A lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court on or about January 28, 2022 in Jefferson County, State of Arkansas, against twelve Quorum Court Members and the County Judge of Jefferson County seeking declaratory relief and actions in relation to disclosure of documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Honorable Judge Ben Story issued his ruling on September 10, 2022 finding violation by all of the Defendants for failure to provide documents as requested by Kimberly Dale and ordered disclosure of documents, in addition to legal fees and costs to be imposed.    On October 26th,  2022 – Judge Story awarded the Plaintiff legal fees and costs in the of almost $14,000.00 (13,947.35).     Jefferson County will be required to remit these funds on behalf of the elected officials as a result of the violations.  The Court record revealed that many of the requests were just simply ignored, elected officials failed to adhere to warnings to respond, and they failed in their duty to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

Ms. Dale represents the Sheriff of Jefferson County in separate litigation against members of the Jefferson County Quorum Court and the County Judge regarding their failure to adequately fund detention and jail services and separation of powers regarding the constitutionality of Ordinances.

The records sought by the plaintiff included various items regarding the budget process during the year of 2021.    All but one quorum court member, Conley Byrd, was named as a Defendant in the lawsuit.   Mr. Byrd was not a named Defendant, as he complied with the request submitted by the Plaintiff.