TRAVIS A. BELL APPELLANT
JAMES GIBSON, WARDEN, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION APPELLEE
MOTIONS FOR EXTENSION OF BRIEF TIME, TO AMEND PARTY TO HABEAS
PETITION, AND TO SUPPLEMENT BRIEF [LINCOLN COUNTY CIRCUIT
COURT, NO. 40CV-18-116]
R. BAKER, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
Travis A. Bell appeals the circuit court's denial of his
petition for writ of habeas corpus. Now before us are
Bell's motions for an extension of time to file his
brief-in-chief, to amend the party named in his habeas
petition from a warden to the director of the Arkansas
Department of Correction, and to file a supplement to the
brief-in-chief to allow for a brief with more pages than is
allowed by the rules of this court. Because 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
motions are 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 145.
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 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 Ark. 416.
entered a plea of guilty to first-degree murder and was
sentenced to 240 months' imprisonment. Bell argued in his
habeas petition that the writ should issue on the grounds
that his attorney gave him false information concerning the
laws governing speedy-trial requirements and misled him about
the expected testimony of a witness. He also stated without
further explanation that his rights under "U.S.C.A.
Const. Amend V, VI and XIV, AR Const. Art. 2 § 10, Rules
Crim. Proc. 28.1, 28.2, 28.3" were "violated with
prejudice." In a brief in support of the petition, Bell
expanded on the claims, contending that he was denied a
speedy trial by the trial court as well as by virtue of bad
advice from his attorney. He further asserted that his plea
of guilty was not voluntarily and intelligently entered
because his attorney lied to him, did not conduct a proper
investigation of his case, misled him on the likely testimony
of the State's star witness, and withheld exculpatory
evidence that Bell had provided to him as a defense. Bell
appended to the brief the affidavits of three persons who he
contended could support his claims that he was not afforded
effective assistance of counsel and that there was proof that
he was not guilty. Bell did not contend that the sentence
imposed was outside the statutory range for the offense.
petition constituted an attack on his plea of guilty and the
sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the judgment of
conviction. It is well settled that such challenges are
outside the scope of a habeas proceeding. When a defendant
enters a plea of guilty, the plea is the defendant's
trial. Crockett v. State, 282 Ark. 582, 584, 669
S.W.2d 896, 898 (1984). A habeas corpus proceeding does not
afford a prisoner an opportunity to retry his or her case.
Hobbs v. Turner, 2014 Ark. 19, 431 S.W.3d 283.
Accordingly, claims of trial error such as those advanced by
Bell in his petition are not within the purview of the remedy
because the writ will not be issued to correct errors or
irregularities that occurred at trial. Speedy-trial issues
are also issues of trial error and, as such, are not a ground
for the writ. Williams v. Kelley, 2017 Ark. 200, 521
S.W.3d 104. The failure to afford the defendant a speedy
trial does not implicate the facial validity of the judgment
or the jurisdiction of the trial court. Id.
Bell's claims of an involuntary plea or of improper plea
procedures do not raise a question of a void or illegal
sentence that may be addressed in a habeas proceeding.
Barber v. Kelley, 2017 Ark. 214. Furthermore, habeas
proceedings are not a means to challenge the sufficiency of
the evidence in a case. Johnson v. State, 2018 Ark.
42, 538 S.W.3d 819.
respect to Bell's allegations of ineffective assistance
of counsel, such claims are not cognizable in habeas corpus
proceedings. McConaughy v. Lockhart, 310 Ark. 686,
840 S.W.2d 166 (1992). When a convicted defendant who has
entered a plea of guilty desires to challenge that plea after
entry of judgment on the ground that counsel was ineffective,
his or her remedy is a timely petition for postconviction
relief under Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37.1 (2017).
State v. Tejeda-Acosta, 2013 Ark. 217, 427 S.W.3d
673. A habeas proceeding is not a substitute for a petition
under the Rule. Gardner v. Kelley, 2018 Ark. 300.
dismissed; motions moot.
Josephine Linker Hart, Justice, dissenting.
dissent for the reasons set forth in Stephenson v.
Kelley, 2018 Ark. 143, 544 S.W.3d 44 (Hart, J.,
dissenting). As set forth therein, the majority's
conception of habeas ...