738 S.W.2d 418 (Ark. 1987), 87-161, Headrick v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Docket Nº:87-161.
Citation:738 S.W.2d 418, 293 Ark. 433
Opinion Judge:[16] The opinion of the court was delivered by: David Newbern, Justice.
Party Name:Billy D. HEADRICK, Appellant, v. WAL-MART STORES, INC., Appellee.
Attorney:[14] Boyce R. Davis, for appellant. [293 Ark Page 434] [15] Matthews, Campbell & Rhoads, P.A., by: George R. Rhoads, for appellee.
Case Date:November 02, 1987
Court:Supreme Court of Arkansas

Page 418

738 S.W.2d 418 (Ark. 1987)

293 Ark. 433

Billy D. HEADRICK, Appellant,



No. 87-161.

Supreme Court of Arkansas.

November 2, 1987.

Page 419

Boyce R. Davis, Lincoln, for appellant.

[293 Ark. 434] George R. Rhoads, Rogers, for appellee.

NEWBERN, Justice.

The appellant, Billy D. Headrick, filed a complaint against the appellee, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in which he asserted Wal-Mart's liability to him for malicious prosecution, false arrest, and libel. The complaint arose from Mr. Headrick's having been arrested for giving a Fayetteville Wal-Mart store a check which was returned for insufficient funds. The circuit court awarded a summary judgment in favor of Wal-Mart, and we affirm.

The undisputed facts are as follows. Mr. Headrick gave Wal-Mart a check for $168.86 in December, 1984. On January 3, 1985, the check was returned to Wal-Mart by the bank due to insufficient funds in Mr. Headrick's account. Thereafter, Wal-Mart sent Mr. Headrick a certified mail notice, which was received on January 24, 1985, stating that if payment were not received within five days, the check would be turned over to the "proper authorities." On January 29, 1985, Mr. Hulett, a Wal-Mart employee, gave the Fayetteville prosecutor an affidavit which set out the facts with respect to the check. On February 2, 1985, Mr. Headrick went to the Wal-Mart store and paid the obligation for which the check was given. On February 11, 1985, the prosecutor issued a warrant for Mr. Headrick's arrest, and the warrant was the basis of his arrest on April 11, 1985.

From the pleadings, discovery responses, and affidavits considered by the court two possibly disputed facts emerge. First, Mr. Headrick asserts that "immediately" after receiving the notice on January 24, 1985, he called the Wal-Mart store and explained that he would pick up the check upon receiving his disability check the first of the month, presumably February 1, 1985. Discovery responses show that Mr. Headrick cannot give the name of the person to whom he spoke and that Wal-Mart, although it keeps records of all contacts with respect to dishonored checks, had no record of the call. Second, Wal-Mart asserted, and Mr. Headrick refused its request to admit, that Mr. Hulett did nothing to further the arrest or prosecution of Mr. Headrick other than give the affidavit to the prosecutor.

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