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Collins v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

April 10, 2019

WILLIAM RAY COLLINS Petitioner
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI Respondent

          ORDER

          ROBERT P. CHAMBERLIN, JUSTICE.

         The instant matter is before the Court en banc on William Ray Collins's Application for Leave to Proceed in the Trial Court. Collins was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to serve forty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Collins appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction and sentence. Collins v. State, 817 So.2d 644 (Miss. Ct. App. 2002). The mandate issued on June 18, 2002.

         The instant matter is Collins's sixth application for post-conviction relief, with each prior application resulting in a dismissal or denial of the application. Further, Collins has been sanctioned on two separate occasions for filings deemed to be frivolous. In the instant matter, Collins raises the same argument regarding an amendment to his indictment that the Court previously has considered and rejected in at least three of his prior applications.

         After due consideration, the Court finds that Collins's Application for Leave to Proceed in the Trial Court should be denied as it is time-barred pursuant to Mississippi Code Section 99-39-5(2) (Rev. 2015), and it is barred as a successive application pursuant to Mississippi Code Section 99-39-27 (Rev. 2015). Further, Collins fails to meet any exception to the time bar or the bar on successive applications. Collins's application also is barred by the doctrine of res judicata.

         Lastly, while Collins has been warned of the possibility of future sanctions for filings deemed frivolous and even has had monetary sanctions imposed by order of the Court, we take the opportunity to warn Collins that any future filings deemed frivolous may subject him to further monetary sanctions and restrictions on his ability to proceed in forma pauperis in the future. See Order, Dunn v. State, 2016-M-01514 (Miss. Nov. 15, 2018).

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that William Ray Collins's pro se Application for Leave to Proceed in the Trial Court is denied.

         SO ORDERED.

          TO DENY AND ISSUE SANCTIONS WARNING: RANDOLPH, C.J., COLEMAN, MAXWELL, BEAM, CHAMBERLIN, ISHEE AND GRIFFIS, JJ.

          TO DENY: KITCHENS AND KING, P.JJ.

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

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

         ¶1. Although William Ray Collins's application for post-conviction relief does not merit relief, I disagree with the Court's finding that the application is frivolous and with the warning 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. This Court previously has defined a frivolous motion to mean one filed in which the movant has "no hope of success." Roland v. State, 666 So.2d 747, 751 (Miss. 1995). However, "though a case may be weak or 'light-headed,' that is not sufficient to label it frivolous." Calhoun v. State, 849 So.2d 892, 897 (Miss. 2003). In his application for post-conviction relief, Collins made reasonable arguments. As such, I disagree with the Court's determination that Collins's application is frivolous.

         ¶3. Additionally, I disagree with this Court's warning that future filings may result in monetary sanctions or restrictions on filing applications for post-conviction collateral relief in forma pauperis. 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 ...


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