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.

Blakely v. Arkansas Children's Hospital

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

December 4, 2019

DEE BLAKELY APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL; PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS; AND JANE DUKE APPELLEES

          APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH DIVISION [NO. 60CV-15-3840] HONORABLE TIMOTHY DAVIS FOX, JUDGE

          Sutter & Gillham, P.L.L.C., by: Luther Oneal Sutter and Lucien Gillham, for appellant.

          Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., by: Megan D. Hargraves and David F. Koehler, for separate appellee Arkansas Children's Hospital.

          Pulaski County Attorney's Office, by: Adam B. Fogleman and William A. Gruber, for separate appellee Pulaski County, Arkansas.

          Barber Law Firm, PLLC, by: Robert L. Henry III, for separate appellee Jane Duke.

          N. MARK KLAPPENBACH, Judge

         This case is factually related to Arkansas Children's Hospital v. Blakely, 2019 Ark.App. 565 (Blakely II), also handed down today. In this appeal, Dee Blakely appeals from orders of the Pulaski County Circuit Court dismissing her claims under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against appellees Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) and Jane Duke, one of ACH's outside attorneys. Blakely also appeals the dismissal of her illegal-exaction claim against separate appellee Pulaski County.[1] We affirm.

         I. Background and Procedural History

         Amendment 32 to the Arkansas Constitution authorizes an annual tax on real and personal property in a county "for the purpose of maintaining, operating and supporting" a "public hospital owned by such county . . ., whether such hospital be operated by such county . . . or by a benevolent association as the agent or lessee of such county . . . ." According to Pulaski County Ordinance No. 198 (Nov. 14, 1978), a one-mill "Hospital Maintenance Tax" was approved by the voters "to be used for the maintenance, operation and support of Arkansas Children's Hospital as a public hospital of the County . . . ." Ordinance No. 198 specifically designated ACH as "a public hospital of the County." Since 2001, Pulaski County has, at ACH's request, directed the tax funds to the State of Arkansas for the State to use to obtain matching Medicaid funds from the federal government.

         On August 11, 2015, Blakely submitted a written request to ACH for records under FOIA (First Request). Specifically, Blakely requested copies of

(1) Records providing the amount of funding received from the County by the Hospital, including funds received from hospital revenue bonds, for each of the calendar years 2010-2014; and
(2) Records providing the manner in which the Hospital expended County funding, including but not limited to, funds spent on capital improvements, for each of the calendar years 2010-2014.

         ACH responded that it was not an entity subject to FOIA and declined to produce the requested materials.

         Blakely filed suit on August 17, 2015, to obtain the records. In her prayer for relief, Blakely sought an order directing ACH to comply with FOIA and for a declaratory judgment that ACH is subject to FOIA. Following an August 24, 2015 hearing, the circuit court issued a written order on August 31, 2015, finding that ACH "does not have any documents, as ...


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.