APPEAL FROM THE HOT SPRING COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT; PRO SE
PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS; PRO SE MOTION FOR
CLARIFICATION [NOS. 30CR-91-123 & 30CR-91-124] HONORABLE
CHRIS E WILLIAMS, JUDGE
Richard Lukach, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Kathryn Henry, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
KARENR. BAKER, Associate Justice
appeal stems from the circuit court's denial of appellant
John Richard Lukach's pro se petition for relief under
Arkansas Code Annotated section 16-90-111 (Repl. 2016) and
his motion for reconsideration of that decision and the
circuit court's imposition of a strike under the
three-strike rule in Arkansas Code Annotated section
16-68-607 (Repl. 2005). We affirm the denial of
postconviction relief and reverse and remand for an
addition, Lukach filed a petition for writ of mandamus
against our clerk, which we deny. He also filed a motion for
clarification after the matter had been briefed. That motion
is rendered moot by our decision in the appeal.
Lukach's section 16-90-111 petition challenged his
convictions in four cases. This court granted his pro se
motion for rule on clerk to proceed with the appeal and later
dismissed the appeal as to two of the four cases. Lukach
v. State, 2017 Ark. 128, 516 S.W.3d 711 (per curiam). In
that decision, we also limited the appeal to the issue of
whether the circuit court lacked the authority to sign the
commitment order and to whether the circuit court erred in
imposing a strike.
Mandamus and Motion
petition for mandamus against our clerk, Lukach complains
that he was not provided all four volumes of the original
record, and he seeks to have this court direct the clerk to
provide him with the remaining three volumes of that original
record. However, based on the record before us, it is clear
that Lukach has received the volumes of the record he
asserted he had not received. Because Lukach received a
complete copy of the record necessary for this appeal, the
petition for mandamus is moot and therefore denied.
after the briefs were filed, Lukach filed a motion in which
he seeks clarification of certain actions by our clerk; this
motion is also rendered moot by our decision to reverse and
remand in part to the circuit court.
The Commitment Orders
his first point on appeal, Lukach challenges the commitment
orders entered in case Nos. 30CR-91-123 and 30CR-91-124. As
we noted in our previous opinion, the challenges Lukach
raised to the judgments of conviction and his sentences were
not valid. The record on direct appeal contains judgments
that were entered on August 27, 1991, and signed by the
Honorable John Cole, the judge who presided over the
trial. Those judgments reflect that Lukach was
sentenced in person, that he was convicted on two charges of
rape against different victims, and that each judgment
imposed a sentence of life imprisonment in the Arkansas
Department of Correction (ADC). There were two later
judgment-and-commitment orders also contained in that record,
and it is the validity of those two orders that Lukach
alleged that the judge who signed the first
judgment-and-commitment order, the Honorable Phillip H.
Shirron, did not have the authority to enter the order. He
contends that until the legislature passed Act 51 of 1992,
there was no legislative authority for chancellors and
circuit judges in the same judicial district to act under
exchange agreements. Lukach asserted that a subsequent
judgment-and-commitment order signed by Judge Cole was
invalid because the sentence had been placed into execution.
The State contends that Lukach did not state a cause of
action under section 16-90-111.
regard to claims pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-111,
a circuit court's decision to deny relief will not be
overturned unless that decision is clearly erroneous.
Green v. State, 2017 Ark. 361, 533 S.W.3d 81. A
finding is clearly erroneous when, although there is evidence
to support it, the appellate court, after reviewing the
entire evidence, is left with the ...