Arkansas Courts

File photo: Former Circuit Court Judge Michael Maggio outside of federal court in Little Rock.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A federal appeals court panel has upheld the bribery conviction and 10-year prison sentence for a former Arkansas judge who admitted to reducing a jury award against a nursing home operator in exchange for campaign contributions.

Rita Sklar ACLU American Civil Liberties Union
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Abortion rights groups are asking a federal judge to block several new abortion restrictions in Arkansas, including a ban on a commonly used second-trimester procedure.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block laws that have yet to take effect but were approved by lawmakers this year.

The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that an Alabama death row inmate has the right to a mental health evaluation from a neutral party. Previously, such evaluations were done by doctors within state government. 

In April, Arkansas inmates Don Davis and Bruce Ward were granted stays of execution after asking for such independent evaluations.

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an Alabama inmate who complained that he didn't have an independent mental health expert to help him try to stave off a death sentence at his trial.

The justices divided 5-4 Monday in siding with inmate James McWilliams. He did not have his own expert when he was convicted of raping and killing a convenience store clerk in Tuscaloosa.

The justices had previously decided that poor defendants whose mental health might be a factor in the criminal charges they are facing have a right to an expert's evaluation.

Settlement Announced In Mayflower Oil Spill Case

Jun 15, 2017
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A lawsuit brought on behalf of nearly 150 Mayflower residents impacted by a 2013 pipeline rupture has been settled. Attorneys with three law firms representing the residents confirmed with KUAR they had settled the suit with ExxonMobil, the pipeline operator.


An 11-member jury ruled in favor of former Little Rock police Lt. David Hudson in an excessive force case in federal court on Wednesday.

 

Hudson was working as an off-duty security guard at Ferneau, a restaurant in the Hillcrest neighborhood, on Oct. 29, 2011 when he punched Chris Erwin in the face seven times on the sidewalk outside after asking Erwin and his party to leave the establishment. 

Judge Milas "Butch" Hale Hot bounded checks sherwood
Arkansas Times

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against a central Arkansas city and a judge that alleges they're violating constitutional rights by effectively operating a debtor's prison with a court that's imposed fines and jail time on thousands of people whose checks bounce.

U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. on Thursday dismissed the lawsuit against the city of Sherwood and Judge Milas Hale III.

Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The top two officials for a judicial ethics panel are recusing themselves from investigations involving an Arkansas judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he issued an order that effectively blocked executions in the state.

The executive director and deputy director of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission on Tuesday stepped away from the cases involving Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who lay on a cot outside the governor's mansion last month after blocking the state from using a lethal injection drug.

The trial of a former Arkansas state senator and two others on corruption charges is being delayed.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that a federal judge in Fayetteville on Tuesday postponed the trial of Republican former Sen. Jon Woods, Ecclesia College President Oren Paris III and consultant Randell Shelton Jr. until Dec. 4. Prosecutors say the investigation continues and more indictments are expected.

The judge also rejected Paris' request that he be tried separately in the case.

Four sisters of Josh Duggar who were revealed to have told police that they'd been molested by their older brother are suing the city of Springdale and Washington County, Arkansas, and publishers of the magazine that first revealed their identities.

Jill Duggar Dillard, Jessa Duggar Seewald, Jinger Duggar Vuolo and Joy Duggar are suing the city, the county and the publishers of InTouch Weekly for breaching their privacy.

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