United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
following recommended disposition has been sent to United
States District Court Judge James M. Moody Jr. You may file
written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If
you do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain
the factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court Clerk within fourteen
(14) days of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may
waive the right to appeal questions of fact.
Leodis Randle (“Randle”) filed a complaint on
August 29, 2018. The Court construed the pleading as a
petition for writ of habeas corpus, and entered an order
directing Randle to do two things: (1) submit either the
$5.00 filing fee or a properly completed in forma
pauperis application; and (2) submit an amended
petition, clarifying the state court conviction which he is
challenging, and clarifying whether he is currently in the
custody of the Arkansas Department of Correction
(“ADC”). Randle was directed to submit the
amended petition on or before October 22, 2018. Docket entry no.
13. Service of the original petition was not ordered. Randle
has not filed an amended petition as ordered.
review of the pleadings is helpful. The body of the petition
appears to primarily focus on Randle's knowledge of the
identity of a murderer in an unsolved case, knowledge which
Randle obtained while in the Pulaski County Detention Center.
The conclusion of the petition requests habeas corpus relief,
and alleges Randle's constitutional rights were violated
in connection with a plea deal that was not consummated in
October 2017. Randle also alleged public defender Collean
Barnhill coerced him into entering a guilty plea. Further,
Randle claims “the federal court” failed to
intervene in the 2017 state court proceedings despite Randle
alerting the federal court. Docket entry no. 1, page 3. The
original petition was not a model of clarity, thus prompting
this Court to instruct Randle to submit an amended petition.
has not complied with the Court's directive. He has,
however, filed six pleadings styled as “Notices.”
Docket entry nos. 9, 12, 14, 15, 17, & 18. The Court
considers what light, if any, these pleadings shed on the
claims Randle seeks to assert in this case.
entry no. 9: In this pleading Randle again complains
about his state court criminal case - No. 60CR-17-1754. This
case appears to be the same case cited in his petition. He
alleges, among other things, that he received ineffective
assistance of counsel from public defender Collean Barnhill.
He also complains of entrapment, denial of a mental
competency evaluation, a warrantless search, an unlawful
arrest, the fabrication of an incident report, prosecutorial
misconduct, denial of his right to withdraw his guilty plea,
and denial of his appeal. He also states that the federal
judge assigned to his case, Judge Leon J. Holmes, was
cousin-in-law to his state court judge, Barry A. Sims,
creating a conflict of interest.
entry no. 12: Citing Martinez v. Ryan,
Randle asks that his state court conviction be reversed and
remanded. He claims that he was prevented from filing a Rule
37 petition because the North Little Rock Probation Office
unlawfully arrested him on January 30, 2018. He again appears
to be challenging a 2017 conviction, alleging his attorney
coerced him into a guilty plea while he was mentally ill. He
again references a false police report, and the pleading
refers to conflicts between Randle and Collean Barnhill,
entry no. 14: Randle once again argues that he was
arrested on January 30, 2018, the last available day for him
to file his Rule 37 petition. In this pleading he states that
he was sentenced to three years probation. He also recounts
the complaints he has against Collean Barnhill and her
supervisor at the public defender's office, Bill Simpson.
He reiterates he was not mentally competent, he was coerced
into pleading guilty, evidence was withheld by the
prosecutor, he committed no crime, and he was unlawfully
entry no. 15: This pleading alleges no new facts.
Instead, Randle offers the same arguments contained in his
earlier notices. Specifically, he alleges ineffective
assistance of counsel, unlawful arrest on January 30, 2018,
the ninetieth day of the period following the entry of his
guilty plea, and denial of his right to appeal.
entry no. 17: Generally, the same arguments are
advanced in this pleading. However, attachments to this
pleading clarify some things: (1) Randle is a criminal
defendant in this Court, No. 4:18cr295 KGB, set for jury
trial on June 24, 2019, on the charge of being a felon in
possession of a firearm; and (2) Randle's Rule 37
petition was dismissed in state court on September 19, 2018,
because it was filed while Randle's probation revocation
was pending. Therefore, the state court found the Rule 37
petition was not ripe.
entry no. 18: This pleading, filed on the same date
as docket entry no. 17, restates Randle's argument that
he was unlawfully arrested on January 30, 2018, preventing
him from appealing the state court's denial of his Rule
37 petition. Randle also claims, as before, that he received
ineffective assistance of counsel. He additionally cites a
pending civil action in federal court - No. 4:18cv188. In
that action, Randle sued 38 defendants alleging mistreatment
at the Pulaski County Detention Center. The case is pending,
although 25 of the defendants have been dismissed.
summarize the notices filed by Randle, the pleadings contain
numerous general assertions. The pleadings lack specificity
regarding the essentials necessary for a cognizable habeas
corpus claim. For example, despite the numerous pleadings, it
remains unclear whether Randle is in custody and, if so, what
conviction has resulted in his custodial status. Further, it
is unclear whether state court proceedings against Randle
have concluded. These unanswered questions prompted the Court
to direct Randle to file an amended petition on or before
October 22, 2018. Randle was notified of his duty to respond
to the Court's communication. See Local Rule 5.5(c)(2).
Randle has not responded in any meaningful way to the
Court's Order of September 18, 2018.
upon the foregoing, the Court recommends the petition for
writ of habeas corpus be dismissed without prejudice due to
Randle's failure to submit an amended petition ...