S.E. APPEAL FROM THE SALINE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT NO.
63CR-09-140. HONORABLE GRISHAM A. PHILLIPS, JUDGE.
Brian Keith Biggs pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in the
Saline County Circuit Court. He was sentenced to 300
months' imprisonment as reflected in the
judgment-and-commitment order file-marked on May 27, 2010. On
March 9, 2015, Biggs filed in the trial court a pro se
petition for writ of error coram nobis. The petition was
denied, and Biggs brings this appeal.
standard of review of an order entered by the trial court on
a petition for writ of error coram nobis is whether the trial
court abused its discretion in granting or denying the writ.
Newman v. State, 2014 Ark. 7, at 13-14.
An abuse of discretion occurs when the trial court acts
arbitrarily or groundlessly. Nelson v. State, 2014
Ark. 91, 431 S.W.3d 852. The trial court's findings of
fact, on which it bases its decision to grant or deny the
petition for writ of error coram nobis, will not be reversed
on appeal unless clearly erroneous or clearly against the
preponderance of the evidence. Newman, 2014 Ark. 7,
at 13-14. There is no abuse of discretion in the denial of
error-coram-nobis relief when the claims in the petition were
groundless. Nelson, 2014 Ark. 91, 431 S.W.3d 852.
of error coram nobis is an extraordinarily rare remedy.
State v. Larimore, 341 Ark. 397, 17 S.W.3d 87
(2000). Coram-nobis proceedings are attended by a strong
presumption that the judgment of conviction is valid.
Id. The function of the writ is to secure relief
from a judgment rendered while there existed some fact that
would have prevented its rendition if it had been known to
the trial court and which, through no negligence or fault of
the defendant, was not brought forward before rendition of
the judgment. Newman v. State, 2009 Ark. 539, 354
S.W.3d 61. The petitioner has the burden of demonstrating a
fundamental error of fact extrinsic to the record.
Roberts v. State, 2013 Ark. 56, 425 S.W.3d 771.
writ is allowed only under compelling circumstances to
achieve justice and to address errors of the most fundamental
nature. Id. A writ of error coram nobis is available
for addressing certain errors that are found in one of four
categories: (1) insanity at the time of trial, (2) a coerced
guilty plea, (3) material evidence withheld by the
prosecutor, or (4) a third-party confession to the crime
during the time between conviction and appeal. Howard v.
State, 2012 Ark. 177, 403 S.W.3d 38.
appeal, Biggs contends that his trial counsel coerced him
into a guilty plea because counsel was " indifferent,
incompetent, and ineffective." Specifically, Biggs
claims that he agreed to a plea offer on the charge of
aggravated robbery believing he would serve 70 percent of the
300 months' imprisonment but that his counsel essentially
withheld from the trial court the fact that he would serve
more than 70 percent of his sentence pursuant to Act 1805 of
2001, codified at Arkansas Code Annotated section
16-93-609(b)(1) (Repl. 2006). Therefore, Biggs contends that
had this information been disclosed to the trial court, the
judgment of conviction would not have been entered against
him, as the trial court was unaware that he would serve more
than 70 percent of his sentence. An appellant is limited to
the scope and nature of the arguments he made below and that
were considered by the lower court in rendering its ruling.
Feuget v. State, 2015 Ark. 43, 454 S.W.3d 734. We
have routinely held that we will not hear arguments raised
for the first time on appeal. Nooner v. State, 339
Ark. 253, 4 S.W.3d 497 (1999). Notwithstanding his argument
on appeal, Biggs argued in his petition below that he was not
" challeng[ing] the validity of either this conviction
or plea" and was merely challenging the imposition of
serving the 300 months' imprisonment in full versus his
prior belief that he would serve 70 percent of that time.
Biggs did not raise the argument he makes now on appeal to
the trial court below, as he specifically argued below that
he was not challenging the validity of his plea.
Biggs attempts to couch his claim in terms of a
coerced-guilty plea, which would provide a basis for relief
in a coram-nobis proceeding, the actual basis for his claim
on appeal is ineffective assistance of counsel with the
that, due to counsel's deficiency, he was not aware he
would serve more than 70 percent of his agreed-upon sentence.
This court has repeatedly held that
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims are not cognizable
in error-coram-nobis proceedings and that such proceedings
are not a substitute for raising
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims under our
postconviction rule, Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure
37.1. White v. State, 2015 Ark.
151, at 4, 460 S.W.3d 285, 288.
had Biggs argued his coerced-guilty-plea claim below, he
makes no allegation that anyone other than his own trial
counsel misadvised him. SeeWright v.
State, 2015 Ark. 83, at 3-4, 456 S.W.3d 371, 373-74 (per
curiam) (no claims made by appellant that the prosecution or
trial court was aware of his prior conviction or that
statements were made that he was eligible for parole).
Erroneous advice concerning parole eligibility does not
automatically render a guilty plea involuntary nor does it
support a claim of a coerced plea, providing a basis for
coram-nobis relief. SeeMorgan v. State,
2013 Ark. 341, at 7 (per curiam) (citing State v.
Tejeda-Acosta, 2013 Ark. 217, 427 S.W.3d 673). Moreover,
the facts concerning any statutes applicable to Biggs's
potential parole eligibility were public record and not a
withheld or hidden fact. See, e.g.,Wright,
2015 Ark. 83, at 4, 456 S.W.3d at 373. Claims regarding
parole-eligibility status do not demonstrate that there was
some fundamental error of fact extrinsic to the record and do
not fit within one of the four categories for coram-nobis
relief. Id. " We have also held that the
Arkansas Department of Correction's calculation of a
petitioner's parole-eligibility date is not a ground for
granting a ...