Parsons v. Mason, 5-332

Citation265 S.W.2d 526,223 Ark. 281
Decision Date08 March 1954
Docket NumberNo. 5-332,5-332
PartiesPARSONS et al. v. MASON.
CourtSupreme Court of Arkansas

Fietz & McAdams, Jonesboro, for appellants.

Gerald Brown and Kirsch & Cathey, Paragould, for appellee.


This is an election contest involving the position of school director. On March 21, 1953, the Knobel school district held an election at which the appellee, C. R. Mason, was the only candidate whose name appeared on the printed ballot. Mason received 125 votes, but 140 persons voted for the appellant, Ruel Parsons, by writing in his name. The election judges declared 23 of the write-in votes to be void, with the result that Mason was certified as the winner by a count of 125 to 117. On March 31 the county court canvassed the returns and entered an order declaring Mason to be the winner and granting an appeal to Parsons. Parsons later filed an original action in the circuit court contesting the election, but summons was not issued until April 13, which was more than twenty days after the election. The circuit court held, first, that the appellant's remedy was by original action rather than by appeal from the county court's order, and, second, that the contest in the circuit court was filed too late.

The case involves the construction of two 1951 statutes. Act 366 and Act 403. Ark.Stats. 1947, §§ 80-318, 80-321, and 80-322. In construing earlier statutes we held in McLeod v. Richardson, 204 Ark. 558, 163 S.W.2d 166, that with respect to school elections the county courts were vested with but two powers: canvassing returns and certifying results. It was there decided that § 80-213 transferred to the county board of education jurisdiction of election contests involving the office of school director. Act 366 of 1951 is explicit in divesting the county boards of education of that jurisdiction and in providing that such contests shall be brought in the circuit court. Since the Act requires the contest to be commenced within twenty days after the election the trial court was correct in holding that the present contest was begun too late.

The appellant insists that Act 403 of 1951 either repealed Act 366 or provided an alternative method of contest, by appeal from the county court order. We do not agree. Act 403, after outlining the procedure by which the election judges file a certified return of the votes, provides: 'Within ten (10) days after the election the county court shall canvass the returns and...

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10 cases
  • Foster v. Jefferson County Quorum Court
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • June 19, 1995, the subject-matter jurisdiction of the underlying matter, the election, is exclusively in circuit court. Parsons v. Mason, 223 Ark. 281, 265 S.W.2d 526 (1954). However, because this suit was filed in circuit court, there is no need for us to decide if subject-matter jurisdiction was e......
  • Williams v. Purdy
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • March 8, 1954
  • Jones v. Dixon, 5-1297
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • June 3, 1957 is one thing, and an election contest is something entirely different. An analogous situation was presented in Parsons v. Mason, 223 Ark. 281, 265 S.W.2d 526, 527. Act No. 403 of 1951 deals with school elections. Section 1 of the Act provides: '* * * Within ten days after the election th......
  • Curry v. Dawson
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • June 1, 1964
    ...jurisdiction in such a cause. Rich v. Walker, 237 Ark. 586, 374 S.W.2d 476; Jones v. Dixon, 227 Ark. 955, 302 S.W.2d 529; Parsons v. Mason, 223 Ark. 281, 265 S.W.2d 526; Priest v. Mack, 194 Ark. 788, 109 S.W.2d 665; Hutto v. Rogers, 191 Ark. 787, 88 S.W.2d 68; Guthrie v. Baker, 224 Ark. 752......
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