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Darden v. Board of Supervisors

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

February 18, 2014

JACK R. DARDEN, BY AND THROUGH JEWELL J. DARDEN, AND GLORIA S. DARDEN, JOHN FLOYD, MD, RAYMOND W. BANKER, C.J. MITCHELL A/K/A C.J. MITCHELL, JR., JIM GREELEY A/K/A FRANK JAMES GREELY, WATER FALL HUNTING CLUB REPRESENTED BY JAMES R. ROBERT, JR., RAX HUNTING CLUB #1 REPRESENTED BY ED PLAISANCE, CHURCH POINT HUNTING CLUB REPRESENTED BY PHILLIP GREMILLION, LEONARD ALLRED, CHESTER ALLRED, JUNE COOPER AND LYMAN JONES, APPELLANTS
v.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, WILKINSON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: WILKINSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/07/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LILLIE BLACKMON SANDERS. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: SUMMARY JUDGMENT GRANTED TO APPELLEE.

FOR APPELLANTS: WAYNE SMITH.

FOR APPELLEE: ROBERT C. LATHAM.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

Page 914

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - OTHER

MAXWELL, J.

[¶1] This is an appeal by leaseholders of Sixteenth Section land in Wilkinson County who are unhappy with their increased ad valorem taxes. But when their assessments spiked in 2008, they failed to timely lodge an objection with the Wilkinson County Board of Supervisors.[1] This failure to object had clear consequences. Because they did not object, any issue with the 2008 assessments became finally settled, so the leaseholders cannot question the validity of the assessments.[2]

[¶2] The leaseholders try to avoid this default by attacking the validity of the 2008 assessments through their objection to their 2010 assessments. However, the circuit court rejected this challenge, and so do we. Because the 2008 assessments are conclusively valid, and since the leaseholders have not provided any evidence that their 2010 assessments must be reassessed, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court in favor of the board of supervisors.

Background and Procedural History

[¶3] When the leaseholders' ad valorem assessments went up significantly from 2007 to 2008, they did not complain to the board of supervisors about the 2008 assessments. Under Mississippi Code Annotated section 27-35-93 (Rev. 2010), " A person who is dissatisfied with the assessment may, at the August meeting, present objections thereto in writing which shall be filed by the clerk and docketed and preserved

Page 915

with the roll." The leaseholders presented no written objection at the August 2008 board meeting. Consequently, they are " precluded from questioning [the 2008 assessments'] validity after . . . final approval by the board of supervisors or by operation of law[.]" Id.

[¶4] The 2009 assessments were higher as well. Again, the leaseholders made no timely written objection. So again, the leaseholders are precluded from questioning the validity of the 2009 assessments. See id.

[¶5] It was not until the 2010 assessments, which represented only a minimal increase from 2009, that the leaseholders complained to the board of supervisors. When the board declined to reassess, they appealed their assessments to the Wilkinson County Circuit Court. See Miss. Code Ann. § 11-51-77 (Rev. 2012) ( " Any person aggrieved by a decision of the board of supervisors . .., as to the assessment of taxes, may, within ten days after the adjournment of the meeting at which such decision is made, appeal to the circuit court of the county . . . . [And] [t]he controversy shall be tried anew[.]" ). The circuit court granted summary ...


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