GECOBA L. TILSON APPELLANT
WENDY KELLEY, DIRECTOR, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION APPELLEE
MOTIONS FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE BRIEF AND TO RECEIVE
DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS [LINCOLN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NO.
40CV-17-89] HONORABLE JODI RAINES DENNIS, JUDGE
COURTNEY HUDSON GOODSON, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
before this court are three pro se motions that appellant
Gecoba L. Tilson filed seeking an extension of time in which
to file his brief in this appeal of the circuit court's
dismissal of Tilson's petition for writ of habeas corpus.
Tilson has also filed a pro se motion in which he appears to
seek a copy of the record on appeal. Because it is clear from
the record that the appeal is without merit, we dismiss the
appeal, and the motions are moot.
filed his petition in the circuit court of the county in
which he was incarcerated. In it, he challenged a Faulkner
County Circuit Court judgment reflecting his conviction on
two counts of aggravated robbery, one count of felony theft
of property, and one count of misdemeanor theft of property.
Tilson alleged that this judgment was facially invalid
because the information charging him had named a victim for
one of the aggravated robbery charges, Dawn Cook, who was not
present at his trial. Tilson asserted that he was convicted
of a charge that was never made, and he also alleged that he
did not receive due process or a fair trial because he was
not given fair notice that an individual other than the
victims who were named in the information would testify
concerning the aggravated-robbery charges. He alleged that he
did not receive "legal notification" that he would
instead face Dana Clark as a witness testifying that he had
appeal from an order that denied a petition for
postconviction relief, including an appeal from an order that
denied a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, will not be
permitted to go forward when it is clear that the appellant
could not prevail. Garrison v. Kelley, 2018 Ark. 8,
534 S.W.3d 136. A circuit court's decision on a petition
for writ of habeas corpus will be upheld unless it is clearly
erroneous. Hobbs v. Gordon, 2014 Ark. 225, 434
S.W.3d 364. A decision is clearly erroneous when, although
there is evidence to support it, the appellate court, after
reviewing the entire evidence, is left with the definite and
firm conviction that a mistake has been made. Id.
our statute, a petitioner for the writ who does not allege
his or her actual innocence and proceed under Act 1780 of
2001 must plead either the facial invalidity of the judgment
or the lack of jurisdiction by the trial court and make a
showing by affidavit or other evidence of probable cause to
believe that he or she is being illegally detained. Ark. Code
Ann. § 16-112-103(a)(1) (Repl. 2016); Garrison,
2018 Ark. 8, 534 S.W.3d 136. Unless the petitioner can show
that the trial court lacked jurisdiction or that the
commitment was invalid on its face, there is no basis for a
finding that a writ of habeas corpus should issue. Fields
v. Hobbs, 2013 Ark. 416.
did not invoke Act 1780, and although he alleged the facial
invalidity of the judgment, he did not state facts or provide
evidence to establish probable cause to believe that he is
being illegally detained. Although claims of a defective
information that raise a jurisdictional issue, such as those
that raise a claim of an illegal sentence, are cognizable in
a habeas proceeding, allegations of a defective information
are not generally considered to be jurisdictional and are
treated as trial error. Clay v. Kelley, 2017 Ark.
294, 528 S.W.3d 836. Assertions of trial error and
due-process claims do not implicate the facial validity of
the judgment or the jurisdiction of the trial court.
Williams v. Kelley, 2017 Ark. 200, 521 S.W.3d 104.
attempts to frame at least a portion of his claims concerning
the information as an issue of whether he was charged with a
crime other than the one for which he was convicted. Yet the
only defect in the information that Tilson identifies is that
the wrong name was used to identify one of the victims.
Language identifying the victim is not necessary for the
document to have adequately charged him with the crime and
conferred jurisdiction on the trial court. See England v.
State, 234 Ark. 421, 352 S.W.2d 582 (1962). An
information is not defective if it sufficiently apprises the
defendant of the specific crime with which he is charged to
the extent necessary to enable him to prepare a defense.
Lockhart v. State, 2017 Ark. 13, 508 S.W.3d 869.
Tilson's claims of inadequate notice that Dana Clark
would be used as a witness to establish the crime are merely
assertions of error that could have been raised at trial, on
appeal, or in a postconviction proceeding. A habeas corpus
proceeding does not afford a prisoner an opportunity to retry
his case. Mackey v. Lockhart, 307 Ark. 321, 819
S.W.2d 702 (1991). The writ will not be issued to correct
errors or irregularities that occurred at trial, and a writ
of habeas corpus will not be issued as a substitute for
postconviction relief. Id. The type of claim Tilson
raised here concerning surprise or inadequate notice is not
one cognizable in a habeas proceeding. See Johnson
v. State, 2018 Ark. 42. An issue with the admission of
evidence is a challenge that is not cognizable in a habeas
proceeding. Philyaw v. Kelley, 2015 Ark. 465, 477
S.W.3d 503. Because Tilson failed to allege a basis for the
circuit court to grant the writ, he demonstrated no clear
error in the dismissal of his petition, and he cannot prevail
on appeal. See Williams, 2017 Ark. 200, 521 S.W.3d
dismissed; motions moot.
Josephine Linker Hart, Justice, dissenting.
Tilson has not yet perfected his appeal, so this court's
jurisdiction is limited to considering his motions for an
extension of time to file his brief and his motion to obtain
a transcript. Accordingly, while it is permissible for this
court to dismiss Mr. Tilson's appeal because he did not
timely file his brief, it is most certainly not proper to
dismiss his appeal on the merits and declare the motions
that is pending before this court are simple motions. There
is no just reason for skipping over Mr. Tilson's motions
to reach the merits of an appeal that we do not yet have
jurisdiction to consider. This court should safeguard all