SECOND PETITION TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE TRIAL COURT
TO CONSIDER A PETITION FOR WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS; MOTION
SEEKING LEAVE TO FILE RESPONSE; MOTION FOR THE COURT TO
PROVIDE COPIES MARKED FILED OF PETITION, EXHIBITS, MOTION FOR
LEAVE TO FILE A RESPONSE, AND ANY AND ALL RESPONSES FROM THE
RESPONDENT SHOULD THE COURT DENY THE PETITION; MOTION FOR
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIFTH
DIVISION, NO. 60CR-94-2146]
DAN KEMP, CHIEF JUSTICE.
before this court is a pro se second petition filed by
petitioner Lawrence Edward Martin to reinvest jurisdiction in
the trial court to consider a petition for writ of error
coram nobis. The State has filed a response to Martin's
petition, and Martin subsequently filed a pending motion
seeking leave to file a response to the State's response.
Also pending is Martin's motion for file-marked copies at
public expense of his petition, exhibits attached to the
petition, his motion for leave to respond, and "any and
all responses from the respondent should the court denie
[sic] the petition." Finally, Martin has filed a motion
for appointment of counsel.
was convicted of the capital murder of his mother that was
committed in the course of an aggravated robbery. He was
sentenced to life imprisonment. We affirmed the conviction
and sentence. Martin v. State, 328 Ark. 420, 944
S.W.2d 512 (1997). Because the proposed claims raised by
Martin in his second petition are based on allegations that
are not cognizable in coram nobis proceedings, we deny his
petition to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court so that
he may file a petition for error coram nobis relief, which
renders his motion seeking leave to file a response and his
motion for appointment of counsel moot. We deny his motion
for copies at public expense of the documents filed in this
petition for leave to proceed in the trial court is necessary
because the trial court can entertain a petition for writ of
error coram nobis after a judgment has been affirmed on
appeal only after we grant permission. Roberts v.
State, 2013 Ark. 56, 425 S.W.3d 771. A writ of error
coram nobis is an extraordinarily rare remedy. Id.
Coram nobis proceedings are attended by a strong presumption
that the judgment of conviction is valid. Id.;
Westerman v. State, 2015 Ark. 69, 456 S.W.3d 374.
The function of the writ is to secure relief from a judgment
rendered while there existed some fact that would have
prevented its rendition if it had been known to the trial
court and which, through no negligence or fault of the
defendant, was not brought forward before rendition of the
judgment. Roberts, 2013 Ark. 56, 425 S.W.3d 771. The
petitioner has the burden of demonstrating a fundamental
error of fact extrinsic to the record. Id.
writ is allowed only under compelling circumstances to
achieve justice and to address errors of the most fundamental
nature. Id. A writ of error coram nobis is available
for addressing certain errors that are found in one of four
categories: (1) insanity at the time of trial, (2) a coerced
guilty plea, (3) material evidence withheld by the
prosecutor, or (4) a third-party confession to the crime
during the time between conviction and appeal. Id.;
Howard v. State, 2012 Ark. 177, 403 S.W.3d 38.
first coram nobis petition, Martin raised three grounds for
relief: that his arrest was a pretext for an illegal search;
that the trial court failed to order a mental evaluation; and
that new evidence showed that additional charges had been
dismissed. See Martin v. State, 2012 Ark. 44 (per
curiam). Martin's first petition was denied because it
failed to state a claim that was extrinsic to the record or
that was cognizable in coram nobis proceedings. Id..
