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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

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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