APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST DIVISION
[NO. 60CR-06-1822] HONORABLE LEON JOHNSON, JUDGE.
Broderick Don Scott, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Brad Newman, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
JOSEPHINE LINKER HART, JUSTICE.
2006, appellant Broderick Don Scott entered a plea of guilty
to first-degree battery, two counts of committing a
terroristic act, possession of a firearm by certain persons,
aggravated assault, and first-degree terroristic threatening,
for which he was sentenced to an aggregate term of 360
months' imprisonment. In 2013, Scott filed in the trial
court a pro se petition for writ of error coram nobis
challenging the judgment, and on November 26, 2013, the
petition was denied. Scott did not file a notice of appeal
until February 19, 2014, eighty-five days after the order had
been entered. This court denied Scott's motion for
belated appeal for failure to establish good cause for the
untimely filing of the notice of appeal. Scott v.
State, 2014 Ark. 199 (per curiam).
April 20, 2016, Scott again sought coram nobis relief in the
trial court. Scott filed an amended pro se petition on May 5,
2016. The trial court, addressing the May 5, 2016 amended
coram nobis petition, denied relief and noted that it had
found Scott's first coram nobis petition untimely in 2013
and that Scott's current petition, filed ten years after
imposition of sentence, "would be no timelier than the
first." This court reversed and remanded, concluding
that the Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963),
claim may have had merit and that the trial court was in a
position to hold an evidentiary hearing to consider and test
the merits of the petition. See Scott v. State, 2017
Ark. 199, 520 S.W.3d 262.
remand and after an evidentiary hearing, the trial court
again denied relief, and Scott now appeals the denial of his
second petition for writ of error coram nobis. On appeal,
Scott contends that (1) the trial court erred by finding that
Scott failed to demonstrate the State suppressed evidence in
violation of Brady; (2) the trial court erred by not
taking judicial notice of adjudicative facts regarding the
file-mark dates on the evidence introduced by the State; (3)
the trial court erred when it failed to apply the doctrine of
"law of the case" when raised by Scott; (4) the
trial court erred by stating that the victim
"recanted" her statement;the trial court erred by
permitting the State to piecemeal its defense; and (6) the
trial court erred by failing to find that Scott suffered
prejudice by the suppression of the evidence. Scott has
failed to establish that the trial court abused its
discretion and that the writ should have issued; as such, we
Standard of Review
the judgment is appealed, an appellant must first seek
permission in this court to proceed in the trial court with a
petition for writ of error coram nobis. Kain v.
State, 2019 Ark. 113, 570 S.W.3d 466. However, if the
judgment of conviction was entered on a plea of guilty or
nolo contendere, the petition for writ of error coram nobis
is first filed directly with the trial court. Id.
The standard of review of an order entered by the trial court
on a petition for a writ of error coram nobis is whether the
trial court abused its discretion in granting or denying the
writ. Osburn v. State, 2018 Ark. 341, 560 S.W.3d
774. An abuse of discretion occurs when the trial court acts
arbitrarily or groundlessly. Id. The trial
court's findings of fact on which it bases its decision
to grant or deny the petition for writ of error coram nobis
will not be reversed on appeal unless those findings are
clearly erroneous or clearly against the preponderance of the
evidence. Ramirez v. State, 2018 Ark. 32, 536 S.W.3d
614. There is no abuse of discretion in the denial of coram
nobis relief when the claims in the petition were groundless.
Osburn, 2018 Ark. 341, 560 S.W.3d 774.
Nature of the Writ
of error coram nobis is an extraordina1ily rare remedy.
State v. Larimore, 341 Ark. 397, 17 S.W.3d 87
(2000). Coram nobis proceedings are attended by a strong
presumption that the judgment of conviction is valid.
Id. 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. Newman v. State, 2009 Ark. 539, 354
S.W.3d 61. The petitioner has the burden of demonstrating a
fundamental error of fact extrinsic to the record.
Roberts v. State, 2013 Ark. 56, 425 S.W.3d 771. We
are not required to accept the allegations in a petition for
writ of error coram nobis at face value. Jackson v.
State, 2017 Ark. 195, 520 S.W.3d 242.
Grounds for the Writ
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. Howard v.
State, 2012 Ark. 177, 403 S.W.3d 38.
Claims for ...