The same is true of this second petition.
second petition, Martin has raised multiple overlapping and
conclusory grounds for relief that include allegations of a
prejudicial jury-selection process; misleading and erroneous
jury instructions; an unlawful arrest; prosecutorial
misconduct; violation of his right to due process;
ineffective assistance of counsel; and failure by this court
to address adverse rulings on direct appeal in compliance
with Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 4-3(h) (1995).
court will grant permission to proceed with a petition for
the writ only when it appears, looking to the reasonableness
of the allegations in the proposed petition and the existence
of the probability of the truth of those allegations, that
the proposed attack on the judgment is meritorious. Jones
v. State, 2017 Ark. 334, 531 S.W.3d 384. This court is
not required to accept at face value the allegations in the
petition. Id. The burden is on the petitioner in the
application for coram nobis relief to make a full disclosure
of specific facts relied upon and not to merely state
conclusions as to the nature of such facts. Rayford v.
State, 2018 Ark. 183, 546 S.W.3d 475. Furthermore,
errors that occurred at trial that could have been addressed
at trial are not within the purview of coram nobis
proceedings. Martinez-Marmol v. State, 2018 Ark.
145, 544 S.W.3d 49. A coram nobis action does not provide the
petitioner with a means to retry his or her case.
Martin raises conclusory allegations regarding errors that
occurred during the course of his trial and on direct appeal.
Martin's allegations regarding the jury-selection
process, erroneous jury instructions, an illegal arrest, and
violations of his right to due process are all matters that
were known and should have been challenged either at the time
of Martin's trial or on direct appeal. Id.
Likewise, Martin's allegations of prosecutorial
misconduct include assertions that Martin was prosecuted
without probable cause and that the prosecutor provided
misleading jury instructions that referenced charges that had
been dismissed. These prosecutorial-misconduct allegations
could have been raised at trial and are not extrinsic to the
record. Martin does not make an allegation that the
prosecutor withheld material evidence; therefore, Martin has
not raised a cognizable claim based on prosecutorial
misconduct. Id. (assertions of prosecutorial
misconduct for the admission of "false evidence"
could have been raised at trial and are not allegations of
material evidence that was withheld by the prosecutor). With
respect to Martin's allegations of his trial
attorney's errors, this court has repeatedly held that
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims are not grounds for
the writ but are properly raised in a timely petition for
postconviction relief pursuant to Arkansas Rule of Criminal
Procedure 37.1 (1995). Wooten v. State, 2018 Ark.
198, 547 S.W.3d 683.
Martin's claim that this court failed to properly perform
a Rule 4-3(h) review on direct appeal is equally unavailing.
This court's opinion on direct appeal establishes that
such a review was conducted, and in any event, errors that
occurred on direct appeal could have been addressed in a
petition for rehearing before the mandate of this court was
issued. Hall v. State, 2018 Ark. 377, 562 S.W.3d
829; see also Martin, 328 Ark. at 433, 944 S.W.2d at
519 (no reversible errors found after a review of adverse
rulings). A coram nobis proceeding is not a means to
challenge the review conducted by the appellate court on
direct appeal. Hall, 2018 Ark. 377, 562 S.W.3d 829.
Martin fails to demonstrate entitlement to error coram nobis
relief because he failed to establish an error of fact
extrinsic to the record that could not have been raised in
the trial court or on direct appeal, and his grounds for
relief are simply not cognizable in such proceedings.
Martin has filed a motion seeking copies at public expense of
documents filed in this court in connection with his pending
coram nobis proceedings. In his motion, Martin contends that
he is entitled to copies of public records and is in need of
the copies to prepare a brief in the event that he will be
required to petition this court for a rehearing if his
petition is denied. Martin is mistaken.
Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, codified at Arkansas
Code Annotated sections 25-19-101 to -111 (Supp. 2017), does
not require a court to provide photocopies at public expense.
Johnson v. State, 2018 Ark. 226, 549 S.W.3d 360.
Furthermore, indigency alone does not entitle a petitioner to
photocopies at public expense. Id. To be entitled to
copies at public expense, a petitioner must demonstrate a
compelling need for the copies as documentary evidence to
support an allegation contained in a timely petition for
postconviction relief. Id. Martin has failed to
demonstrate a compelling need for the copies that he has
requested in his motion.
denied; motion for leave to file a response and motion for
appointment of counsel moot; motion ...