Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Mississippi

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H&G Land Company, L.P. entered into a lease agreement with APAC-Mississippi, Inc. (“APAC”), whereby APAC would operate an asphalt plant and mining operation on H&G’s land for a period of twenty years. H&G then filed an application for a special exception to extract sand and gravel on its property. The application included documentation concerning property, including ownership, government permits, insurance, a bond for reclamation of the property, and site proposals. Thereafter, the Panola County Land Development Commission held a series of hearings to consider H&G’s application. At the last hearing, the Commission denied the application and informed H&G that it could appeal to the Board, which reversed the Commission. At its next regularly scheduled meeting, the Board held a hearing to consider H&G’s request. Several local businesses and residents attended the meeting to oppose H&G’s request, so the Board permitted each side time to present their arguments. Following the presentations, the Board voted to approve H&G's application. The businesses and residents appealed. But finding no reversible error in the Board's approval, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Como Steak House, Inc. v. Board of Supervisors of Panola County" on Justia Law

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The Gulfport City Council approved the City of Gulfport’s application to use the historic Grass Lawn Home as a recreation center upon its reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina. Peter and Fay Barrett appealed the City Council’s decision, arguing that Grass Lawn was zoned exclusively for residential use and that the City had abandoned any nonconforming use on the property in question. The circuit court dismissed the Barretts’ claim as moot, and the Barretts then appealed to the Supreme Court. After review, the Supreme Court found that the circuit court correctly found that the Barretts’ appeal was rendered moot by the City’s withdrawal of its application, and the Barretts’ appeal did not meet an exception to the mootness doctrine. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of the Barretts’ appeal. View "Barrett v. City of Gulfport" on Justia Law

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This is the third appeal from the City of Gulfport’s taking of the Dedeaux Utility Company via eminent domain. Dedeaux appealed after the first two trials, and the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed and remanded both times. The parties have since held a third trial, and Gulfport appealed and Dedeaux cross-appealed issues raised from the third trial. Gulfport raised thirteen issues on appeal. And while the Court gave careful consideration to each, the Court found only five warranted discussion, and yet none warranted reversal of the third trial's final judgment. Gulfport asked the trial judge to “determine a fair and equitable interest rate to be paid on the Final Judgment based upon the rates paid on invested funds during the time period in which the eminent domain action was pending.” The Supreme Court reversed the trial judge’s post-trial order denying Gulfport’s motion to establish the interest rate, and remanded this action to the Harrison County Special Court of Eminent Domain for the limited purpose of determining the applicable interest rate and entering an order requiring payment of that interest. The Court declined to address Dedeaux’s cross-appeal. View "City of Gulfport v. Dedeaux Utility Company, Inc." on Justia Law

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When the Mississippi State Highway Commission (MHC) sought a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) to fill wetlands in the roadbed of a proposed limited-access road, it pledged approximately 1,300 acres of Ward Gulfport Properties, L.P.’s and T. Jerard Gulfport, L.L.C.’s (collectively, “Ward”) property as wetlands mitigation. ACE issued the permit to MHC in 2009. Ward filed suit in state court against MHC, seeking damages from an unlawful taking, and in federal court against ACE, seeking to have the permit invalidated. The federal court vacated the permit. MHC moved for summary judgment, arguing that no taking had occurred and that the federal court had determined ACE, not MHC, had caused Ward’s losses. The trial court granted MHC’s motion. Ward appealed. Finding the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of MHC, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed and remanded. View "Ward Gulfport Properties, L.P. v. Mississippi State Highway Commission" on Justia Law