MOTION REQUESTING FILE FROM DAVID DUNAGIN AND PRO SE MOTION
REQUESTING FILE FROM DAVID MOORE AND DALE ARNOLD [CRAWFORD
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NO. 17CR-14-483] HONORABLE GARY R.
W. BRILL, Chief Justice
11, 2015, appellant Michael Lee Geatches pleaded guilty to
second-degree sexual assault and was sentenced to 144 months
in the Arkansas Department of Correction. On March 9, 2016,
Geatches filed an untimely petition for postconviction relief
under Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37.1 (2015). In a
March 15, 2016 order, the circuit court denied Geatches's
postconviction petition on the ground that it was untimely,
and Geatches lodged an appeal in this court. Now before us
are his pro se motion requesting the file generated by his
trial counsel, David Dunagin, and a second pro se motion
requesting files generated by counsel, David Moore and Dale
filed a motion on May 12, 2016, requesting photocopies of
"the entirety of his file that is in the possession of
David Dunnagin [sic], att[orney] at law." He states that
"Petitioner has requested, by U.S. mail, on 3 occasions
a copy of petitioner's file. As of May 9, 2016[, ] no
response has been received." The certificate of service
attached to the motion indicates Dunagin was served with the
motion by U.S. Mail.
also filed a motion on May 20, 2016, in which he sought a
copy of his file from counsel, David Moore and Dale Arnold,
who Geatches alleged represented him in matters involving the
Arkansas Department of Human Services. Geatches requests
the "entirety of his file with both attorneys [sic] as
they are directly related to petitioner's criminal case
and information is needed for said case." The
certificate of service indicates that both Moore and Arnold
were served with the motion. Both of Geatches's motions
cited In re Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Criminal
Practice - Arkansas Rule of Appellate Procedure-Criminal
19, 2016 Ark. 145 (per curiam), Rule 1.16(d) of the
Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct, and Travis v.
Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct, 2009
Ark. 188, 306 S.W.3d 3.
Rule 19 of the Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure-Criminal
(a) A convicted offender who seeks, at public expense, a copy
of an appellate brief, the trial record, or a transcript must
file a motion in the Supreme Court stating that he or she has
requested the documents from his or her counsel and that
counsel did not provide the documents. In addition, if the
moving party seeks a photocopy (as opposed to a disk or other
electronic medium), he or she must demonstrate some
compelling need for the brief, record, or transcript.
(b) A copy of the motion shall be served on counsel who
prepared or filed the documents. Within 20 days of such
service, counsel shall file a response. If the requested
documents were not provided to the client, the response shall
either commit to provide the requested documents or provide
good cause why counsel will not provide the documents.
Ark. R. App. P.-Crim. 19(a)-(b).
became effective March 31, 2016, and was promulgated to
address a recurrent issue faced by the appellate courts:
convicted offenders request that the appellate courts provide
at public expense a copy of the brief or appellate record
that had been previously filed. See In re Ark. Sup. Ct.
Comm. on Crim. Practice - Ark. R. of App. P. Crim.- 19,
2016 Ark. 145 (per curiam); see, e.g., Khabir v.
State, 2014 Ark. 369, 439 S.W.3d 679 (per curiam);
Mendiola v. State, 2013 Ark. 92 (per curiam).
scope of Rule 19 is limited. Based on the reporter's
notes, the intent of Rule 19 is to make clear that the party
is to first look to his or her former attorney for those
materials because counsel may already possess the requested
documents. "Attorneys are the appropriate first stop for
copies . . . ." Ark. R. App. P.-Crim. 19 rptrs. nn.
(2016 Amendments). In many cases those documents have already
been paid for either by the client or by the State if the
party is indigent.
19(b) does not make the requirement of counsel's response
to the motion contingent on counsel's determination as to
whether the motion has merit but instead makes counsel's
response mandatory. Within twenty days of service of the Rule
19 motion, counsel shall file a response.
See Ark. R. App. P.-Crim. 19(b). "If the
requested documents were not provided to the client, the
response shall either commit to provide the requested
documents or provide good cause why counsel will not provide
the documents." Id.
attorney does not commit to provide the documents, the
convicted offender may request, at public expense, a copy of
an "appellate brief, the trial record, or a
transcript[.]" For the convicted offender to obtain
copies at public ...