OF JUDGMENT: 03/06/2015
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN HUEY EMFINGER
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: DAVID JACKSON (PRO SE)
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
JEFFREY A. KLINGFUSS
WALLER, CHIEF JUSTICE.
David Jackson, pro se, appealed from the Madison
County Circuit Court's denial of his Motion for
Transcripts and Records. The Court of Appeals dismissed
Jackson's appeal for lack of jurisdiction. On certiorari
review, we find the Court of Appeals correctly recognized the
issue was lack of subject matter jurisdiction. But it was the
trial court that lacked jurisdiction, not the appellate
court. So we modify the Court of Appeals' disposition and
On direct appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed Jackson's
conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to
distribute and sentence, as a habitual offender, to thirty
years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of
Corrections. Jackson v. State, 778 So.2d 786, 790
(¶20) (Miss. Ct. App. 2001).
Jackson filed his motion for records and transcripts in the
trial court on February 23, 2015. The trial court denied the
motion on the basis that Jackson was not entitled to
discovery. Jackson timely appealed the order, and the Court
of Appeals, relying on Fleming v. State, 553 So.2d
505 (Miss. 1989), dismissed the appeal for lack of
jurisdiction. Jackson v. State, 2016 WL 1738925
(Miss. Ct. App. May 3, 2016).
Fleming, however, is distinguishable insofar as
Fleming was convicted by way of a guilty plea. As such, he
was required to file his motion for post-conviction relief in
the trial court. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-7 (Rev. 2015).
But instead of filing a motion for post-conviction relief, he
filed an independent action in the trial court, seeking
records and transcripts. Fleming, 553 So.2d at
505-06. The trial court denied the motion because
"Fleming 'failed to show a basis or need.'"
Id. at 506.
On direct appeal, the Fleming Court stated that a
prisoner who has filed a proper motion pursuant to the
Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act, which has
survived summary dismissal under Section 99-39-11(2) of the
Mississippi Code, "may be entitled to trial transcripts
or other relevant documents under the discovery provisions of
[section] 99-39-15, upon good cause shown . . . ."
Id. While a prisoner may appeal the denial of his
motion for post-conviction relief, and therein include a
claim for records and transcripts, the Fleming Court
[N]othing in the Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief
Act or elsewhere gives a prisoner the right to institute an
independent, original action for a free transcript or other
documents, and then if dissatisfied with the trial
court's ruling, to directly appeal that ruling to this
court as a separate and independent action. Fleming did not
file his request for free transcript and other documents as
part of a motion under the Act for post-conviction collateral
relief, nor is this claim raised as part of a direct appeal
from conviction. Therefore, this appeal should be dismissed
due to a lack of jurisdiction.
Id. Stated otherwise, because appellate courts lack
jurisdiction over post-conviction motions which derive from
guilty pleas, and Fleming's request for records and
transcripts should have been part of such a motion, the
Fleming Court ...