MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE BRIEF [PULASKI COUNTY
CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH DIVISION, NO. 60CV-18-381].
Courtney Rae Hudson, Associate Justice.
Kenneth Ramirez, who is currently incarcerated at a unit of
the Arkansas Department of Correction located in Jefferson
County, Arkansas, filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas
corpus in the Pulaski County Circuit Court. Ramirez filed his
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to Arkansas Code
Annotated sections 16-112-101 to -123 (Repl. 2016). The
circuit court denied the habeas petition, finding Ramirez
failed to show that his conviction was invalid on its face or
that the trial court lacked jurisdiction. Ramirez has lodged
an appeal from the denial of relief and has now filed a
motion seeking an extension of time to file the
brief-in-chief. We need not consider the merits of the
motion because it is clear from the record that Ramirez
cannot prevail on appeal. We dismiss the appeal, and
Ramirez's motion is moot.
petition for writ of habeas corpus to effect the release of a
prisoner is properly addressed to the circuit court in which
the prisoner is held in custody, unless the petition is filed
pursuant to Act 1780. See Ark. Code Ann.
§§ 16-112-201 to -208 (Repl. 2016). Ramirez did not
proceed under Act 1780. Although a circuit court may have
subject-matter jurisdiction to issue the writ, a court does
not have personal jurisdiction to issue and make returnable
before itself a writ of habeas corpus to release a petitioner
held in another county. Noble v. State, 2018 Ark. 2,
534 S.W.3d 717; Williams v. Kelley, 2017 Ark. 198.
Arkansas Code Annotated section 16-112-105 requires that the
writ be directed to the person in whose custody the
petitioner is detained. Although Ramirez was incarcerated in
Pulaski County when he filed the habeas petition, a writ of
habeas corpus issued by the Pulaski County Circuit Court
could not be returned there, as he is no longer within its
dismissed; motion moot.
Josephine Linker Hart, Justice, dissenting.
habeas corpus petition alleged an entirely cognizable claim:
that he was convicted of an offense that did not exist at the
time of the commission of the alleged crime; therefore, the
trial court did not have authority to enter the judgment and
commitment order. The circuit court dismissed Ramirez's
petition, and he appealed to this court. However, after he
filed his notice of appeal, Ramirez was transferred to a
detention facility in another part of the state. He has asked
for additional time to file his brief, citing delays
associated with the transfer as good cause. Instead, the
majority dismisses his appeal without ever seeing his brief,
concluding that his habeas claim is moot because he is now
incarcerated in a different county from the one in which he
originally filed his petition.
it is true that Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-112-101 to
-123 contemplate that a habeas corpus petition should be
directed to the county in which the petitioner is presently
held and that Ramirez is no longer incarcerated in the county
in which his petition was filed, this case represents a
classic example of an issue that is capable of repetition yet
evades review-an exception to the mootness doctrine. See,
e.g., Kinchen v. Wilkins, 367 Ark. 71, 238
S.W.3d 94 (2006). As I have noted,
It is frightening to think that if a citizen of this state is
wrongly imprisoned, the Arkansas Department of Correction
could avoid facing judicial intervention via the writ of
habeas corpus simply by moving the petitioner to another
county. This court should not condone, much less become an
active participant in such a shell game.
Noble v. State, 2018 Ark. 2, at 3, 534 S.W.3d 717,
718 (Hart, J., dissenting).
of dismissing Ramirez's appeal as moot, we should grant
his request for an extension of time to file his brief, and
after briefing is complete, we should address the merits of
his appeal from the circuit court's order. Accordingly, I