PRO SE APPEAL FROM THE FAULKNER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 23CR-09-984] HONORABLE CHARLES E. CLAWSON, JR., JUDGE
Gecoba Tilson, pro se appellant.
Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Rebecca Kane, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
On December 10, 2013, appellant Gecoba Tilson filed in the trial court a petition for postconviction relief under Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37.1 (2014). In the petition, appellant challenged his convictions for two counts of aggravated robbery, one count of felony theft of property, and one count of misdemeanor theft of property, with a sentence enhancement on the aggravated-robbery charges. The Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment reflecting appellant's aggregate sentence of 276 months' imprisonment in the Arkansas Department of Correction. Tilson v. State, 2013 Ark.App. 510. The appellate court's mandate issued on October 8, 2013.
The trial court denied the Rule 37.1 petition without a hearing, and appellant brought this appeal. We dismiss the appeal without reaching the merits. While the trial court addressed the issues in the petition in its order denying relief, the record before this court does not indicate that the Rule 37.1 petition was timely filed, and the trial court would not therefore have had jurisdiction to address the merits of the petition.
Under Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37.2(c), when there was an appeal from a judgment of conviction, a petition for relief under Rule 37.1 must be filed in the trial court within sixty days of the date that the mandate was issued by the appellate court. Andrade-Martinez v. State, 2014 Ark. 382 (per curiam). The sixtieth day following the issuance of the mandate in this case fell on Saturday, December 7, 2013, and appellant's Rule 37.1 petition must have been filed no later than Monday, December 9, 2013, under the Rule.
The time limitations in Rule 37.2 are jurisdictional in nature, and, if the petition was not filed within that period, a trial court lacks jurisdiction to grant postconviction relief. Id. Because the record does not demonstrate that the trial court had jurisdiction to grant relief on the petition, we dismiss the appeal. Where the lower court lacks jurisdiction, the ...