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Barnett v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

November 12, 2019

BOBBY K. BARNETT A/K/A BOBBY KEITH BARNETT Petitioner
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI Respondent

          EN BANC ORDER

          DAVID MICHAEL ISHEE, JUSTICE

         Before the Court is the "Motion" filed pro se by Bobby Keith Barnett, which we treat as an application for leave to pursue post-conviction relief.

         This application for leave is Barnett's seventh. The Court finds that the application for leave is barred by time and as a successive writ; none of Barnett's claims meet an exception to the bars. Miss. Code Ann. §§ 99-39-5(2), 99-39-27(9) (Rev. 2015). Notwithstanding the bars, Barnett has also failed to make a substantial showing of the denial of a state or federal right. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-27(5) (Rev. 2015). Accordingly, the application for leave should be denied.

         Further, the Court finds the filing to be frivolous. Barnett is warned that future filings deemed frivolous may result not only in monetary sanctions but also in restrictions on filing applications for post-conviction collateral relief (or pleadings in that nature) in forma pauperis. Order, Dunn v. State, 2016-M-01514 (Miss. Nov. 15, 2018).

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Bobby Keith Barnett's "Motion" is denied.

         SO ORDERED.

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

          TO DENY: KITCHENS, P.J.

          TO DISMISS: KING, P.J.

          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 Bobby K. Barnett'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, Barnett made reasonable arguments that his indictment was defective, that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, that the jury verdict was biased, that the court erred by refusing to allow cross-examination of the State's witnesses, and that the verdict was contrary to the evidence. As such, I disagree with the Court's determination that Barnett'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 on 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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