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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

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from an order of the circuit court dismissing Appellant’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, rendering moot Appellant’s motion for an extension of time to file his brief-in-chief. In 1995, Appellant pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. As grounds for his habeas petition, Appellant argued that the writ should issue because he understood at the time of the plea that he would be sentenced to thirty-two years’ imprisonment. The Supreme Court held that Appellant’s petition was an attack on his guilty plea and, therefore, his challenge must be filed pursuant to Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.1. View "Love v. Kelley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from an order of the circuit court denying his pro se motion for relief from judgment filed pursuant to Ark. R. Civ. P. 60, thus rendering Appellant’s motions connected to the appeal moot. Appellant’s Rule 60 motion sought relief from an order of the circuit court denying his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus, in which Appellant alleged that the judgment of conviction in his criminal case was illegal on its face. The Supreme Court held that neither Rule 60(b) nor Rule 60(c) are applicable as an avenue for relief from a judgment of conviction or from an order that denies a petition for writ of habeas corpus or other request for postconviction relief. View "Grant v. Kelley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from the trial court’s denial of his motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, holding that it was clear from the record that Appellant could not prevail on appeal, thus rendering moot Appellant’s motion for extension of time to file the appellant’s brief. Appellant was found guilt of rape. Appellant later filed a motion for a new trial alleging that the victim recanted her trial testimony about where the rape had occurred. Appellant filed his motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence more than six years after entry of his judgment of conviction. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that Appellant’s motion for new trial was untimely. View "Riley v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of capital murder, kidnapping, and other crimes, holding that Defendant was not entitled to reversal of his convictions. Specifically, the Court held (1) the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; (2) the trial court did not err in refusing to suppress three statements challenged by Defendant; (3) as to Defendant’s survey of twenty-six other adverse rulings made by the trial court, several of Defendant’s arguments were moot and others were not sufficiently argued; (4) the trial court’s evidentiary decisions were not erroneous; (5) there was no error in jury selection; and (6) Defendant’s remaining arguments were similarly unavailing. View "Tarver v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Appellant’s conviction of aggravated residential burglary and sentence of life imprisonment, holding that there was no prejudicial error in the proceedings below. Specifically, the Court held that the circuit court (1) did not err in denying Appellant’s motion for directed verdict, (2) did not abuse its discretion in refusing to admit character and reputation evidence of a victim, (3) did not err in admitting text messages from Appellant’s cell phone, and (4) did not prejudicially err in refusing to allow Appellant to impeach the investigating officer with a prior inconsistent statement. View "Hill 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 circuit court to consider a petition for writ of error coram nobis, holding that Petitioner neither demonstrated that the writ should issue nor was he diligent in raising his claims. Petitioner was convicted of capital murder and other crimes. Petitioner was serving a time of life imprisonment without parole on the capital-murder charge when he brought his petition, in which he asserted that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance during trial. Because ineffective assistance of counsel claims are not grounds for the writ, Petitioner failed to demonstrate that the writ should issue. Further, Petitioner failed to give a valid excuse for his delay in raising the claim. View "Wooton v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment and dismissal of Plaintiff’s civil rights and tort complaint on the ground of failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Plaintiff, an inmate incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC), filed a complaint against ADC officials in their individual capacities under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993 (ACRA), Ark. Code Ann. 16-123-101 to -108. Plaintiff alleged that Defendants violated his due process rights when they failed timely to release him from punitive isolation and that Defendants committed the torts of false imprisonment, negligence, and excessive confinement. The circuit court found that Plaintiff had failed to exhaust his due process and tort claims as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PRLA), 42 U.S.C. 1997e. Because the PRLA is a federal law that is not applicable to actions brought against public officials in their individual capacities under ACRA and Arkansas tort law, the circuit court erred in granting Defendants’ motion for summary judgment and dismissing Plaintiff’s case for failure to exhaust. View "Harmon v. Jackson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from the denial of his pro se second amended Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.1 petition, which rendered moot his motion for use of the record on appeal and for an extension of time to file his brief, holding that Appellant’s pro se second amended petition was untimely and successive. Appellant pleaded guilty to capital murder, terroristic threatening, and second-degree battery. Almost ten years later, Appellant filed his second amended petition. The trial court denied the petition, concluding that it had previously addressed and denied Appellant’s claims for postconviction relief. The Supreme Court affirmed because (1) Appellant’s original rule 37.1 petition was denied with prejudice, and the Supreme Court affirmed the denial on appeal; and (2) Appellant was not entitled to file a subsequent, untimely petition. View "Millsap 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. Petitioner’s claim for issuance of the writ was that he was incompetent to stand trial. The Supreme Court held that Petitioner did not establish a ground for the writ because (1) the sentencing court had before it at the time of Petitioner’s trial the issue of whether Petitioner was competent to stand trial; and (2) Petitioner failed to show that there existed some fact pertaining to the issue of insanity at the time of trial that would have prevented rendition of the judgment had it been known to the trial court and that was not brought forward before rendition of the judgment. View "Rayford v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law