The Arkansas Supreme Court today issued a brief order denying the state’s effort to nullify orders by Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen in a marijuana cultivation permit lawsuit and also to have him removed from all cases in which the office of attorney general is involved.
Griffen had authorized discovery of evidence in a lawsuit by Carpenter Farms Medical Group against the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission. The Commission eliminated Carpenter from consideration for a cultivation permit on account of alleged deficiencies in its application. The state said the case should be dismissed under the doctrine that the state may not be sued. Griffen allowed the case to go forward. The state asked that he be reversed and also that he be removed from all cases involving the attorney general on account of alleged rude treatment of Jennifer Merritt, an attorney representing the state.
Griffen disputed the office’s characterization of his conduct and invited media to listen to a recording of the hearing.
In a brief per curiam order, the Supreme Court denied all the state’s requests, including for a “supervisory writ” to remove him from state cases. The order said Justices Karen Baker, Rhonda Wood and Shawn Womack would have taken the petition from the state “as a case.” But that doesn’t delineate an opinion on the multiple parts of the request, including a stay of the proceedings in Griffen’s court.
The Court also denied Judge Griffen’s request to file pleadings in the case. Justice Jo Hart would have granted his request. Justices Courtney Hudson and Robin Wynne would have ruled that request moot.