Appeals court upholds ruling in Warnock vs. City of Canton
A former engineer will have to pay the cost of appeals in a case dating back to 2017 that sought to overturn a Madison County Circuit Court ruling over a dispute about fees he said the city of Canton owed him.
The Mississippi Court of Appeals on Sept. 28 affirmed the Madison County Circuit Court ruling to deny engineer Rudy Warnock’s motion for summary judgment and to grant the city of Canton’s motion for summary judgment because Warnock did not have an enforceable contract, the court said.
In 2017, the City of Canton removed Warnock & Associates LLC as the city engineer and refused to pay certain invoices totaling $109,145.70 that Warnock submitted to the city for services he said he rendered before the city removed him. He sued the City of Canton in circuit court for breach of contract.
Madison County Circuit Court denied Warnock’s motion for summary judgment and granted the city’s motion for summary judgment and Warnock appealed that decision.
“The circuit court subsequently granted summary judgment in favor of the City on the ground that Warnock’s contract was not enforceable because it was never entered on the official minutes of the City’s Board of Aldermen,” states the appeals court’s Sept. 28 decision.
Chief Judge Donna M. Barnes, Presiding Judge Virginia C. Carlton, Judge Jim M. Greenlee, Judge Latrice A. Westbrooks, Judge Deborah McDonald, Judge Anthony N. Lawrence III, Judge Joel Smith concurred in the majority opinion. Judge David Neil McCarty concurred in part but did not write a separate opinion. Judge John H. Emfinger did not participate.
“The circuit court properly denied Warnock’s motion for summary judgment and granted the City’s motion for summary judgment because the undisputed facts show that Warnock never had an enforceable contract with the city,” the majority opinion states. “In addition, the circuit court did not abuse its discretion by denying Warnock’s motion for leave to amend its complaint to assert a new quantum meruit claim.”
The Court of Appeals hears cases assigned by the Supreme Court and is an error correction court. It hears and decides appeals on issues in which the law is already settled, but the facts are in dispute. The Supreme Court may review Court of Appeals decisions. If the Supreme Court declines review, the decision of the Court of Appeals stands.