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Pitchford v. City of Earle

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

May 1, 2019

Frederick PITCHFORD, Appellant
v.
CITY OF EARLE; Mayor Carolyn Jones, Individually and in Her Official Capacity; City Council Members Robert Malone, Bobby Luckett, Sr., Donnie Cheers, Charlie Young, and Jesse Selvy, Individually and in Their Official Capacities; and Davis Loftin, Individually and in His Official Capacity, Appellees

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          APPEAL FROM THE CRITTENDEN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 18CV-16-30], HONORABLE RICHARD LUSBY, JUDGE

          Frederick Lee Pitchford, pro se appellant.

         Davis Loftin, West Memphis, for appellees.

         OPINION

         N. MARK KLAPPENBACH, Judge

          This appeal returns to us after we ordered supplementation of the record and the addendum. Pitchford v. City of Earle, 2019 Ark.App. 135, 2019 WL 947386. The deficiencies we identified have been corrected, and we now consider the merits of the appeal.

         Appellant Frederick Lee Pitchford, pro se, appeals the April 16, 2018 orders of the Crittenden County Circuit Court that rendered judgment in favor of the City of Earle on Pitchford’s numerous claims of wrongdoing by the city, its officials, and certain employees and that denied Pitchford’s posttrial motion.[1] Appellant presents thirteen points on appeal. We affirm.

          Between January and December 2016, Pitchford filed an original complaint and three amended complaints against the city. Pitchford purported to represent himself and "Other interested citizens (‘taxpayers’)" of Earle in his various complaints of wrongdoing in the procedures used to operate the city and of alleged improper use of taxpayer funds. In the January 2016 filing titled "Complaint Injunction of Budget," Pitchford wanted the city’s 2016 budget to be frozen because he believed it had been created under an improper and fraudulent process in the December 2015 budget meeting. He also accused the city clerk of violating the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by failing to provide him a copy of the adding-machine tape and notes she took during that budget meeting. In the original complaint, Pitchford asked for an injunction against this alleged illegal exaction and misapplication of taxpayer funds.

          Pitchford filed amended complaints, one in May 2016 and two in December 2016, to add numerous allegations, summarized as follows: (1) that city councilman Luckett had been appointed city inspector, holding two offices in violation of statute, and that the monies paid to Luckett should be returned; (2) that the city mechanic and police chief had been wrongfully terminated; (3) that a city vehicle had been observed in the parking lot of the dog-racing track, which was not city business, constituting an illegal exaction; (4) that the interim mayor should be enjoined and excluded from ...


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