Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rucker v. Mississippi Department of Revenue

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 26, 2019

JOE RUCKER APPELLANT
v.
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/06/2017

          LEE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JACQUELINE ESTES MASK

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: GWENDOLYN BAPTIST-RUCKER DEREK D. HOPSON

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: MORTON WARD SMITH ALEXIS L. FARMER

          BEFORE BARNES, C.J., WESTBROOKS AND LAWRENCE, JJ.

          WESTBROOKS, J.

         ¶1. Joseph Rucker is appealing an order from the Lee County Chancery Court granting the Mississippi Department of Revenue's (MDOR) motion to dismiss. Rucker claims that the chancery court erred by granting MDOR's motion and dismissing his claim. After review of the record, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. In September 2010, Rucker purchased a building located at 2702 North Gloster Street, Tupelo, Mississippi, with the intentions of starting a restaurant, Papa Joe's. But, due to a family emergency, the restaurant never opened, and throughout the years Rucker leased the property to other restaurateurs. In March 2014, Rucker received an audit-closing notice from MDOR. Rucker checked the option stating, "I am in disagreement with the audit findings. I will likely execute my rights to appeal," and after signing and dating the form on "April 25, 2014," he returned the closing notice to MDOR. In early June 2014, Rucker was sent a letter stating that the audit was closing and he would be receiving a formal audit assessment in the mail. Days later, MDOC mailed Rucker's audit assessment dated June 5, 2014; however, Rucker disputes that he ever received that assessment.[1]

         ¶3. A year later, in June 2015, Rucker made a written appeal to the Board of Review. On June 15, 2015, the chairperson of the Board, Stephanie Rogers, denied his appeal for being untimely. The denial letter stated that Rucker was required to request a hearing by August 4, 2014, and his request was not received until June 12, 2015. Aggrieved, Rucker filed a petition for review in the Lee County Chancery Court. In response, MDOR filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Rucker did not properly exhaust the administrative appeal process and that therefore the chancery court did not have the jurisdiction to properly hear his claim.

         ¶4. After a hearing on the motion to dismiss, the chancery court agreed with MDOR and dismissed Rucker's petition under Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Still aggrieved, Rucker appealed the chancery court's order to this Court.

         ¶5. On appeal, Rucker argues that the chancery court erred by (1) not converting the motion to dismiss to a motion for summary judgment and (2) granting the motion to dismiss because MDOR failed to prove Rucker received notice of his appellate rights. In response, MDOR argues that (1) the central issue is whether the chancery court had appellate jurisdiction to hear Rucker's claims and (2) whether Rucker's failure to exhaust his administrative remedies barred his appeal in chancery court. This opinion is limited to the jurisdictional issue as we find it is dispositive of Rucker's claims.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶6. "In reviewing appeals taken from chancery court rulings, we apply a limited standard of review in that the factual findings of the chancery court, if supported by substantial evidence, will not be disturbed unless the chancery court abused its discretion, applied an erroneous legal standard, or its findings are manifestly wrong or clearly erroneous." In re Estate of Smith v. Boolos, 204 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.