State court tosses contract dispute appeal

djournal-Court-News2By Patsy R. Brumfield

Daily Journal

JACKSON – A Lee County contract dispute appeal was dismissed Tuesday because the court said the local case was not “final and appealable” under its rules.

At issue was a lawsuit by Northeast Mental Health – Mental Retardation Commission against businessman V.M. Cleveland.

The parties contracted a 99-year lease with Cleveland leasing land and building a mental health facility on the property to rent to the commission for $18,000 a month so long as it had funds to pay.

After a decade, the commission voted to void the lease as unreasonable. The parties sued each other, with Chancellor Michael Malski tossing the commission’s claims and granting part of Cleveland’s.

Without resolving any claim, the judge “certified” his decision as final and appealable.

Both Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals dismissed earlier appeals.

Tuesday, the court of appeals said only final judgments may be appealed, and this case is not an exception.

In a second regional decision, the appeals court affirmed a Monroe County custody decision by Chancellor John Hatcher.

patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com