Contract Disputes and Property Disputes in Arkansas
A contract arises when parties offer and accept to perform some predetermined obligations. However, under certain circumstances, the parties often dispute the terms, conditions, fairness, or enforceability of the contract. Other times, a party fails to perform contractual obligations entirely—a breach of contract. These disputes that arise in Arkansas are under the jurisdiction of the state judiciary. Court officials also create, maintain, and disseminate court records involved in the adjudication of the case.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching for records simpler, as geographic locations do not limit their activities. Thus, the search engines on third-party sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or persons involved in the case. These include information such as the city, county, or state of residence or accusation.
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not government-sponsored. Consequently, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
What are Contract Disputes in Arkansas?
Contract disputes are disagreements that arise from misfeasance or nonfeasance of predetermined contractual obligations. That is, when a party performs contractual obligations unsuitably or when a party does not perform contractual obligations at all.
What are the Most Common Contract Disputes in Arkansas?
Contract disputes involve public and private entities in Arkansas. Some common contract disputes involve
- Employment contract dispute: The employment contract embodies the rights, obligations, and rights of an employee. Disputes that arise involve an injury to the terms/conditions of the employment contract like workplace discrimination, wrongful termination, and the right to intellectual property.
- Insurance contract disputes: The common insurance contract disputes involve contracts that contain vague language on the insurance coverage, policy term, cost, and reimbursement of the claimant.
- Marital contract dispute: Marriage is a civil contract in Arkansas. The disputes that arise from this involve unfairness or failure to fulfill the terms of the prenuptial agreement, post-nuptial agreement, or divorce settlements.
- Real estate contract dispute: Contracts on landed properties are one of the most common disputes in Arkansas. Some of the common disputes involve the right to the real estate, tenancy rights and responsibilities, as well as easement and liens.
- Construction contract dispute: This kind of contract dispute arises when a contractor and the property owner disagree on the scope of work, risks, duties, and legal rights of either party.
What is Arkansas Contract Law?
Arkansas Contract Law is a body of codified statutes and common law that govern the creation and enforcement of a contract as well as the remedies for a breach of contract in Arkansas. Arkansas Contract law is codified in Title 4: Business and Commercial Law.
What is a Breach of Contract in Arkansas?
A unifying definition of breach of contract is “a civil wrong where one or both parties go contrary to the terms of a contract.” A breach of contract may also arise when one of the parties performs contractual obligations improperly or interferes with the ability of the other party to fulfill contractual obligations.
What are the Remedies for a Breach of Contract in Arkansas?
A breach of contract claim is a civil case and follows the Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure. Before filing a claim, the injured party must have made reasonable efforts to notify the other party of the breach (A. C. A. § 19–11–246).. Both parties must have also offered or tried to resolve the case through arbitration or mediation. A court hearing is the last resort for getting equitable relief for a breach of contract. The court typically performs a bench trial, where the presiding judge examines the claims of the parties involved and issues an order/remedy for the breach. These include:
- Damages: The basis of awarding damages is to compensate the plaintiff for the breach of contract. The award of damages is at the court’s discretion, based on common law. The court may award money to the injured party based on the reasonable expectations from the execution of the contract. Likewise, the court may award damages that cover the expenses incurred in the fulfillment of the contract thus far.
- Rescission: A rescission is an equitable remedy that restores the parties to their status before the contract. Here, the parties must restore profits and benefits gotten from the execution of the contract thus far.
- Injunction: This remedy is a temporary relief that restrains a breach pending redress in court (A. C. A. § 16–113–204).
- Specific Performance: This remedy is a court order compelling the defendant to carry out their obligations per the terms and conditions set out in the contract. Flouting the court order typically results in bearing criminal liabilities for contempt of court. However, note that this remedy generally enforces positive obligations, and the court has full discretion on its award. The court will not order specific performance that inevitably causes hardship or injustice to the parties involved.
Meanwhile, the Arkansas statute of limitation on claiming a breach of contract is three years for unwritten contracts (A. C. A. § 16–56–105) and five years for written contracts (A. C. A. § 16–56–111).. The injured party must file a claim within this period. Furthermore, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to establish a breach of contract. On the other hand, the defendant must prove that there was no breach per the terms of the contract or state laws.
What Defenses Can Be Used Against a Breach of Contract Claim in Arkansas?
The following legal arguments nullify a claim of breach of contract in Arkansas:
- Frustration of purpose
- Mistake of fact
- Contributory negligence
- Indefinite period
- Incapacity to contract
- Illegality of the contract
What are Property Disputes in Arkansas?
Property disputes in Arkansas generally involve real estate, but property disputes may also relate to any object, material or immaterial, that is subject to possession. Title 18 of the Arkansas Code Annotated governs possession and use of contracts in the state.
What Are Some Common Types of Property Disputes in Arkansas?
Some of the commonly reported property disputes in Arkansas involve:
- Real estate fraud
- Landlord-tenant dispute
- Intellectual property dispute
- Easement dispute
- Boundary dispute
How to Find Property Lines
Property lines or boundary lines are defined points that show the boundaries of adjoining parcels of land. These boundary lines are results of a real estate survey, and records of the survey are available at the office of the county assessor or on www.countyservice.net.
How do I Find a Property Dispute Lawyer Near me?
The Arkansas Bar Association provides lawyer referral services on this webpage.