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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

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At issue was the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission’s (MMC) process that resulted in a decision awarding five top scoring applicants medical-marijuana-cultivation-facility licenses. Naturalis Health, LLC, one of the applicants that did not obtain a license, brought this complaint asserting that the MMC carried out the application process in a flawed, biased, and arbitrary and capricious manner. The circuit court agreed and went further to conclude that the MMC’s licensing process and decisions violated Amendment 98 of the Arkansas Constitution, were ultra vires, and violated due process. The court declared the MMC’s licensing decisions null and void and enjoined the MMC from issuing the cultivation-facility licenses. The Supreme Court reversed and dismissed the appeal brought by Appellants - MMC and others - holding that the circuit court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act. View "Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration v. Naturalis Health, LLC" on Justia Law

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The trial court did not err in denying Appellant’s pro se petition to reconsider and/or modify sentence, in which Appellant sought postconviction relief from his sentence. The trial court denied relief, concluding that Appellant’s petition was meritless. While Appellant did not invoke either Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.1 or Ark. Code Ann. 16-90-111, the circuit court noted that Appellant’s petition was untimely under both of those postconviction remedies. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant was not entitled to relief under either postconviction remedy. View "Jackson v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court held that because the petition that was the subject of the mandamus action in this case was acted on by Respondent, the mandamus action was moot. Petitioner filed a pro se petition or writ of mandamus arguing that a circuit judge had not acted in a timely manner on his petition to correct illegal sentence. The Attorney General filed an amended response noting that a written order denying the petition to correct an illegal sentence was filed. The Supreme Court then held that the petition was moot. View "Thornton v. Guynn" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the circuit court’s denial of Appellant’s pro se petition for relief under Ark. Code Ann. 16-90-111, in which Appellant challenged his convictions in four cases. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal as to two of the four cases and limited Appellant’s appeal to the issue of whether the circuit court had the authority to sign the commitment order and to whether the circuit court erred in imposing a strike under the three-strike rule in Ark. Code Ann. 16-68-607. The Court then held that the circuit court did not clearly err in denying relief under section 16-90-111 because (1) in challenging the judgment-and-commitment order, Appellant challenged the imposition of his sentences rather than the validity of his sentences, and this was not an issue of subject-matter jurisdiction; and (2) to the extent that the circuit court erroneously imposed a strike pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 16-68-607 based on the denial of Appellant’s petition, the order was void. View "Lukach v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court remanded this matter regarding Appellant’s pro se petition to proceed in forma pauperis in a civil action. After the circuit court originally denied Appellant’s petition to proceed in forma pauperis, the Supreme Court remanded the matter because the circuit court’s order failed to state whether there was a lack of a colorable cause of action in accordance with Ark. R. Civ. P. 72. On remand, the circuit court again denied the petition. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that it must remand the matter because it could not be determined whether the petition denied by the circuit court was contained in the record and because the record did not contain the original civil action. View "Kennedy v. Felts" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure