FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND DIVISION [NO.
60CV-18-3715] HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER CHARLES PIAZZA, JUDGE
Colsten, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Darnisa Evans Johnson, Deputy
Att'y Gen., and Pamela Rumpz, Ass't Att'y Gen.,
DAN KEMP, CHIEF JUSTICE
Curtis Colston appeals the circuit court's denial of his
petition for writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to Arkansas
Code Annotated section 16-112-101 (Repl. 2016). Colston
argues on appeal that there were multiple errors in his
trial, there were errors in the Arkansas Court of
Appeals' decision in his direct appeal, and this court
erred in denying his petition for review. He also contends
that the circuit court was wrong to hold that his petition
was not timely filed under Arkansas Rule of Criminal
Procedure 37.1 (2016). Because Colston's petition was
filed as a petition for writ of habeas corpus, and he stated
no ground for relief cognizable in a habeas proceeding, we
affirm the order.
2016, Colston was found guilty by a Miller County Circuit
Court jury of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm
by certain persons and sentenced as a habitual offender to an
aggregate term of 360 months' imprisonment. The Arkansas
Court of Appeals affirmed. Colston v. State, 2017
Ark.App. 282, 523 S.W.3d 363.
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). When the trial court has personal
jurisdiction over the appellant and also has jurisdiction
over the subject matter, the court has authority to render
the judgment. Johnson v. State, 298 Ark. 479, 769
S.W.2d 3 (1989).
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. 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.
Claims of Trial Error
issues raised by Colston in his petition concerned the
admissibility of evidence and errors in his trial, in the
direct appeal, and in this court's denial of his petition
for review. It is well settled that claims of error in
the trial court's rulings on evidentiary questions or in
the appellate courts' decisions pertaining to the trial
court's rulings are not grounds for a petition for writ
of habeas corpus. Such claims do not implicate the ...