The Arkansas Supreme Court defined the issue in Schubert v. Arkansas Department of Human Services, 2009 Ark. 596 (Dec. 3, 2009), as whether an appeal from the denial of a motion to intervene in a dependency-neglect matter is governed by Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 6-9 or whether it falls under Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure-Civil 2(a)(2). Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 6-9 was adopted in 2006 as a Rule governing appeals only in dependency-neglect cases. The rules for taking an appeal from a decision in a dependency-neglect cases vary from other appeals that may be appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court pursuant to Rule 2 of the Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure-Civil.
The Court held that “the denial of a motion to intervene in a dependency-neglect matter is not governed by Rule 6-9,” but is instead governed by Rule 2(a)(2).
The determination of which rule applied significantly impacted that case where the appellants had failed to sign the notice of appeal along with their attorney. That is because Rule 6-9(b)(1)(B) provides that “[t]he notice of appeal and designation of record shall be signed by the appellant, if an adult, and appellant’s counsel.” Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure–Civil 2(a)(2), however, includes no such signature requirement for the appellants.
The Arkansas Supreme Court concluded that because the appeal was “governed by Rule 2(a)(2), the [appellants’] failure to sign the notice of appeal was not a fatal defect[.]”