MICHAEL E. REA APPELLANT
WENDY KELLEY, DIRECTOR, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION APPELLEE
APPEAL FROM THE JEFFERSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO.
35CV-17-903] HONORABLE JODI RAINES DENNIS, JUDGE.
Michael E. Rea, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Sammie P. Strange, Jr.,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
DANKEMP, CHIEF JUSTICE.
Michael E. Rea appeals the denial of his petition to proceed
in the circuit court as a pauper with a petition for writ of
habeas corpus. This court previously remanded for a
supplemental order with adequate findings of fact in
compliance with Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 72 (2017).
Rea v. Kelley, 2018 Ark. 329, 559 S.W.3d 746. The
supplemental record has been filed, and Rea raises two points
on appeal, neither of which demonstrates reversible error.
Because we find no error in the denial of the petition to
proceed in forma pauperis, we affirm.
The Standard for In Forma Pauperis Petitions
Rule of Civil Procedure 72 is our procedural rule concerning
civil suits filed by a complainant who desires to proceed as
a pauper. Morgan v. Kelley, 2019 Ark. 189, 575
S.W.3d 108. Under Rule 72, the right to proceed in forma
pauperis in civil matters is conditioned on a finding of
indigency and the circuit court's satisfaction that the
alleged facts indicate "a colorable cause of
action." Ark. R. Civ. P. 72(c). A colorable cause of
action is a claim that is legitimate and may reasonably be
asserted given the facts presented and the current law or a
reasonable and logical extension or modification of it.
Morgan, 2019 Ark. 189, 575 S.W.3d 108.
standard of review of a decision to grant or deny a petition
to proceed in forma pauperis is abuse of discretion, and the
circuit court's factual findings in support of its
exercise of discretion will not be reversed unless clearly
erroneous. Id. An abuse of discretion occurs when
the court acts arbitrarily or groundlessly. Id. If
the underlying petition clearly fails to state a colorable
cause of action, there has been no abuse of discretion, and
this court may affirm the denial of in forma pauperis status.
Id. It is the appellant's burden to demonstrate
the existence of reversible error. Landers v. Stone,
2016 Ark. 272, 496 S.W.3d 370.
The Habeas Petition and the Supplemental Order
habeas petition, Rea sought to challenge his convictions for
four counts of computer exploitation of a child in the first
degree and twenty counts of distributing, possessing, or
viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving
a child. He was sentenced to an aggregate term of 3720
months' imprisonment,  and this court affirmed his convictions
and sentences. Rea v. State, 2015 Ark. 431, 474
supplemental order, the circuit court found that Rea
presented sufficient evidence that he is indigent, but that
the allegations in the petition did not present a colorable
cause of action. The order identified five claims in the
habeas petition that Rea had made in support of his claim
that his sentence was illegal, and the circuit court found
that these five claims were not cognizable in a habeas
proceeding. The five claims the circuit court identified from
the petition were (1) that the evidence introduced at
Rea's trial was illegally obtained and should have been
suppressed; (2) that the Arkansas Supreme Court erred in
affirming Rea's conviction; (3) that the prosecuting
attorney filed the wrong charges; (4) that the factors the
prosecutor marked on the prosecutor report are untrue; and
(5) that Rea's attorney was ineffective.
Rea's First Point on Appeal
first alleges error in the circuit court's determining
that he failed to state a colorable cause of action in the
habeas petition. Rea asserts that he stated a cognizable
claim for habeas relief in that he alleged that his sentence
was illegal, that he was illegally detained because the
sentencing order was invalid, and that he "presented
several justiciable issues as a matter of law and fact"
including double jeopardy and lack of jurisdiction. Rea
appears to contend ...