ST. FRANCIS COUNTY PILOT STATE DISTRICT COURT
BACKGROUND OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
THE ST. FRANCIS COUNTY PILOT STATE DISTRICT COURT
The Arkansas Supreme Court promulgated its Administrative Order Number 18 pursuant to Arkansas Constitution Amendment 80, § 7; Arkansas Code Annotated §16-17-704; and the Supreme Court’s inherent rule-making authority. Administrative Order Number 18 sets forth the jurisdiction of the Pilot State District Courts in Arkansas. The Arkansas General Assembly has approved several Pilot State District Courts, one of which will be St. Francis County, beginning July 1, 2009.
The St. Francis County Pilot State District Court will continue to exercise the jurisdiction it has exercised for many year. However, the court will now have expanded jurisdiction pursuant to Administrative Order Number 18 and the Standing Order signed by the First Judicial Circuit’s Administrative Judge.
In short, the St. Francis County Pilot State District Court will have jurisdiction over the following matters:
A. Civil Matters:
A.1. Uncontested, by virtue of a default or consent, civil debt collection cases;
A.2. Uncontested, by virtue of a default or consent, garnishments;
A.3. Uncontested, by virtue of a default or consent, requests for Order of Forcible Entry;
A.4. Pretrial hearings for Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer actions pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated §18-60-60-307 (c-e) on a defendant’s objection to a writ of possession;
B. Domestic Relations:
B.1. Pre-divorce agreed temporary orders;
B.2. Post-divorce agreed modifications to decrees;
B.3. Ex Parte Petitions for Temporary Orders of Protection;
B.4. Child Support Enforcement Unit’s Petitions to Show Cause.
C.1. Post-adjudication agreed modifications to orders regarding child support only.
C.2. Child Support Enforcement Unit’s Petitions to Show Cause;
D.1. Probable cause hearings to determine if a respondent should be held and transported to circuit court for an involuntary commitment hearing;
E.1. Issue search warrants pursuant to Rule 13.1 of the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure;
E.2. Issue arrest warrants pursuant to Rule 7.1 of the ARCrP or Arkansas Code Annotated §16-81-104, or issue a summons pursuant to Rule 6.1 of the ARCrP;
E.3. Make reasonable cause determinations pursuant to Rule 4.1(e) of the ARCrP;
E.4. Conduct first appearance hearings pursuant to Rule 8.1 of the ARCrP, at which time the District Court Judge may appoint counsel pursuant to Rule 8.2; inform a defendant pursuant to Rule 8.3; accept a plea of “not guilty” or “not guilty by reason of insanity”; conduct a pretrial inquiry pursuant to Rules 8.4 and 8.5; or release a defendant from custody pursuant to Rules 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3;
E.5. Conduct a preliminary hearing as provided in Ark. Code Ann. §5-4-310(a).
E.6. If a person is charged with the commission of an offense lying within the exclusive jurisdiction of the circuit court, the Pilot District Court Judge shall not accept or approve a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to the offense charged or to a lessor included offense.
F.1. Exclusive of the circuit court in all matters of contract where the amount in controversy does not exceed the sum of one hundred dollars ($100.00), excluding interest, costs, and attorney’s fees;
F.2. Concurrent with the circuit court in all matters of contract where the amount in controversy does not exceed the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00), excluding interest, costs, and attorney’s fees;
F.3. Concurrent with the circuit court in actions for the recovery of personal property where the amount in controversy does not exceed the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00);
F.4. Concurrent with the circuit court in matters of damage to personal property where the amount in controversy does not exceed the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00), excluding interest and costs.