STEPHEN W. BOATRIGHT, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF STEPHEN W. BOATRIGHT, D.D.S, P.A. APPELLANT
S-R PLAZA, LLC APPELLEE
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NINTH DIVISION [NO.
60CV-13-2976] HONORABLE MARY SPENCER MCGOWAN, JUDGE
R. Crabtree, for appellant.
Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP, by: Price C. Gardner and
Phillip M. Brick, Jr., for appellee.
W. GRUBER, CHIEF JUDGE.
appeal is from a landlord-tenant dispute over damages
suffered by the landlord. Appellant Stephen Boatright,
individually and on behalf of Stephen Boatright, D.D.S.,
P.A., contends on appeal that the circuit court abused its
discretion by granting the landlord S-R Plaza's motion in
limine and thereby excluding any evidence regarding repairs
and alterations to the leased premises after the lease ended.
We dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
25, 2002, appellant signed a ten-year lease with appellee S-R
Plaza. The lease space was in a new building that
had not been "finished out." Pursuant to a
construction-allowance arrangement, Dr. Boatright hired a
contractor and installed all interior walls, molding,
cabinetry, heat and air, plumbing fixtures, floor covering,
lighting, and dental equipment to operate a dental office in
the space. Excluding appellant's "moveable equipment
or furniture" and "dental equipment," all
"alterations, physical additions or improvements to the
leased premises made by Tenant" became the property of
S-R Plaza and were to be surrendered with the lease upon
termination. At the end of the extended lease term, the
parties disagreed about when appellant had
"vacated" the premises and, consequently, the
amount of rent that remained due. They also disputed the
condition of the premises after appellant vacated and whether
appellant had removed items belonging to S-R Plaza.
Plaza filed a complaint against appellant contending that
appellant had failed to vacate by the end of the lease term
and that he had removed sinks and counters, millwork,
cabinets, and granite base trim from the leased premises
before vacating. S-R Plaza alleged that appellant had
breached the lease agreement and requested damages for unpaid
rent and for removal of the items and associated damage to
the property. S-R Plaza also alleged a claim of conversion,
contending appellant had exercised dominion and control over
S-R Plaza's property-sinks, counters, millwork, cabinets,
and base trim-in violation of S-R Plaza's rights and
requested damages for the replacement cost of the items.
Appellant filed an answer denying the claims and later an
amended answer and counterclaim alleging breach of the lease
agreement due to S-R Plaza's failure to provide
construction-administration services as promised.
December 29, 2014, the circuit court granted S-R Plaza's
motion for summary judgment in part, finding appellant
breached the lease agreement regarding amounts due and owing
for rent for April and May 2013 and finding appellant
breached the lease agreement regarding removal of granite
base moldings from the entire leased premises and the sinks
and toilets from the staff restroom and patients'
restroom. The court found a question of fact remained as to
whether fixtures in areas other than restrooms, cabinetry,
and countertops constituted "dental equipment" and
thus denied summary judgment regarding those items.
November 1, 2017, the court granted S-R Plaza's motion in
limine, excluding any evidence of subsequent repairs and
alterations of the leased premises after termination of the
parties' lease. On November 14 and 15, 2017, the circuit
court held a jury trial, and it entered a judgment in S-R
Plaza's favor on December 8, 2017, incorporating the
jury's interrogatories. All six of the jury's
interrogatories concerned S-R Plaza's claim for breach of
contract and the damages resulting therefrom. The court also
restated its findings from its order granting partial summary
judgment, referenced a stipulation by the parties regarding a
setoff of the damages award for a deposit paid by appellant,
and calculated an exact judgment amount in favor of S-R
Plaza. The court's order did not mention S-R Plaza's
claim for conversion or appellant's counterclaim.
filed this appeal, alleging only that the circuit court
abused its discretion in granting the motion in limine and
excluding any evidence or argument regarding subsequent
repairs or alterations to the leased premises after
termination of the lease. Before addressing appellant's
arguments, we turn to our jurisdiction.
jurisdiction over an appeal only if the order appealed is a
final order or meets one of several exceptions under Rule
2(a)(1) of the Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure-Civil
(2017). A final order is one that dismisses the parties,
discharges them from the action, or concludes their rights to
the subject matter in controversy. Rigsby v. Rigsby,
340 Ark. 544, 546, 11 S.W.3d 551, 552 (2000). Because the
issue is one of jurisdiction, it is a matter we will consider
even though the parties have not raised it. Haile v. Ark.
Power & Light Co., 322 Ark. 29, 31, 907 S.W.2d 122,
123 (1995). Absent a final order or a properly executed
certificate from the circuit court making an "express
determination, supported by specific factual findings, that
there is no just reason for delay"-which we do not
have-an order that fails to adjudicate all of the
parties' claims cannot be appealed. Ark. R. Civ. P. 54(b)
(2017). The complaint in this case alleged a
breach-of-contract claim and a conversion claim. In addition,
appellant filed a counterclaim for breach of contract.
Neither the record nor the addendum contains a written order
addressing either the conversion claim or the counterclaim.
Thus, the order appealed from is not a final order.
Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.
Gladwin and ...