Lange v. Martin (Majority)

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Cite as 2016 Ark. 363 SUPREME COURT OF ARKANSAS No. CV-16-796 CHUCK LANGE AND BILL WALMSLEY Opinion Delivered: October 27, 2016 INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF AN ORIGINAL ACTION COMMITTEE TO PROTECT ARKANSAS' VALUES/STOP CASINOS NOW PETITIONERS MOTION TO DISMISS COUNT III OF THE COMPLAINT V. MOTION GRANTED; COUNT III OF THE COMPLAINT DISMISSED. MARK MARTIN IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS RESPONDENT ARKANSAS WINS IN 2016, LLC, AND ARKANSAS WINNING INITIATIVE, INC. INTERVENORS CYNTHIA R. STONE, JEFF CROCKETT, AND LARRY WITCHER INTERVENORS ROBIN F. WYNNE, Associate Justice Chuck Lange and Bill Walmsley, Individually and on behalf of Committee to Protect Arkansas Values/Stop Casinos Now, filed an original action in this court challenging the Arkansas Secretary of State’s certification of a proposed amendment to allow three casinos to operate in Arkansas for the November 8, 2016 general election ballot. The complaint contains three counts. Counts I and II challenge the ballot title of the proposed amendment. Count III challenges the signatures on the petitions submitted by the Sponsor Intervenors. We bifurcated the counts, electing to consider Counts I and II separately from Count III. Cite as 2016 Ark. 363 The court has already issued an opinion granting as to Counts I and II of the complaint. Lange v. Martin, 2016 Ark. 337. Intervenors Arkansas Wins in 2016, LLC, and Arkansas Winning Initiative Inc. filed a petition for rehearing from this court’s decision granting as to Counts I and II of the complaint. Respondent Mark Martin, as Secretary of State of the State of Arkansas, has filed a motion to dismiss Count III of the complaint as moot. An issue is moot when a decision by this court would have no practical effect on a then existing legal controversy. See Newman v. Crawford County Cir. Ct., 2014 Ark. 308. On October 21, 2016, this court denied the petition for rehearing on our opinion addressing Counts I and II. This renders any possible decision by this court on Count III without practical effect. Also, none of our exceptions to the mootness doctrine apply. Respondent’s motion to dismiss Count III of the complaint is well-taken and is hereby granted. Motion granted; Count III of the complaint dismissed. Mandate to issue immediately. Special Justice WARREN E. DUPWE joins in this opinion. GOODSON, J., not participating. Friday, Eldredge & Clark LLP, by: Elizabeth Robben Murray, Ellen Owens Smith, and Amanda J. Fray; Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, by: Stephen R. Lancaster, Justin T. Allen, and Jacob P. Fair, for petitioners. AJ Kelly, Deputy Sec’y of State & Gen. Counsel, and Andrés Rhodes, Assoc. Gen. Counsel, for respondent. 2 Cite as 2016 Ark. 363 Dover Dixon Horne PLLC, by: Todd Wooten, Thomas S. Stone, Randall L. Bynum, Mark Allison, and Monte D. Estes, for intervenors Arkansas Wins in 2016, LLC, and Arkansas Winning Initiative, Inc. Steel, Wright, Gray & Hutchinson PLLC, by: Nate Steel, Alex T. Gray, and Jeremy Hutchinson, for intervenors Cynthia R. Stone, Jeff Crockett, and Larry Witcher. 3