TAX ASSESSMENT INJUNCTION AFFIRMED

In March 2012, the lawyers at Danks, Miller, Cory & Bridgers successfully challenged the method of assessing tax credit properties by the Forrest County Tax Assessor and the Forrest County Board of Supervisors. In addition to ruling against the County, the chancery court entered a permanent injunction prohibiting Forrest County from continuing to use an illegal methodology to inflate the true value calculation, and thus increase the ad valorem taxes collected from a business owner. Forrest County appealed the case to the Mississippi Supreme Court claiming both that the methodology it used was proper, and that the granting of an injunction was improper because the statutory tax appeal process provided an adequate remedy at law. Today, the Mississippi Supreme Court issued a Per Curiam Affirmance of the decision by the lower court. While before the lower court, we successfully argued that the statutory tax appeal process did not provide an adequate remedy at law, thus entitling our client to the immediate relief of an injunction. We also successfully overcame a subject matter jurisdiction challenge convincing the court that jurisdiction was proper based on Mississippi Code Section 11-13-11 which specifically says that “[t]he chancery court shall have jurisdiction of suits by one or more taxpayers . . . to restrain the collection of any taxes levied or attempted to be collected without authority of law.” In this case the taxpayer was not challenging a calculation error, but rather an assessment determination that was beyond the county’s statutory authority. For more information on our administrative and tax appeal services, click here and...

MISSISSIPPI COMPANIES TO HAVE ACCESS TO CROWD FUNDING

In our practice we carefully follow the regulatory changes that impact our business clients. Over the last several years we have been watching the evolution of crowdfunding, and its potential impact the ability of businesses in Mississippi to access needed capital. Historically, small and mid sized businesses have not had access to traditional equity funding sources. This is largely because of the fact that the regulatory process for accessing equity funding is expensive, time consuming and excludes a substantial number of potential investors. Well on Wednesday, the SEC announced the approval of much anticipated new rules which open the door for smaller and mid sized companies to better access equity funding. This is through what is known as Regulation A offerings. With a Reg A offering, companies trying to raise up to $50 million will be subject to a simpler SEC registration process. By a unanimous vote, the SEC has also changed the rule that only “accredited investors” could invest in start-ups. An “accredited investor” is someone who has at least $200,000.00 a year in income or a net worth of over one million dollars. This action by the SEC is just another exciting step in the ongoing process of making crowdfunding available to genuine start-ups. The more than 400 pages of new rules will become effective in approximately 60 days. We look forward to working with Mississippi businesses to take advantage of the resulting...

ADMINISTRATIVELY DISSOLVED CORPORATIONS

In the case of Columbus Cheer Company vs. City of Columbus, Mississippi, et al, the Mississippi Supreme Court recently addressed the question of whether a dissolved corporation may pursue legal action. The Plaintiff in the case, Columbus Cheer Company was administratively dissolved at the time the lawsuit was filed. The Plaintiff argued that because of the administrative dissolution, Columbus Cheer Company was transformed into a sole proprietorship. The Mississippi Supreme Court rejected this argument. According to Mississippi Code Section 79-4-14.21(f), a “corporation that has been administratively dissolved may not maintain any action, suit or proceeding in any court of this state until the corporation is reinstated” (emphasis added). The Mississippi Supreme Court stated that under a plain reading of this statute, administratively dissolved corporations continue to exist regarding agreements established prior to dissolution and for the purposes of defending the corporation in actions stemming from such agreements. However, the dissolved corporation may not maintain a legal action. Individual stockholders of the corporation are also precluded from maintaining any action seeking redress for injuries to the corporation, whether arising in contract or in tort. The opinion also discusses the fact that an administratively dissolved corporation is incapable of contracting. The only action an administratively dissolved corporation can take is that which is necessary to wind up and liquidate its business. This limitation on an administratively dissolved corporation is one of the reasons why it can be important to follow the statutory procedures when attempting to dissolve a...

WARRANTLESS COLLECTION OF DNA — MARYLAND V. KING, 133 S.CT. 1958 (2013)

One of the areas of criminal law that I have always found interesting involves the standards for warrantless searches. Today, I am revisiting an important criminal law case from a few years ago known as Maryland v. King, 133 S.Ct. 1958 (2013). In Maryland v. King, the United States Supreme Court was asked to decide if the Constitution prevented the routine collection of DNA from someone who is arrested. The challenge to collecting DNA without a warrant was based on the Fourth Amendment. As a refresher, the Fourth Amendment states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. The Fourth Amendment protects each of us from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government and stands as one of the pinnacles of privacy law by restricting government conduct. The facts in Maryland v. King were rather simple. In 2003 a woman was raped. She reported the attack and a underwent a rape exam. A sample of the unknown perpetrator’s DNA was obtained and entered into a Maryland DNA database. Six years later, Mr. King, was arrested on unrelated assault charges. After his arrest, a routine warrantless DNA sample was taken by means of a cheek swab. Mr. King’s DNA sample was run through the Maryland DNA database and matched the sample from the 2003 rape exam. Charges were then brought against Mr. King for...