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State v. Variste

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

April 29, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
JIMMIE VARISTE

ON APPLICATION FOR WRITS DIRECTED TO CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 444-401, SECTION " H" . Honorable Camille Buras, Judge.

Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, Scott G. Vincent, Assistant District Attorney, Parish of Orleans, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR STATE OF LOUISIANA.

Jimmie L. Variste, Jackson, La, DEFENDANT/RELATOR.

(Court composed of Judge Dennis R. Bagneris, Sr., Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Paul A. Bonin).

OPINION

PAUL A. BONIN, J.

Page 1128

[2014-1167 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] Jimmie Variste, an inmate at the Dixon Correctional Institute, filed in the district court[1] yet another motion requesting that copies of transcripts of his guilty plea colloquy and sentencing hearing be produced without his payment of costs. The district judge refused to consider this most recent motion and noted that her articulated reasonings for denying Mr. Variste's three prior identical motions were sufficient.

Mr. Variste timely filed an application for our supervisory review. The district attorney timely filed his opposition to Mr.

Page 1129

Variste's application. We then called for the entire record of the district court's proceedings in this matter to be filed with this Court. Mr. Variste filed a reply to the district attorney's opposition.

Having closely examined the latest motion filed by Mr. Variste, we grant the application for supervisory review. But, after our de novo review of the ruling, we [2014-1167 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] conclude that Mr. Variste is not entitled to the cost-free production of these documents and thus deny the relief sought by the application.

Specifically, Mr. Variste is not entitled to the transcript of his guilty plea colloquy " as of right" because the time limitations period for filing his application for post-conviction relief has expired and because Mr. Variste failed to file an application under one of the statutory exceptions to that limitations period enumerated in Article 930.8(A)(1-4). Mr. Variste is also not entitled to the cost-free production of the transcript of his sentencing hearing because he failed to establish a " particularized need" for that document through a properly filed application for post-conviction relief.

We explain below that an indigent inmate is entitled, during the two-year time limitations period set forth in La. C.Cr.P. art. 930.8(A), to cost-free production by a court of the transcript of his guilty-plea colloquy " as of right" but must thereafter establish a " particularized need" through a timely-filed application for post-conviction relief in order to obtain a transcript of the colloquy . We also explain that an indigent inmate, in order to obtain a transcript of his sentencing hearing, must always have first filed an application for post-conviction relief and establish a particularized need for the sentencing transcript. Before turning to our explanation, however, we emphasize that a court's production of any of these public documents to an inmate, or to anyone else, is ...


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