MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, ARKANSAS; QUORUM COURT OF MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, ARKANSAS; RANDY CARNEY, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COUNTY JUDGE; MISSISSIPPI COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTION COMMISSIONERS; AND MISSISSIPPI COUNTY CLERK APPELLANTS
CITY OF OSCEOLA, ARKANSAS; JAMES ROBERT BAKER, JR.; AND DOROTHY J. POLLOCK APPELLEES
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NOS.
47BCV-2016-160, 47OCV-2016-66] HONORABLE DAVID N. LASER,
Wright, Gray & Hutchinson, PLLC, by: Alex T. Gray, Nate
Steel, and Jeremy Hutchinson, for appellants.
McDaniel, Richardson & Calhoun, PLLC, by: Bart W.
Calhoun, for appellees.
DAN KEMP, Chief Justice
an appeal from the Mississippi County Circuit Court's
order issuing a temporary injunction and enjoining the August
9, 2016 special election to amend an existing sales-and-use
tax and to issue bonds to finance the construction of a new
Mississippi County courthouse. For reversal, appellants,
Mississippi County and others (the County),  contend that the
circuit court erred by enjoining the August 9 special
election and ruling that section 20 of Act 81 of 1901
prohibits a countywide sales-and-use tax to fund the
construction of a new county courthouse. The County also
challenges the circuit court's rulings concerning notice
and amendments of ordinances. We dismiss the appeal as moot.
81 of 1901, Mississippi County was divided into two judicial
districts, which were designated as the Osceola District and
the Chickasawba District. See Act of Apr. 4, 1901,
No. 81, 1901 Ark. Acts 136. The Osceola District is based in
the City of Osceola, and the Chickasawba District is based in
the City of Blytheville. Relevant to this appeal, Act 81 states
that "all revenue accruing to the county . . . from all
other sources whatever, shall be used for the exclusive
benefit of the district in which such revenue shall
arise." See Act 81, § 20.
2014, Mississippi County voters approved a sales-and-use tax
to support the Mississippi County Hospital System. On April
26, 2016, Mississippi County sought to redirect some of the
proceeds from this tax, as well as to extend the tax, to
finance the construction of a new Mississippi County
courthouse to be located in Blytheville. The Mississippi
County Quorum Court enacted three measures to effect this
change. First, the quorum court passed Ordinance No.
O-2016-05, which changed the hospital tax so that proceeds
would no longer be used exclusively for the Mississippi
County Hospital System and would allow half of the tax to be
used for construction or renovation of "new or existing
county courthouses and court facilities located in
Blytheville, Arkansas." Second, the quorum court passed
a resolution referring the ordinance to the voters at a
special election on August 9, 2016. Third, the quorum court
passed Ordinance No. O-2016-06 calling a special election on
issuance of bonds to help fund "a new County courthouse
to be located in Blytheville."
12, 2016, appellees, the City of Osceola and others (the
City),  commenced an action against the County in
the Circuit Court of Mississippi County, Chickasawba and
Osceola Judicial Districts, seeking to enjoin the August 9,
2016 special election. The City alleged that the proposed
ordinance and courthouse bonds, if approved, would impose an
unlawful taxation on the citizens of the Osceola Judicial
District. The City also alleged that the County had failed to
comply with statutory requirements pertaining to notice and
amendments of ordinances. On July 26, 2016, the circuit court
granted the City's request for a temporary injunction and
enjoined the August 9, 2016 special election. The County
City contends that this appeal should be dismissed as moot.
We agree. A case becomes moot when any judgment rendered
would have no practical legal effect upon a then existing
legal controversy. E.g., Terry v. White,
374 Ark. 387, 288 S.W.3d 199 (2008). There are some
exceptions to the mootness doctrine, such as cases involving
issues that are capable of repetition yet evade review and
cases involving the consideration of public interest and
prevention of future litigation, see, e.g., Ark.
Gas Consumers, Inc. v. Ark. Pub. Serv. Comm'n, 354
Ark. 37, 118 S.W.3d 109 (2003), but these exceptions do not
apply to the present case.
issues raised in the County's appeal are moot for two
reasons. First, the special election enjoined in this case
was scheduled for August 9, 2016, and that date has
passed.Second, the instant appeal is rendered moot
by our decision in the companion case, Case No. CV-17-123,
Mississippi County v. City of Osceola, 2017 Ark. .
In that case, we rejected Mississippi County's contention
that the circuit court erred by enjoining a special election
on the grounds that Act 81 of 1901 prohibits an ordinance
that authorizes the issuance of bonds to finance a new
Mississippi County courthouse to be located in Blytheville.
Because the date for the special election has already passed
and because the pertinent issues have been resolved in the
companion case, we dismiss the instant appeal as moot.
mandate shall ...