

         Refusal to Enter Second Order of Dismissal

         American Express's first point on appeal is that the trial court erred in refusing to enter another order to dispose of the third-party claims Davenport had asserted against Cathy Heathscott in the present case. In light of the denial of Davenport's motion to dismiss American Express's appeal of the award of attorney's fees to Davenport and our determination that this court has ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.