APPEAL FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO.
40CV-18-140] HONORABLE JODI RAINES DENNIS, JUDGE.
Douthitt, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Chris R. Warthen, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
R. Baker, Associate Justice.
Ralph Douthitt appeals the circuit court's denial of his
petition seeking "an extraordinary writ pursuant to the
all writ act § 1651." The circuit court treated
Douthitt's petition as a petition for writ of habeas
corpus and denied it.
appeals of postconviction proceedings, this court will not
reverse a circuit court's decision granting or denying
postconviction relief unless it is clearly erroneous.
Porter v. State, 2018 Ark. 22. A finding 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
committed. Id. Because we find that the circuit
court did not clearly err when it denied Douthitt's
petition for an extraordinary writ, we affirm.
was convicted of sixty-one felony counts of rape, incest, and
violation of a minor and was sentenced to serve an aggregate
term of 2, 088 months' imprisonment. We affirmed.
Douthitt v. State, 326 Ark. 794, 935 S.W.2d 241
(1996). In his petition, Douthitt sought to set aside his
convictions by challenging the admissibility of evidence
seized in an allegedly illegal search. Douthitt raises the
same claims and arguments on appeal.
petition for relief was filed pursuant to "the all writs
act § 1651." This is a federal act that states in
pertinent part: "The Supreme Court and all courts
established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary
or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions . . .
." 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a). The actions of state courts
are outside the purview of federal authority under the All
Writs Act. Middlebrooks v. Thirteenth Judicial Dist.
Circuit Court, Union Cty., El Dorado, Ark., 323 F.2d
485, 486 (8th Cir. 1963) (Since we have no power to review
and correct any order or judgment of the state court, we
cannot issue writs in potential control or supervision as to
such a power.). In sum, the All Writs Act does not provide
postconviction remedies to defendants like Douthitt who are
convicted by state courts for violations of state laws.
stated above, the circuit court treated Douthitt's
petition as a petition for writ of habeas corpus and denied
it. Indeed, Douthitt filed his petition in the county where
he is incarcerated, named the director of the Arkansas
Department of Correction as the respondent, and asked that
his sentence be vacated. To the extent that Douthitt sought a
writ of habeas corpus, he did not state a cognizable claim.
Under 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 or she is being illegally detained. Ark. Code
Ann. § 16-112-103(a)(1) (Repl. 2016). 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). 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. Douthitt did not allege either
a lack of jurisdiction or an illegal sentence. Rather, as
stated above, Douthitt challenged the admissibility of
evidence seized in an alleged illegal search. Issues that
concern factual questions on the admissibility of evidence
that could have been raised and addressed at trial are not
cognizable in habeas proceedings. Davis v. Kelley,
2019 Ark. 1, 564 S.W.3d 512.
Special Justice Gunner DeLay joins in this opinion.
C.J., not participating.
Josephine Linker Hart, Justice, concurring in part and
dissenting in part.
that Mr. Douthitt clearly was seeking an "extraordinary
writ" pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C.A. §
1651, and that Arkansas State Courts have no authority to
grant postconviction relief under that federal law.
Furthermore, if this court does not have the jurisdiction to
act under the All Writs Act, the ...