Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – Oct. 26, 2017

Brian Ray Pedigo v. Christopher Robertson, Rent-A-Center, Inc. and Rent-A-Center East, Inc. – arbitration –  In 2012,  Brian Ray Pedigo rented a tv from  Rent-A-Center in
Booneville.  Four months later, Pedigo  was 20 days past due on the payment. Rent A Center attempted to recover the tv and found out that it had been pawned for $100 a month after it was rented.  Rent A Center filed a police report and an arrest warrant was issued for  theft of rental property.  Pedigo was arrested but the State eventually did not pursue charges.  Pedigo sued for malicious prosecution.  Rent A Center moved for arbitration under the contract.  The trial court ordered arbitration. Pedigo appealed and the Miss.S.Ct. reverses.

today we find that the claims in question are beyond the scope of the parties’ arbitration agreement. Here, the agreement did not contemplate the possibility that RAC would file a criminal complaint against a signatory/lessor, causing him to suffer the pains of a criminal indictment, subsequent imprisonment, and eventual release without prosecution. The CAA provisions are sufficiently broad, and the agreement shows the intent and mutual agreement by the parties to arbitrate all civil matters related to the lease of the television; though, notably absent from the CAA is the parties’ agreement to arbitrate civil matters related to a potential criminal indictment.

Carla Speights Darnell v. William Duff Darnellcustody –   Carla and Duff  married in  2004,  had a child in 2006; and separated in 2010 when Carla filed for divorce.  The trial court granted custody to Duff.  Carla appealed and the Miss.S.Ct. reversed finding that the the chancellor should have considered two statements made by the child to his daycare teacher and principal which prompted them make a report to DHS.   Darnell v. Darnell, 167 So. 3d 195, 198 (Miss. 2014). On remand, the chancellor considered the two statements, made new findings of fact and conclusions of law, conducted a complete Albright analysis, and specifically addressed why he disagreed with the GAL’s  recommendations and ordered  joint legal custody with  the child to be in the physical custody of Duff through the school and the mother having visitation every other weekend.  Carla appealed again.  One of her issues was that the chancellor should have considered circumstances post trial and prior to the remand.  The Miss. S.Ct. disagrees stating that “this Court specifically instructed the chancellor to make new findings of fact after considering the statements.  The Court did not remand with instructions to hold a new hearing.  This time the Miss.S.Ct. affirms.

Dale Patrick Miller v. Jessica Dawn Smithcustody – When Dale and Jessica divorced, they had two children. The GAL recommended that Dale get custody but the judge awarded custody to Jessica in a detailed opinion.  The COA affirms. The Miss. S.Ct. granted cert and also affirms.

The court grants cert. in Craig Sallie v. State of Mississippi – (the link is to the COA opinion) – resentencing after appeal –  In 2012, Craig D. Sallie was convicted of aggravated assault and of being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm. The trial court  sentenced him to  twenty years for the aggravated-assault conviction and ten years for being a felon in possession of a firearm, with the sentences to run concurrently. The circuit court went on to enhance Sallie’s sentence by ten years for his use of a deadly weapon in the commission of the aggravated assault. The ten-year enhancement was ordered to run consecutively to the other sentences.  In other words, Sallie would do 20 years.  The Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed Sallie’s initial two convictions but reversed the ten-year enhancement. On remand, the  court  resentenced Sallie to twenty years for the aggravated-assault conviction and ten years for being a felon in possession of a firearm but ordered them to run  consecutively. So he was again sentenced to 30 years.  Sallie appeals. The COA affirms. The Miss.S.Ct. grants cert.

Sallie argues that the new sentence was error because “The trial court’s increasing the sentences to run concurrent on count 1 and count 2 was in error because the Court of Appeals affirmed those convictions and sentences and the Mississippi Supreme Court remanded only the sentence pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. Sec. 97- 37-5.”

Sallie cert ptn

And, in an order, the Miss.S.Ct. reverses and remands for a new trial  the death penalty case of  Sherwood Brown v. State of Mississippi where DNA tests run after the trial and direct appeal did not match Brown.   The case was argued October 10, 2017.

One thought on “Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – Oct. 26, 2017

  1. I am Carla Darnell. My son was taken away from me 5 years ago because David shoemake said I falsely accused husband of sexual abuse! Read the transcript! That was not the case! Wondering if any other mothers have been impacted in this way! My case is now over but my son still impacted daily!

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