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Satterfield v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 3, 2015

WILLIAM W. SATTERFIELD, APPELLANT
v.
THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, A DEPARTMENT OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; THE MISSISSIPPI PERSONNEL BOARD, A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; PHIL BRYANT, AS GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; RICHARD A. BERRY, AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES; WALLY NAYLOR, AS OFFICE DIRECTOR II OVER FAMILY FOUNDATIONS AND SUPPORT; AND DEANNE MOSELY, AS DIRECTOR OF THE MISSISSIPPI PERSONNEL BOARD, APPELLEES

Page 381

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/13/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM H. SINGLETARY. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: GRANTED APPELLEES' MOTION TO DISMISS.

WILLIAM WARREN SATTERFIELD, APPELLANT, Pro se.

FOR APPELLEES: DOUGLAS T. MIRACLE, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

BEFORE LEE, C.J., ISHEE AND FAIR, JJ. LEE, C.J., GRIFFIS, P.J., ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. IRVING, P.J., CONCURS IN PART AND IN THE RESULT WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION. BARNES, J., NOT PARTICIPATING.

OPINION

Page 382

FAIR, J.

¶1 William Satterfield was employed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS) as a child support enforcement attorney. Satterfield filed a lawsuit against the State and various agencies and officials (collectively " the State" ) contending that his position was underpaid. He alleged the violation of numerous statutes and asserted various theories entitling him to relief, including damages for negligence. The chancery court granted the State's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

¶2 We affirm the dismissal because Satterfield has failed to show that it was erroneous.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶3 Mississippi Rule of Evidence 12(b)(6) " tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint, and provides that dismissal shall be granted to the moving party where the plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Chalk v. Bertholf, 980 So.2d 290, 293 (¶ 4) (Miss.Ct.App. 2007). This is a question of law subject to de novo review on appeal. Little v. Miss. Dep't of Transp., 129 So.3d 132, 135 (¶ 5) (Miss. 2013).

¶4 This Court's review of an appeal from the granting of a motion to dismiss is de novo, meaning that if the trial court states its reasons for granting the motion, they may be helpful guidance to the parties and this Court on appeal; but the trial court's rationale is not controlling. Instead, the judgment will not be reversed as long as the trial court reached the right result, even if it was for the wrong reason. Entergy Miss. Inc. v. Richardson, 134 So.3d 287, 292 (¶ 12) (Miss. 2014). Even when our review is de novo, the trial court's judgment is always presumed to be correct, and the burden falls upon the appellant to show reversible error. Jordan v. State, 995 So.2d 94, 103 (¶ 14) (Miss. 2008). If the appellant fails to demonstrate reversible error, the judgment must be affirmed.

DISCUSSION

¶5 Satterfield enumerates eight issues on appeal, but his arguments often overlap and sometimes bear little relation to the issues he has identified. We have done our best to sort through Satterfield's brief, but we will address only those issues that have been " distinctly identified" and ...


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