DBTC Law Firm

Paying The Very Expensive Price Of Not Believing All Politics Are Local.

A much disputed election of officers in the Crittenden County, Arkansas, branch of the NAACP occurred in 2010. All of the incumbents were defeated and replaced. The National NAACP organization, backing the local incumbents, claimed in several written and spoken public declarations over many months that the election was void, refused to acknowledge the new officers, and denied the Chapter participation in the state convention — all to the prejudice of the local, disarrayed chapter. The Arkansas Court of Appeals recently upheld the Circuit Court’s decision which confirmed the elections and held the National NAACP organization in contempt of court, fining it $100,000 and charging it $20,000 in attorneys’ fees. Interesting points resulted about the effect of court injunctions on non-parties.

The continuing and significant efforts of the National NAACP organization in refusing to acknowledge the newly-elected officers and challenging the validity of the Chapter were brought into Circuit Court by the new officers. Initially, the National NAACP organization was not a party to the action and during that interim period, several orders, including injunctions, were issued confirming the validity of the newly-elected officers.

The Appellate Court held that even though the National NAACP organization was not a party to the suit at the time the injunctions were issued, nor had it become a party by the time many of their declarations of invalidity were made, any person or entity, regardless of whether they are a formal party to the litigation or not, is bound by the terms of an injunction if duly served with it. The National NAACP organization’s intermeddling with court-approved local affairs was severely sanctioned by the Circuit Court, and its decision was approved by the Court of Appeals. 207 Ark. App. 166, March 15, 2017.

Leave a Reply