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Phillips v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

December 12, 2018

EDDIE EARL PHILLIPS Petitioner
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI Respondent

          ORDER

          WILLIAM L. WALLER, JR., CHIEF JUSTICE

         Now before the en banc Court is Eddie Earl Phillips's "Application for Leave to File[] Motion for Post-Conviction Relief."

         Phillips filed this, his second application outside the three-year limitations period. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-5(2) (Rev. 2015). He asserts three claims: (1) the indictment was defective; (2) the amendment to the indictment to charge him as a habitual offender constituted unfair surprise and thus violated his due-process rights; and (3) confusing and misleading jury instructions violated his due-process rights.

         After due consideration, we find that Phillips's claims do not meet any recognized exception to the time, waiver, and successive-writ bars. Rowland v. State, 98 So.3d 1032, 1036 (Miss. 2012), overruled on other grounds by Carson v. State, 212 So.3d 22 (Miss. 2016); Bell v. State, 123 So.3d 924, 925 (Miss. 2013); Chapman v. State, 167 So.3d 1170, 1174-75 (Miss. 2015); see also Bevill v. State, 669 So.2d 14, 17 (Miss. 1996); Brown v. State, 187 So.3d 667, 671 (Miss. Ct. App. 2016). And even if they did meet an exception, the claims lack any arguable basis to warrant waiving the bars. Means v. State, 43 So.3d 438, 442 (Miss. 2010).

         Phillips is hereby warned that future filings deemed frivolous may result not only in monetary sanctions, but also restrictions on filing applications for post-conviction collateral relief (or pleadings in that nature) in forma pauperis. En Banc Order, Fairley v. State, 2014-M-01185 (Miss. May 3, 2018) (citing Order, Bownes v. State, 2014-M-00478 (Miss. Sept. 20, 2017)).

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the application is dismissed.

         SO ORDERED,

          TO DISMISS: WALLER, C.J., KITCHENS, P.J., KING, COLEMAN, MAXWELL, BEAM, CHAMBERLIN AND ISHEE, JJ.

          TO DENY: RANDOLPH, P.J.

          KING, J., OBJECTS TO THE ORDER IN PART WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN STATEMENT JOINED BY KITCHENS, P.J.

          KING, JUSTICE, OBJECTING TO THE ORDER IN PART WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN STATEMENT:

         ¶1. Although Eddie Earl Phillips's application for post-conviction relief does not merit relief, I disagree with the warning contained in this Court's order that future filings deemed frivolous may result in monetary sanctions or restrictions on filing applications for post-conviction collateral relief in forma pauperis.[1]

         ¶2. The imposition of monetary sanctions upon a criminal defendant proceeding in forma pauperis only serves to punish or preclude that defendant from his lawful right to appeal. Black's Law Dictionary defines sanction as "[a] provision that gives force to a legal imperative by either rewarding obedience or punishing disobedience." Sanction, Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014) (emphasis added). Instead of punishing the defendant for filing a motion, I believe that this Court should simply deny or dismiss motions which lack merit. As Justice Brennan wisely stated,

The Court's order purports to be motivated by this litigant's disproportionate consumption of the Court's time and resources. Yet if his filings are truly as repetitious as it appears, it hardly takes much time to identify them as such. I find it difficult to see how the amount of time and resources required to deal properly with McDonald's petitions could be so great as to justify the step we now take. Indeed, the time that has been consumed in the preparation of the present order barring the door to Mr. McDonald far exceeds that which would have been necessary to process his petitions for the next several years at least. I continue to ...

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