Today, the Supreme Court of Arkansas, by a unanimous decision, affirmed the ruling of the Garland County Circuit Court in favor of the City of Hot Springs (see George Pritchett v. Lance Spicer, City Clerk of the City of Hot Springs, CV-16-607). George Pritchett filed a lawsuit against the Hot Springs City Clerk seeking a writ of mandamus, alleging the city had unlawfully refused to certify a petition for a referendum election on an annexation ordinance adopted by the Board of Directors on January 19, 2016.
The city clerk declined to certify the petition because it was untimely filed. Pritchett filed suit to compel the city clerk to certify the petition, alleging that the city’s filing deadline of 30 days from passage of the annexation ordinance was contrary to state law. The trial court ruled that referendum filing deadline of the city was valid under Amendment 7 to Constitution of the State of Arkansas, and that the referendum petition was untimely. Pritchett appealed the trial court’s ruling to the Supreme Court of Arkansas.
In its opinion, the Supreme Court addressed each of Pritchett’s four points on appeal. The court ruled in favor of the city on each of them, affirming the trial court’s decision.