Nelson MURDERS, Jr., Lester Bates, Vernon
Blake, and James Stark v. GARLAND COUNTY,
Arkansas, and Larry Williams, as Garland
97-871 ___ S.W.2d ___
Supreme Court of Arkansas
Opinion delivered April 23, 1998
1. Appeal & error -- impossible for seven court members to
examine one transcript. -- The reason for Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 4-
2(b) is one of practicality as there is only one transcript to
be spread among seven members of the court; it is impossible
for each of the seven judges to examine the one transcript.
2. Appeal & error -- brief flagrantly deficient -- case affirmed.
-- Where appellants purported to challenge the
constitutionality of five separate ordinances yet failed to
abstract any of them, and where the appeal was from a grant of
summary judgment, but appellants failed to abstract any of the
evidence, including affidavits that were submitted by parties
on both sides, it was impossible for the supreme court to
determine if genuine issues of material fact existed or if
summary judgment was granted prematurely; given the state of
appellants' abstract, the court was precluded from an
understanding of the issues on appeal, and the case was
Appeal from Garland Circuit Court; Tom Smitherman, Judge;
Hurst Law Office, P.A., by: Q. Byrum Hurst, for appellant.
Ralph C. Ohm, for appellee.
Annabelle Clinton Imber, Justice.
At the center of this appeal are a number of ordinances
enacted by the Garland County Quorum Court creating and
implementing a new solid waste collection system for unincorporated
areas of the county. The County excluded Hot Springs Village from
required participation in the system. Following the initiation of
a declaratory judgment action by the appellants, the trial court
granted summary judgment to the County, upholding the
constitutionality of the ordinances. Among other things,
appellants now contend that the exclusion of Hot Springs Village
constitutes a denial of equal protection of the laws. Appellants
also argue that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment
in that material facts were in dispute and that summary judgment
was premature as they were entitled to more discovery. Pursuant to
Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 4-2(b), we affirm due to appellants' flagrantly
In their brief, appellants purport to challenge the
constitutionality of five separate ordinances, yet have failed to
abstract any of them. See Blount v. Hughes, 292 Ark. 166, 728 S.W.2d 519 (1987) (appellants sought mandamus challenging statutory
validity of municipal ordinances -- abstract was flagrantly
deficient due to failure to abstract ordinances despite portions of
ordinances contained in appellants' brief). Only two sentences
from an ordinance can be found in the abstract (contained in the
abstract of appellants' complaint), although the specific ordinance
is not identified.
The other remarkable deficiency of appellants' abstract,
considering that this is an appeal from the grant of summary
judgment, is the failure to abstract any of the evidence in the
case, including affidavits that were submitted by parties on both
sides. Without the benefit of such evidence, it is impossible for
the court to determine if genuine issues of material fact exist, or
if summary judgment was granted prematurely.
The reason for our rule is one of practicality in that there
is only one transcript to be spread among seven members of the
court. See Oliver v. Washington County, 328 Ark. 61, 940 S.W.2d 884 (1997). It is impossible for each of the seven judges to
examine the one transcript. Id. Given the state of appellants'
abstract, we are precluded from an understanding of the issues on
appeal. See Porter v. Porter, 329 Ark. 42, 945 S.W.2d 376 (1997).