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Quorum Court discusses dismissal of lawsuit against city

The Independence County Quorum Court unanimously passed a motion to approve the Independence County attorney to file a dismissal to the lawsuit against the City of Batesville, without prejudice, concerning the resolution of the division of revenue and costs of the district court.

More recently, the City of Batesville and Independence County agreed to possibly proceed with a 50/50 split of both costs and revenue. The city proposed paying 50 percent of the district court’s costs while receiving 50 percent of all of the court’s revenue.

The county has been awaiting a response from the city’s attorney acknowledging that a 50/50 split of responsibilities and district court revenues did not even out on an equal basis.

After six weeks and no response from the city, County Attorney Daniel Haney asked the court how they would like to proceed.

Haney shared that in 2019, the county provided approximately 92 percent of the district court’s business whereas the City of Batesville only provided approximately eight percent of the business.

“I need the quorum court to know this, and, really if the citizens of Batesville and this county don’t know, this is the breakup,” said Haney. “The City of Batesville, with their police force, for the year of 2019 wrote 443 tickets for the entire year of 2019. The county — and this isn’t just the county — it’s also the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Highway Patrol and the [Arkansas] Game and Fish, but, collectively county tickets — 4,599.”

After a lengthy discussion among Haney, Independence County Judge Robert Griffin, and the Independence County Quorum Court, a motion was made to file for a dismissal without prejudice of the lawsuit concerning the district court and to continue with the county supporting the court as it has.

The motion also called for attention to now be focused on the issues concerning the City of Batesville’s portion of supporting the county jail.

Among other business handled for the month of November and December, multiple ordinances were passed approving budgetary and reappropriating of funds for various county business needs.

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