JOHN E. KIESLING, JR. APPELLANT
ARKANSAS PROFESSIONAL BAIL ASSOCIATION APPELLEE
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, TWELFTH DIVISION [NO.
60CV-14-4144] HONORABLE ALICE GRAY, JUDGE
Kiesling, Jr., pro se appellant.
Vess, for appellee.
COURTNEY HUDSON GOODSON, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE.
John E. Kiesling, Jr., appeals from the Pulaski County
Circuit Court's dismissal of his complaint challenging
the constitutionality of Act 36 of 2011, which amended
Arkansas Code Annotated section 17-19-402 to authorize
appellee, the Arkansas Professional Bail Association
("APBA"), to establish continuing-education
programs and fee schedules for bail bondsmen. For reversal,
Kiesling argues that the circuit court erred by finding that
he lacked standing to bring his claims and by dismissing his
complaint with prejudice. We dismiss the appeal as moot.
2011, Arkansas Code Annotated section 17-19-402 was amended
to provide the following with respect to continuing education
programs for bail bondsmen:
(a)(1) The Arkansas Professional Bail Association on an
annual basis shall solicit proposals from education provider
applicants that are approved by the State Board of Private
Career Education as education providers, and the Arkansas
Professional Bail Association will submit the approved
providers to the Professional Bail Bond Company and
Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board for final
(2) Upon review of the proposals, the association shall
designate an entity or entities to establish an educational
program for professional bail bondsmen that will enable bail
bondsmen to meet the prelicense and continuing education
requirements of § 17-19-212 and § 17-19-401 et seq.
(b)(1) The association or its designee shall establish a
schedule of fees to be paid by each bail bondsman for the
(2) The schedule of fees submitted by the association shall
be subject to approval of the board. Act of February 16,
2011, No. 36, § 1, 2011 Ark. Acts 95. Prior to the 2011
amendment, the Professional Bail Bond Company and
Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board
("Board") was responsible for soliciting the
proposals from education-provider applicants and establishing
a schedule of fees for the educational training.
October 31, 2014, Kiesling filed suit against the APBA, and
his fourth amended complaint, the operative complaint at
issue, was filed on June 22, 2015. Kiesling alleged that he
was a licensed bail-bond agent and that, since 2011, he had
been required to pay an annual-registration and education fee
of $100 to APBA, a private nonprofit organization, in order
to maintain his license. According to the allegations in
Kiesling's complaint, the 2011 amendment to section
17-19-402 was an illegal exaction prohibited by article 16,
section 13 of the Arkansas Constitution, and a special law in
violation of article 5, section 25 of the Arkansas
Constitution. Kiesling further asserted that section
17-19-402 was unconstitutionally vague. He sought a
declaratory judgment that section 17-19-402, as amended, was
unconstitutional and an injunction prohibiting the APBA from
collecting the annual fee.
APBA filed an answer and a motion to dismiss on July 16,
2015, asserting that Kiesling was not the real party in
interest and that he lacked standing to bring his claims.
Kiesling added the Board, the Arkansas State Board of Private
Career Education, and the Attorney General as defendants.
However, on August 3, 2015, the circuit court entered an
order granting a motion to dismiss filed by these separate
defendants. On July 14, 2015, the circuit court denied the
APBA's motion to dismiss based on standing.
trial was held on June 23, 2016. At the conclusion of
Kiesling's case, the APBA made an oral motion for a
directed verdict, again arguing that Kiesling lacked
standing. The circuit court instructed the parties to file a
written directed-verdict motion and responses. The APBA's
motion was filed on July 15, 2016, and Kiesling filed a
response on July 25, 2016, and an amended response on August
22, 2016. Following a reply by the APBA and a final response
by Kiesling, the circuit court entered an order on September
13, 2016, granting the APBA's motion and dismissing
Kiesling's complaint with prejudice. Kiesling filed a
timely notice of appeal from the order.
appeal, Kiesling argues that the circuit court erred by
dismissing his complaint. He contends that the court lacked
jurisdiction to enter its order more than thirty days after
the directed-verdict motion had been filed and that the court
was also incorrect in determining that he lacked standing to
bring his claims. Kiesling continues to assert that Arkansas
Code Annotated section 17-19-402, as amended by Act 36 of
2011, is unconstitutional. In addition to his
illegal-exaction, special-laws, and vagueness claims,
Kiesling further argues that the amended statute is a
violation of the separation-of-powers provision in article 4,
sections 1 and 2 of the Arkansas Constitution; an unlawful
delegation of legislative power; a violation of Amendment 34
to the Arkansas Constitution; a violation of his right to
free association pursuant to article 2, sections 4 and 6 of
the Arkansas Constitution and the First Amendment to the
United States Constitution; a violation of the equal
protection clause contained in article 2, section 3 of our
state constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment to the
federal constitution; and a violation of the Arkansas Civil