Arkansas: Supreme Court citation practice | Citation rule(s)


Examples from Hinojosa v. State, 2009 Ark. 301

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Hinojosa filed a motion to suppress, contending that his statements and the physical evidence were illegally seized as a result of an unlawful traffic stop. Sergeant Drown testified at the suppression hearing that he stopped Hinojosa because the license plate frame on his truck obscured the identification of the plate's issuing state in violation of Ark. Code Ann. § 27-14-716. Hinojosa asserted that the license plate cover did not violate Arkansas or Arizona law, and that Sergeant Drown's mistake of law rendered the traffic stop without probable cause and, therefore, illegal. The circuit court denied the motion to suppress in an order issued on November 5, 2007, and filed a letter containing its findings regarding the suppression motion the same day. Quoting from Travis v. State, 331 Ark. 7, 959 S.W.2d 32 (1998) and Burris v. State, 330 Ark. 66, 73, 954 S.W.2d 209, 213 (1997), the trial court stated in the letter of findings that the supreme court had previously held that a law enforcement officer's mistake of law does not negate probable cause; instead, "all that is required is that the officer had probable cause to believe that a traffic violation had occurred." Hinojosa entered a conditional plea of guilty, reserving his right to appeal the suppression ruling under Ark. R. Crim. P. 24.3(b), and filed a timely notice of appeal.

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When this court grants a petition for review of a decision by the court of appeals, it reviews the case as though it had originally been filed with this court. Brookshire v. Adcock, 2009 Ark. 207, 307 S.W.3d. 22. In reviewing a circuit court's denial of a motion to suppress evidence, the appellate court conducts a de novo review based on the totality of the circumstances, reviewing findings of historical facts for clear error and determining whether those facts give rise to reasonable suspicion or probable cause, giving due weight to inferences drawn by the circuit court. Sims v. State, 356 Ark. 507, 157 S.W.3d 530 (2004). This court will reverse the circuit court only if the ruling is clearly against the preponderance of the evidence. Id. Additionally, this court defers to the circuit court's superior position to judge the credibility of witnesses. Id.

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Ark. Sup. Ct. & Ct. App. R. 4-2(a), 5-2(b) https://courts.arkansas.gov/rules-and-administrative-orders/rules-of-the-supreme-court-and-court-of-appeals-of-the-state-of-arkansas.

Rule 4-2. Contents of briefs.

(a) Contents.

The contents of the brief shall be in the following order:

(4) Table of authorities. The table of authorities shall be an alphabetical listing of authorities with a designation of the page number of the brief on which the authority appears. The authorities shall be grouped as follows: (A) Cases (B) Statutes and Rules (C) Books and Treatises (D) Miscellaneous

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(7) Argument. Arguments shall be presented under subheadings numbered to correspond to the outline of points to be relied upon. For each issue, the applicable standard of review shall be concisely stated at the beginning of the discussion of the issue. Citations of decisions of the Arkansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals must be from the official reports, and all citations to both official and unofficial reports shall follow the format prescribed in Rule 5-2. All citations of decisions of any other court must state the style of the case and cite the official reporter (including a regional reporter so designated by the issuing court) in which the case is found. If the case is also reported by unofficial publishers, including an unofficial electronic database, one of these should also be cited. Reference in the argument portion of the parties’ briefs to material found in the abstract and addendum shall be followed by a reference to the page number of the abstract or addendum at which such material may be found. . . .

Rule 5-2. Opinions.

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(b) Official Reports.

(1) The Arkansas Reports and the Arkansas Appellate Reports shall contain the official report of decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals issued before February 14, 2009. The official report of decisions issued after that date shall be an electronic file created, authenticated, secured, and maintained by the Reporter of Decisions on the Arkansas Judiciary website.

(2) After an opinion is announced, the Reporter shall post a preliminary report of the opinion’s text on the website. This version is subject to editorial corrections. After the mandate has issued, and any needed editorial corrections are made, the Reporter shall replace the preliminary report with an authenticated and secure electronic file containing the permanent and final report of the decision.

(3) Every report of every decision shall contain an official citation created by the Reporter. This citation shall include the year in which the decision was issued, the abbreviated name of the issuing court, and the sequential appellate decision number for the year. For example, the citation White v. Green, 2010 Ark. 171, reflects that the decision was issued in 2010, by the Arkansas Supreme Court, and was the one hundred seventy-first opinion issued by that court that calendar year. The citation Roe v. State, 2010 Ark. App. 745, reflects that this decision was made by the Court of Appeals and was the seven hundred forty-fifth appellate opinion issued by that court in calendar year 2010.

(c) Precedential Value. Every Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinion issued after July 1, 2009, is precedent and may be relied upon and cited by any party in any proceeding. Opinions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals issued before July 1, 2009, and not designated for publication shall not be cited, quoted, or referred to by any court or in any argument, brief, or other materials presented to any court (except in continuing or related litigation upon an issue such as res judicata, collateral estoppel, or law of the case).

(d) Uniform citation.

(1) Decisions included in the Arkansas Reports and Arkansas Appellate Reports shall be cited in all court papers by referring to the volume and page where the decision can be found and the year of the decision. Parallel citations to the regional reporter, if available, are required. Pinpoint citations to specific pages are strongly encouraged. For example:

Smith v. Jones, 338 Ark. 556, 558, 999 S.W.2d 669, 670 (1999).

Doe v. State, 74 Ark. App. 193, 198, 45 S.W.3d 860, 864 (2001).

(2) Published decisions issued between February 14, 2009, and July 1, 2009, and all decisions issued after July 1, 2009, and available on the Arkansas Judiciary website shall be cited in all court papers by referring to the case name, the year of the decision, the abbreviated court name, and the appellate decision number. Arkansas Supreme Court shall be abbreviated “Ark.” Arkansas Court of Appeals shall be abbreviated “Ark. App.” Parentheticals containing a date or court abbreviation shall not be used. Parallel citations to the regional reporter, if available, are required. If the regional reporter citation is not available, then parallel citations to unofficial sources, including unofficial electronic databases, may be provided. Pinpoint citations to specific pages are strongly encouraged. A pinpoint citation to the official version of a decision on the Arkansas Judiciary website shall refer to the page of the electronic file where the matter cited appears. For example:

Smith v. Hickman, 2009 Ark. 12, at 1, 273 S.W.3d 340, 343.

Doe v. State, 2009 Ark. App. 318, at 7, 2009 WL 240613, at *8.

White v. Green, 2010 Ark. 171, at 3, 2010 WL 3109899, at *2.

Roe v. State, 2010 Ark. App. 745, at 6, 279 S.W.3d 495, 497.

(3) When an unpublished decision may be cited in continuing or related litigation pursuant to subdivision (c), the opinion’s date determines the citation form. Opinions issued before February 14, 2009, shall be cited by referring to the case name, the appellate docket number, the abbreviated name of the issuing court and the complete date of the opinion in the first parenthetical, and including “unpublished” in a second parenthetical. Opinions issued after February 14, 2009, and before July 1, 2009, shall be cited by referring to the case name, the year of the decision, the abbreviated court name, the appellate decision number, and including “unpublished” in a parenthetical. Parallel citations to unofficial sources, including unofficial electronic databases, may be provided. For example:

Holt v. Newbern, No. CA07-345, slip op. at 4, 2008 WL 30117, at *2 (Ark. App. Apr. 16, 2008) (unpublished).

Byrd v. Battle, 2009 Ark. App. 114, at 8, 2009 WL 47129, at *6 (unpublished).

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