Fort Smith woman given 48-hour jail stay for contempt of court for second time in one week
Fort Smith social media Teflon Terrorist Darla Lackey once again slid past justice on Friday in the conclusion of a nearly three-year long court case that involved slander, defamation, and later, contempt of court. Lackey, 49, failed to appear for a 9 a.m. court hearing in the Fort Smith District Court this morning to answer a counterclaim in a lawsuit she initiated and reopened last year against Susanna Sisson. During the court proceedings Lackey posted a claim on social media that she missed the court session because she had ""poison oak".
After expressing disgust and saying she never wanted the matter to be back in her courtroom again, Ladd handed down a 48-hour sentence to Lackey in the Sebastian County Detention Center and ordered Lackey to pay $2,500 to Sisson's attorney for legal fees. The original case in the saga stemmed from lackey's claim that sisson had committed slander and defamation against her by turning her in to the Fort Smith Police department for an alleged theft of funds from a non-profit organization Pay it Forward Fort Smith.
The Fort Smith Police Department did a cursory at best investigation into the claims and declared them unfounded after investigators went to the wrong bank to find out if funds were missing from the non-profit treasury. Lackey admitted taking the funds for a personal move after she was evicted from a home but claimed the non-profit board approved the "loan". After Judge Ladd dismissed the original case with prejudice, Lackey found a loophole to bring contempt charges against Sisson in an effort to continue her harassment.
Sisson's countersued and Lackey ended up hiring and then "firing" northwest Arkansas attorney Rebecca Bryson. Sisson's attorney Sam Sexton III forced the court to issue a motion to compel in the initial discovery for the case.
Since Lackey failed to answer the discovery in a timely fashion her rambling and incoherent response forced the judge to ban any evidence of contempt Lackey may have presented against Sissoon.
Ladd had previously said an open court that she felt both women were guilty of contempt and once the matter got to the trial if the evidence showed that either of them had committed contempt they would be given a 30-day sentence. She did an about face to that previous proclamation on Friday, giving Lackey another relative slap on the wrist for her continued contempt of court and the entire legal process. Judge Ladd, after giving Lackey an additional ten minutes to appear on Friday and having bailiffs check the courtroom hallway multiple times, reluctantly continued the session with a bench trial.
Sisson testified to the ongoing and incessant social media harassment by Lackey, who continued to do so after two separate court orders banning her from similar activities. Before handing down her judgment, Ladd strongly rebuked both women, targeting Sisson since lackey failed to appear. She said the original order in the case as well as her renewal of that original order back in October of last year was still in effect against both women. But she essentially took any teeth out of that proclamation by saying she didn't want either party to file anything in her court again on the matter. Ladd also had the opportunity to cite Lackey for failure to appear but failed to do so.
The loss in court, which Lackey should be getting used to by this time, was the second in a week with both cases being about contempt and both cases drawing a 48-hour jail sentence to the president of a floundering Fort Smith non-profit. In a previous court session, Ladd had extended Lackey every courtesy despite the fact that she had been warned not to come back to court without an attorney. She was given a 90-day extension after the judge essentially handed down legal advice from the bench when Lackey appeared her usual dazed and confused self.
Earlier in the week Lackey was found in contempt of court for taking photographs of today in Fort Smith publisher Dennis McCaslin while court was in session. Lackey then unwittingly posted those photographs on social media, essentially out in herself and admitting to the world she had committed contempt in that situation. Lackey and her multiple personalities, as seen on Facebook, will be right back in action as soon as she gets out of jail again having come to the realization there is no reai repercussions for her continued misbehavior.
Here is a link to the full story about this ongoing drama: Below are the court documents posted after Friday's court fiasco: