As Corrected June 25, 2015
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: CALHOUN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/28/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN ANDREW GREGORY. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: AWARDED PLAINTIFF $10,500 IN DAMAGES AND $4,000 IN ATTORNEY'S FEES.
FOR APPELLANT: EDWARD D. LANCASTER.
FOR APPELLEE: TINA MARIE DUGARD SCOTT.
BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND MAXWELL, JJ. LEE, C.J., GRIFFIS, P.J., ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. IRVING, P.J., CONCURS IN PART AND IN THE RESULT WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - PROPERTY DAMAGE
[¶1] This matter is brought on appeal as a result of three actions originally filed in Calhoun County Justice Court. On April 27, 2011, James May filed a complaint against Clemmie Walker, claiming that Walker's dogs had entered May's property and had killed and maimed some of May's cattle. He demanded damages under Mississippi Code Annotated section 95-5-21 (Rev. 2004), which provides:
If any dog shall kill or injure any poultry or any livestock, including cattle, horses, mules, jacks, jennets, sheep, goats and hogs, the owner of the dog shall pay to the owner of such poultry or livestock any loss suffered as a result of such injury and the value of the poultry or livestock killed and all costs of collection, including court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.
The justice court entered a judgment of $3,564 against Walker on June 8, 2011. Walker filed a notice of appeal with the Calhoun County Circuit Court on July 5, 2011.
[¶2] May filed two additional complaints with the justice court -- one on December 5, 2011, and one on December 19, 2011. In those complaints, May asserted that Walker continued to let his dogs run loose and that they had killed more of May's cattle. Two additional judgments were awarded to May, both for $3,564. May filed suggestions of garnishments with Walker's employer and banking institutions. An agreed order was entered staying garnishment proceedings until further order.
[¶3] May filed a motion with the circuit court to consolidate the three causes on June 4, 2012, which the court granted. A hearing was held on October 30, 2012. On November 7, 2012, May filed a motion to amend the pleadings to include the additional incidents involving Walker's dogs and May's cattle that had occurred in late 2011. The circuit court granted the motion to amend the pleadings and, on January 3, 2013, the court ordered that May was entitled to damages in the amount of $10,500 and $4,000 in attorney's fees.
[¶4] On January 16, 2013, Walker filed a motion requesting additional time to file a post-judgment motion. He explained that his trial counsel had refused to take any further action, and he had to hire a new attorney. The circuit court approved the motion, granting Walker an additional thirty days to file any post-trial motions. On February 14, 2013, Walker filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or a new trial, which ...