United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
MICHAEL L. DOUGLAS, Petitioner,
RAY HOBBS, Director Arkansas Department of Corrections, Respondent.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.
Michael Larenzo Douglas ("Douglas"), an inmate
confined in the Arkansas Department of Correction, Ouachita
River Unit, Malvern, Arkansas, filed a "Petition to Void
Judgement" which the Court has determined is a Petition
for Writ of a Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§
2254. ECF No. 1. The Petition was referred for findings of
fact, conclusions of law and recommendations for the
disposition of the case. The Respondent, Director, filed his
Response on November 25, 2014. ECF No. 7. For the reasons set
forth below the Petition should be dismissed.
brings this action challenging his conviction in Drew County
Circuit Court for rape in 1984. ECF No. 1. On July 27, 1984,
in Ashley County, Arkansas, Petitioner was convicted by a
jury of rape. ECF No. 7. He was sentenced to 40 years
imprisonment. Id. He appealed his conviction to the
Arkansas Supreme Court, raising three points of error.
See Douglas v. State, 286 Ark. 296 (Ark.
1985). The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled against Douglas on
all three points. Id.
1994, Douglas filed, in the county in which he was
incarcerated, a pro se petition for writ of
habeas corpus seeking release from prison. See
Douglas v. State, CR 96-385, 1996 WL 391604 *1 (Ark.
July 8, 1996). ECF No. 7. Douglas claimed the trial court
erred by not holding a hearing to transfer his rape case to
juvenile court, as he was fifteen years old at the time of
the trial. The trial court denied the petition. The Arkansas
Supreme Court on review dismissed the appeal holding the
claim raised did not support issuance of a writ. Id.
November 20, 2012, Petitioner filed a pro se
petition for habeas corpus relief in the Circuit
Court of Hot Springs, Arkansas. ECF No. 7. In this petition,
he sought relief from the 1984 rape conviction. The Hot
Springs County Circuit Court denied this petition on April
18, 2013. Id.
next sought relief, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2254, in the
United States District Court for the Western District of
Arkansas. See Douglas v. Hobbs, No. 1:13-CV-1086
(W.D. AR 2013). He filed that petition on November 5, 2013.
In this first federal petition he alleged: (1) he was tried
as an adult rather than a juvenile, (2) he was tried in
Ashley County rather than Drew County where the criminal
charges originated, (3) following his conviction the trial
court never followed the directive of the Arkansas Supreme
Court by filing his Judgment and Commitment order in Ashley
County the venue of the trial as a result of the foregoing
the 1984 conviction is void, and (4) ineffective assistance
District Court denied his petition holding the petition was
time barred. Douglas appealed this decision and on July 1,
2015, the United States Court of Appeals for The Eight
Circuit denied the certificate of appealability and dismissed
the appeal. See Douglas v. Kelley, No. 15-1414 (8th
filed the instant Petition, pursuant to Â§ 2254, on October 2,
2014. ECF No. 1. In this Petition he alleges his 1984
conviction is void because the state court did not have
subject-matter jurisdiction over him. The Respondent asserts
the instant Petition should be dismissed as a successive
petition, filed without permission of the Court of Appeals
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2244(b)(3). ECF No. 7. Respondent also
asserts Douglas has not met the jurisdictional, in custody
requirements and the claim is untimely. Id.
clearly filed an earlier petition seeking habeas
corpus relief. He has not shown he requested and
received permission from the United States Court of Appeals
for the Eighth Circuit to file the instant second petition as
required by Â§ 2244 (b)(3). Title 28 United States Code
Section 2244 states in pertinent part:
(b)(1) A claim presented in a second or successive habeas
corpus application under section 2254 that was presented in a
prior application shall be dismissed.
(2) A claim presented in a second or successive habeas corpus
application under section 2254 that was not presented in a