MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF BRIEF TIME [CHICOT COUNTY CIRCUIT
COURT, NO. 09CV-18-48]
F. WYNNE, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
Tyrun Lamont Jones appeals the denial by the circuit court of
his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Now before us is
Jones's motion for an extension of time to file his
brief-in-chief. As there was clearly no ground stated in the
petition on which a writ of habeas corpus could be issued,
the appeal is dismissed, and the motion is moot. 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. An appeal from an order that
denied a petition for postconviction relief, including a
petition for writ of habeas corpus, will not be permitted to
go forward when it is clear that the appellant could not
prevail. Love v. Kelley, 2018 Ark. 206, 548 S.W.3d
of habeas corpus is proper when a judgment of conviction is
invalid on its face or when a trial 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). A trial court has subject-matter jurisdiction to hear
and determine cases involving violations of criminal
statutes. Id. Under 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 the petitioner is being
illegally detained. 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
2016, Jones was found guilty by a jury of second-degree
murder and felon in possession of a firearm for which an
aggregate sentence of 300 months' imprisonment was
imposed with a firearm enhancement of 180 months'
imprisonment. The Arkansas Court of Appeals
affirmed. Jones v. State, 2017 Ark.App.
286, 524 S.W.3d 1. Jones argued in his habeas petition that
the writ should issue for the following reasons on the ground
that he was unlawfully detained: (1) there was newly
discovered evidence to show that the police had failed to
properly identify a witness; (2) his lawyer had a conflict of
interest; (3) the trial judge had a conflict of interest; (4)
the police have yet to speak with or investigate witnesses
that could have exonerated him at trial and that he has
affidavits from those witnesses; and (5) there is no
circumstantial or direct evidence to prove that he committed
the homicide. The claims were entirely conclusory. In a
response to the State's motion to dismiss the habeas
petition, Jones enlarged on the allegations but he offered no
claim that established that the judgment was invalid on its
face or that the trial court lacked jurisdiction in the
matter, and he did not contend that the sentence imposed was
outside the statutory range for the offense or otherwise make
a showing that he was being illegally detained.
assertions raised by Jones as grounds for the writ that
concern the investigation of the case by the police, the
availability of other witnesses who could have exonerated
him, and the strength of the evidence against him constitute
a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the
judgment of conviction. It is well settled that habeas
proceedings are not a means to challenge the sufficiency of
the evidence in a case. Barber v. Kelley, 2017 Ark.
214. A habeas action does not afford a petitioner the
opportunity to retry his or her case. Watkins v.
Kelley, 2018 Ark. 215, 549 S.W.3d 908.
respect to Jones's conclusory allegation that both the
trial judge and his attorney had a conflict of interest in
his case, even if the allegations had been supported by
facts, the claim concerning the trial judge could have been
raised at trial and settled there. Any allegation concerning
his attorney could, and should, have been raised under
Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37.1. See Lee v.
State, 2009 Ark. 255, 308 S.W.3d 596. Neither claim is a
ground for the writ because neither implicates the facial
validity of the judgment or the jurisdiction of the trial
dismissed; motion moot.
Josephine Linker Hart, Justice, concurring.
concur. While it is proper to dismiss Jones's appeal, I
must write against this court's practice of dismissing
appeals for purported lack of merit when it has not even
received the appellant's brief. Jones has filed a motion
to extend the briefing time, and that is the only thing this
court should be addressing at this juncture. Even so,
literally all that Jones's motion consists of is
"The appellant request [sic] for additional time to file
his brief and addendum." This alone is not good cause to
grant an extension, and the motion is properly denied.
Accordingly, this court is free to dismiss Jones's appeal
for failure to file a brief.
The court of appeals notes in
its opinion that the conviction for possession of a firearm
by certain persons was not at ...