Smart Communications Collier Inc. v. Pope County Sheriff's Office, No. 20-2496 (8th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of an action brought by Smart against the County, based on the forum-selection clause in the parties' contract. The district court determined that the clause precluded Smart from suing the County in federal court and dismissed the case.
The court explained that the ordinary understanding of "Arkansas courts" refers to courts that are constituted under the Arkansas state government, not any court that happens to be within Arkansas's borders. Furthermore, the word "pertinent" does not alter the meaning of "Arkansas courts," as Smart suggests. In this case, both the forum-selection clause and the anti-removal provision in the contract are clear, and they obviate the need to resort to the rule against surplusage.