APPEAL FROM THE JEFFERSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIFTH
DIVISION [NO. 35CV-18-86] HONORABLE JODI RAINES DENNIS, JUDGE
Michael Lee Anderson, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Pamela Rumpz, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
COURTNEY HUDSON GOODSON, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE.
Michael Lee Anderson appeals the dismissal of his petition
for writ of habeas corpus. Anderson argues on appeal, as he
did in his petition, that he is being illegally detained
because he was not personally charged in an original felony
information; instead, his name was added to an amendment to
the felony information that originally charged only his
brother Myron with the offenses of which Anderson was later
convicted. We find no error and affirm the order.
2007, Anderson, who was tried jointly with Myron, was found
guilty of five counts of committing a terroristic act and one
count of possession of a firearm by certain persons. He was
sentenced to an aggregate term of 1320 months'
imprisonment. The Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed.
Anderson v. State, 2010 Ark.App. 177. On January 24,
2018, Anderson filed in the Jefferson County Circuit Court,
which is located in the county where he is incarcerated, the
petition for writ of habeas corpus that is the subject of
Grounds for Issuance of the Writ
of habeas corpus is proper when a judgment of conviction is
invalid on its face or when a circuit court lacks
jurisdiction over the cause. Philyaw v. Kelley, 2015
Ark. 465, 477 S.W.3d 503. Jurisdiction is the power of the
court to hear and determine the subject matter in
controversy. Baker v. Norris, 369 Ark. 405, 255
S.W.3d 466 (2007). Under our statute, a petitioner for the
writ who does not allege his 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 is being illegally
detained. Id.; Ark. Code Ann. §
16-112-103(a)(1) (Repl. 2016). 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.
Standard of Review
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.
Legality of Judgment of Conviction
stated, Anderson argues that the trial court lacked personal
jurisdiction in his case because he was charged in an
amendment to the information originally filed in his brother
Myron's case rather than by an original information filed
in his individual case and assigned an individual docket
number. He contends that the lack of jurisdiction rendered
the judgment in his case invalid on its face, and therefore,
the writ should issue to effect his release from custody. The
original information charging Myron was filed in the Ashley
County Circuit Court on November 30, 2006, and assigned
docket number CR-2006-197-4. On December 28, 2006, an amended
information was filed that added Anderson's name. The
amended information bore the docket number CR-2006-197-4 A
& B. (Anderson was designated defendant "B.")
of a defective information that raise a valid jurisdictional
issue are cognizable in a habeas proceeding.
Philyaw, 2015 Ark. 465, 477 S.W.3d 503. However,
allegations of a defective information that do not raise such
a claim are not generally considered jurisdictional and are,
accordingly, treated as trial error. Id. See Williams v.
Kelley, 2017 Ark. 200, 521 S.W.3d 104 (claim that the
failure to assign a different case number to severed criminal
proceedings failed to provide defendant with adequate ...