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Kennedy v. Claiborne County

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

February 14, 2017

JERRY L. KENNEDY APPELLANT
v.
CLAIBORNE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, BY AND THROUGH ITS BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, CLAIBORNE COUNTY HOSPITAL AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF CLAIBORNE COUNTY HOSPITAL APPELLEES

          Date of Judgment: 09/14/2015

         COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: CLAIBORNE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. LAMAR PICKARD TRIAL JUDGE:

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: CHUCK R. MCRAE SETH C. LITTLE CHRISTOPHER A. BAMBACH.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: SILAS W. MCCHAREN BARBARA M. BLACKMON EDWARD BLACKMON JR. PETER J. MCKELROY.

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ.

          GRIFFIS, P.J.

         ¶1. Jerry Kennedy appeals the judgment of the Claiborne County Circuit Court wherein the circuit court found Kennedy's contract of employment with the Claiborne County Hospital Board of Trustees was not sufficiently spread across the minutes to constitute a valid and enforceable contract. We find no error and affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. In July 2012, Claiborne County, Mississippi, through its Board of Supervisors, took control of the Claiborne County Hospital ("Hospital"), acting as the Board of Trustees for the Hospital. The Claiborne County Hospital Board of Trustees ("Board") held regular meetings to discuss the business of the Hospital.

         ¶3. Pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 41-13-35(3) (Rev. 2013), the Board was required to keep minutes of its official business. The minutes from the following Board meetings were introduced at trial and are summarized as follows:

August 13, 2012 - The Board selected Kennedy "Hospital Administrator." The minutes were adopted by action of the Board on August 27, 2012.
August 27, 2012 - The Board approved Kennedy's salary of $20, 000 per month. The minutes were adopted by action of the Board on August 27, 2012.
September 10, 2012 - The Board noted under "Old Business" that the salary for the Hospital Administrator is $20, 000 per month and $240, 000 per year. The minutes were adopted by action of the Board on September 25, 2012.
September 25, 2012 - The Board agreed to give Kennedy "a 5 year contract with incentives." The minutes were adopted by action of the Board on October 4, 2012.
April 1, 2013 - The Board informed Kennedy he did not have a valid contract because there was never one reflected in the minutes. The Board offered Kennedy a one-year contract and presented the one-year contract for approval. Kennedy responded that his contract was a five-year contract and he did not have a one-year contract. Kennedy refused the one-year contract. Kennedy was terminated as Hospital Administrator effective April 2, 2013.

         ¶4. Kennedy filed a complaint in circuit court against Claiborne County, by and through its Board of Supervisors, the Hospital, the Claiborne County Board of Trustees, and John Does 1-10. The complaint asserted claims for breach of contract, deprivation of civil rights, conspiracy to interfere with civil rights, and specific performance. The contract that Kennedy claims was breached was an employment agreement between Kennedy and the Board dated October 4, 2012, and signed by ...


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