Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Watts v. Kelley

Supreme Court of Arkansas

May 25, 2017

FRANK WATTS APPELLANT
v.
WENDY KELLEY, DIRECTOR, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. CV-15-000] HONORABLE JODI RAINES DENNIS, JUDGE

          Frank Watts, pro se appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Evelyn D. Gomez, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          KAREN R. BAKER, Associate Justice.

         On July 13, 2015, the Lincoln County Circuit Court received from appellant, Frank Watts, a pro se habeas corpus petition and a petition for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The circuit clerk did not file or assign a case number to either petition. On August 28, 2015, Watts filed his notice of appeal in which he sought to appeal what he referred to as a "deemed denied by operation of law habeas corpus petition, and its accompanying intermediate petition to proceed in forma pauperis." On September 17, 2015, the circuit court entered its order denying Watts's petition to proceed in forma pauperis. In a memorandum from the circuit court to the Lincoln County Circuit Clerk, also filed on September 17, 2015, the circuit court stated in pertinent part:

You provided me with the 8/12/2015 letter from Mr. Watts where he asks about the filing of his petition. The confusion was caused in my office. I discovered that Mr. Watts had submitted the same petition to the Jefferson County Clerk. On July 14, 2015, an order was entered denying his JC petition to proceed forma pauperis.
When the Lincoln County petitions were forwarded to my office, they were mistaken as duplicates of the JC petitions I had previously reviewed.
I have prepared an order denying the petition to proceed in forma pauperis for filing in Lincoln County.
On 8/26/2015 Mr. Watts mailed to you a Notice of Appeal. It appears he wants to appeal the denial, which is now denied. He submitted a completed, signed, and notarized Petition and Affidavit of Indigency with his habeas.

         As gleaned from the above memorandum, the circuit court treated the August 28, 2015 notice of appeal as one from the appeal of the September 17, 2015 order denying Watts's petition to proceed in forma pauperis. Also on September 17, 2015, the circuit court entered an order granting Watts permission to pursue his appeal in forma pauperis. The record was timely lodged in this court. On April 5, 2016, Watts filed a petition for correction or modification of the record. In his petition, Watts sought to supplement the record with pleadings that were file-marked and assigned a case number. On May 19, 2016, by syllabus entry, this court entered an order granting Watts's motion to correct or supplement the record. Specifically, we directed the circuit clerk to submit certified, file-marked copies of the petition for writ of habeas corpus and the petition to proceed in forma pauperis. The record has been properly supplemented with certified file-marked copies of each petition. After being granted multiple extensions, Watts filed his brief on October 6, 2016. On October 25, 2016, Watts filed a petition for correction or modification of the record. In this petition, Watts contends that our clerk has "erroneously and/or mistakenly labeled his appeal as a pro se appeal of the denial of the motion to proceed in forma pauperis on pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus." Thus, Watts requests that we "issue an order for correction or modification of the record to point out that appellant's appeal derives from the Lincoln County Circuit Court Clerk's failure to file-mark his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus and pro se petition to proceed in forma pauperis . . . or in the alternative remand the case back to the circuit court for a ruling on appellant's petition for writ of habeas corpus."

         I. October 25, 2016 Petition for Correction or Modification of the Record

         It is apparent from Watts's motions and briefs, that he believes this appeal concerns his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Further, his notice of appeal indicates that he is attempting to appeal from what he referred to as a "deemed denied by operation of law habeas corpus petition." However, we have held that the deemed-denied provision of Arkansas Rule of Appellate Procedure-Criminal 2(a)(3) does not apply to habeas proceedings. Hooper v. Hobbs, 2013 Ark. 31 (per curiam). Thus, the only appealable order contained in the record is the denial of his petition to proceed in forma pauperis. Accordingly, we deny Watts's October 25, 2016 petition for correction or modification of the record and note that his appeal concerns only the September 17, 2015 order denying Watts's petition to proceed in forma pauperis.

         II. In Forma Pauperis Petition

         We now turn to the circuit court's September 17, 2015 order denying Watts's in forma pauperis petition. A review of the order demonstrates that the circuit court based its denial of Watts's in forma pauperis petition on Arkansas Code Annotated section 16-68-607. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.