Oral arg. – Miss.S.Ct. – Dec. 1, 2015

Tuesday the Miss.S.Ct. will hear two cases concerning the powers of governmental entities.

At 10:00 the Court will hear Northeast Mental Health – Mental Retardation Commission v. V. M. Cleveland. 

In 2000, Northeast Mental Health – Mental Retardation Commission entered into a ninety-nine-year lease with V.M. Cleveland whereby the Commission would  pay $18,000 a month to rent a facility built by Cleveland  on land owned by the Commission.  Under the contract, if the Commission cannot pay that rent due to insufficient funds, it must quit-claim its land to the developer without compensation. In 2011, the Commission filed suit to rescind the contract.  After a trial, the chancellor found the contract enforceable.  The Commission appeals arguing, among other things, that “governing  boards cannot bind their successors in office to contracts which take away discretionary rights and powers conferred by law unless specifically authorized by statute.”

Commission’s brief  

Cleveland’s brief

Commission’s rebuttal brief

Watch the argument here

At 1:30 the Court will hear In re: Validation of Tax Anticipation Note, Series 2014, by Humphreys County in the Maximum Principal Amount of One Million Two Hundred Thousand Dollars: Glenn Russell v. Humphreys County Board of Supervisors 

This is a taxpayer appeal to the validation of a $1,200,000 Tax Anticipation Note issued by the Humphreys County Board of  Supervisors.  According to the taxpayer, Glenn Russell,

[a] county government’s tax anticipation note is authorized under Miss. Code Ann. §19-9-27. A tax anticipation note is a ‘bond’ under the code sections addressing the chancery court proceedings for validation of public bonds issued by political subdivisions of the State of Mississippi . Miss. Code § 31-13-1 et seq.; Section 31-13-3. In accordance with the bond validation statutes a taxpayer such as the appellant may file a written objection to the issuance of a tax anticipation note and cause the chancellor to hold a hearing to inquire into the validity of the issuance. Miss. Code § 31-13-5. Additionally, Section 19-9-27 authorizes the lesser of 20% or 1500 of the qualified electors of the county to file a protest petition objecting to the issuance of a tax anticipation note, so as to require a referendum on the matter.

 

The County argues that “[t]he trial court correctly decided the validation process and approved the Appellee’s borrowing of $1,200,000.00 in anticipation of taxes. Since the Appellee has repaid the Tax Anticipation Note in full, this case is now moot. . Therefore, the Appellant’s appeal is now moot, and should be dismissed.”

Russell’s brief

Humphreys County’s brief

Russell’s rebuttal brief

Watch the argument here

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