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The circuit court denied Whitney’s motion for reconsideration of an order that set a partial filing fee of $20 with respect to Whitney’s pro se civil complaint in tort against Chancellor. Whitney sought leave to file a brief on appeal that does not conform to the rules of the Supreme Court of Arkansas, which dismissed the appeal. The motion to file a nonconforming brief is moot. The order setting the initial filing fee was entered on October 24, 2017. Whitney did not file his request for reconsideration until March 28, 2018. The circuit court denied the request because it was not timely filed pursuant to Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 60(a), which allows a party to file a motion asking the court to modify or vacate a judgment, order, or decree in a civil action to correct errors or mistakes or to prevent the miscarriage of justice within 90 days of the date the judgment, order, or decree was entered, unless the error was a clerical error that may be corrected at any time under Rule 60(b). Whitney did not ask for reconsideration of the October 24, 2017 order until 155 days after the order had been entered. View "Whitney v. Chancellor" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

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Fletcher was convicted of capital murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole plus an additional 15 years for using a firearm in the commission of the crime. Fletcher’s attorney filed a no-merit brief pursuant to Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 4-3(k) (2017) and Anders v. California, asserting that there are no nonfrivolous issues for appeal, stating that the trial court did not commit reversible error in denying Fletcher’s motions for a directed verdict; the sentence imposed was allowed pursuant to the capital-murder statute; and the trial court did not commit reversible error in allowing the introduction of testimony from two witnesses and a drawing from a third witness. Fletcher has filed pro se points disputing the points counsel argued and also alleging that his appellate counsel was ineffective. The Supreme Court of Arkansas granted the motion to withdraw. Fletcher does not dispute that he caused the victim’s death, but only argued that the state failed to prove that he acted with premeditation and deliberate purpose; substantial evidence supports the verdict. Fletcher was not unfairly prejudiced and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the drawing. View "Fletcher v. Arkansas" on Justia Law

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Zimmerman was arrested for theft of property over $25,000 and second-degree forgery on September 10, 2012. An information was filed on December 6. Zimmerman was arraigned on December 11 and was ordered to appear on February 19, 2013. On that date, she obtained a continuance. The circuit court subsequently granted her four additional continuance. On October 21, 2013, the state orally moved to nolle prosequi the charges, apparently based on Zimmerman’s agreement to pay restitution. The motion was orally granted. A written order granting the motion was filed on March 17, 2014. The state filed a new criminal information on August 7, 2014. Hearings were set for September 16, 2014, January 20, 2015, and April 21, 2015. On each date, Zimmerman failed to appear. On April 29, 2015, Zimmerman was arrested on a warrant issued when the charges were refiled. She appeared and was granted several continuances. On March 24, 2017, Zimmerman unsuccessfully moved to dismiss for failure to provide her with a speedy trial. The Supreme Court of Arkansas granted Zimmerman’s petition for certiorari. The nolle prosequi became effective when the written order was entered. The trial court erred in determining that speedy trial was tolled from October 21, 2013, to March 17, 2014. Adding 290 days to the 309-day period during which the trial court found that speedy trial was not tolled brings the total over the 365-day limit. Zimmerman’s right to speedy trial was violated. View "Zimmerman. v. Circuit Court of Miller County" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s convictions for first-degree murder and arson, holding that there was sufficient evidence to support the convictions but that the case must be remanded for a new trial due to deficiencies in the record. Specifically, the Court held (1) there was substantial evidence that connected Defendant with the murder, and there was sufficient evidence to support the arson conviction; but (2) because the record on appeal had palpable deficiencies, the record could not be sufficiently settled for the Supreme Court to conduct its review under Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 4-3(i), and the case must be remanded for a new trial. View "Thrower v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for three counts of rape, holding that the State presented sufficient evidence to convict Defendant of all three rapes and that the circuit court erroneously prohibited Defendant from cross-examining one of the victims about her misdemeanor conviction for theft of property, but the error was harmless. As to the cross-examination on the theft of property conviction, the Supreme Court held (1) this issue was preserved for the Court’s review; (2) the circuit court abused its discretion by denying Defendant the opportunity to impeach a witness’s credibility; but (3) the error was harmless. View "Rogers v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court held that the circuit court did not clearly err in denying Appellant’s pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. After Appellant’s convictions were affirmed on appeal, Appellant filed his first petition for habeas relief. The circuit court denied the petition, and the Supreme Court affirmed. Appellant pursued the same issues, without success, in a subsequent petition. The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s rejection of the petition. In his present habeas petition, Appellant alleged that the trial court lacked jurisdiction and that he was illegally detained, among other things. In accordance with the Court’s previous rulings, the Supreme Court held that Appellant’s claims were without merit. View "Anderson v. Kelley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s pro se motion seeking a copy at public expense of all written material pertaining to his 1998 conviction of capital murder, holding that Petitioner failed to show that a copy of material from the direct appeal should be provided to him at no cost. After the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of conviction, Petitioner asked to be provided with a copy of all material from the capital-murder conviction. The Supreme Court denied the motion, holding that Petitioner did not demonstrate a compelling need for the copies as documentary evidence to support an allegation contained in a timely petition for postconviction relief. View "Johnson v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s pro se petition to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for writ of error coram nobis, holding that Petitioner failed to establish either a Brady violation or a fundamental error of fact extrinsic to the record. Petitioner was convicted of capital murder, criminal attempt to commit capital murder, and aggravated robbery with a firearm enhancement. Petitioner was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. In his coram nobis petition, Petitioner alleged that the prosecution withheld material evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). The Supreme Court denied the petition, holding that Petitioner failed to demonstrate a Brady violation or otherwise to establish a basis for coram nobis relief. View "Jackson v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of Appellant’s writ of habeas corpus, holding that Appellant failed to state a ground on which the writ could issue. As grounds for the writ, Appellant alleged that he was being illegally subjected to serving seventy percent of a fifteen-year enhancement pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 16-90-120. The circuit court denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellant’s claims regarding the applicability of section 16-90-120 to his parole eligibility were not cognizable in a habeas proceeding; and (2) because Appellant’s challenge was to his parole eligibility, he failed to establish that the writ should issue. View "Watkins v. Kelley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed and dismissed the appeal brought by the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) appealing the circuit court’s denial of its motion to dismiss a complaint alleging violations of the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act (AMWA) based on sovereign immunity. Appellees, former employees of the ADVA, brought this complaint alleging that ADVA failed to compensate them for working overtime in violation of the AMWA. ADVA filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that AMWA’s abrogation of sovereign immunity violates Ark. Const. art. V, 20. The circuit court denied the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s denial of ADVA’s motion to dismiss on sovereign immunity, holding that Board of Trustees of University of Arkansas v. Andrews, 535 S.W.3d 616 (Ark. 2018), in which the Court struck the provision of the AMWA that provided this action could be brought against the state, controlled. View "Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs v. Mallett" on Justia Law