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Arrington v. Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners

Supreme Court of Mississippi

March 21, 2019

ELIJAH ARRINGTON, III, D.M.D.
v.
MISSISSIPPI STATE BOARD OF DENTAL EXAMINERS

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/15/2017

          HINDS COUNTY CHANCERY COURT HON. J. DEWAYNE THOMAS TRIAL JUDGE.

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: ROBERT DAVIS HOUSE STANLEY T. INGRAM JEFFREY MATTHEW GRAVES

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: TERRIS CATON HARRIS DENNIS C. SWEET, III

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: STANLEY T. INGRAM OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ONETTA WHITLEY ROBERT DAVIS HOUSE

          BEFORE KITCHENS AND KING, P.JJ., AND COLEMAN, J.

          KING, PRESIDING JUSTICE.

         ¶1. Elijah Arrington, III, appealed the Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners' decision to revoke his dental license. He filed a notice of appeal with the Hinds County Chancery Court thirty-one days after receiving notice of the Board's order, and he filed a cost bond many days later. The chancery court dismissed the appeal, finding that Arrington's failure to file the cost bond within thirty days deprived it of appellate jurisdiction. Arrington appeals to this Court. We decline to address the cost-bond issue, and we find that the chancery court lacked appellate jurisdiction based on Arrington's failure to file his notice of appeal within thirty days.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. The Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners (Board) held a disciplinary hearing on June 15, 16, and 17, 2017, to litigate four[1] complaints (involving seventeen violations) against Elijah Arrington, III, DMD. The Board ultimately revoked Arrington's dental license and his Limited Enteral Conscious Sedation Permit. The Board served Arrington and his counsel with its order on July 24, 2017.[2] Arrington filed a notice of appeal with the Hinds County Chancery Court on August 24, 2017. On August 29, 2017, the Board filed a motion to dismiss the appeal, alleging that Arrington failed to file a cost bond within thirty days. Arrington filed a response in opposition and also requested more time to deposit the bond. He then deposited the bond with the chancery court on August 31, 2017. The court held a hearing on October 4, 2017, at which the Board argued that the notice of appeal was not filed within the thirty days required by statute, and that the cost bond was not timely filed. The trial court found that Arrington was served on July 24, 2017, that he filed his notice of appeal on August 24, 2017, and that he "did file his Notice of Appeal within thirty (30) days of notice of the action of the Board." However, the court found that the failure to file the cost bond within thirty days deprived the court of appellate jurisdiction, and, accordingly, it dismissed the appeal.

         ¶3. Arrington appeals, arguing that the cost bond in the statute at issue is not jurisdictional, but procedural, and thus the failure to timely post bond is a deficiency that may be corrected.

         ANALYSIS

         1. Standard of Review

         ¶4. "Jurisdiction and statutory interpretation are matters of law" that this Court reviews de novo. 5K Farms, Inc. v. Miss. Dep't of Revenue, 94 So.3d 221, 225 (Miss. 2012). Factual determinations made by the trial court are only reversed if the trial court abused its discretion, was manifestly wrong, was clearly erroneous, or applied an erroneous legal standard. T. Jackson Lyons & ...


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