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State ex rel. Causey v. State

Supreme Court of Louisiana

March 2, 2018

STATE EX REL. JOHNNIE CAUSEY
v.
STATE OF LOUISIANA

         ON SUPERVISORY WRITS TO THE CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF ORLEANS

          PER CURIAM.

         Denied. Relator does not identify an illegal term in his sentence, and therefore his filing is properly construed as an application for post-conviction relief. See State v. Parker, 98-0256 (La. 5/8/98), 711 So.2d 694. As such, it is subject to the time limitation set forth in La.C.Cr.P. art. 930.8. Relator's application was not timely filed in the district court, and he fails to carry his burden to show that an exception applies. La.C.Cr.P. art. 930.8; State ex rel. Glover v. State, 93-2330 (La. 9/5/95), 660 So.2d 1189. In addition, relator's sentencing claim is not cognizable on collateral review. La.C.Cr.P. art. 930.3; State ex rel. Melinie v. State, 93-1380 (La. 1/12/96), 665 So.2d 1172; see also State v. Cotton, 09-2397 (La. 10/15/10), 45 So.3d 1030. We attach hereto and make a part hereof the district court's written reasons denying relief.

         Relator has now fully litigated his application for post-conviction relief in state court. Similar to federal habeas relief, see 28 U.S.C. § 2244, Louisiana post-conviction procedure envisions the filing of a second or successive application only under the narrow circumstances provided in La.C.Cr.P. art. 930.4 and within the limitations period as set out in La.C.Cr.P. art. 930.8. Notably, the legislature in 2013 La. Acts 251 amended that article to make the procedural bars against successive filings mandatory. Relator's claims have now been fully litigated in accord with La.C.Cr.P. art. 930.6, and this denial is final. Hereafter, unless he can show that one of the narrow exceptions authorizing the filing of a successive application applies, relator has exhausted his right to state collateral review. The district court is ordered to record a minute entry consistent with this per curiam.

         JUDGMENT

         This matter comes before the Court on a Motion to Correct an Illegal Sentence. A review of the record reveals that this sentence is legal in all respects

         Mr. Causey contends that he is deserving of this relief because of the trial court's failure to advise him of his rights to challenge the multiple bill filed against him. This conviction became final more than two years ago. This Court is of the opinion that this motion is actually an application for post-conviction relief that is being labeled a motion to correct illegal sentence to avoid the obvious prescription problems. Such an attempt to circumvent the time limitation provided by Article 930.8 was addressed by the Supreme Court in State v Parker, 711 So.2d 694, H98-0256 (La. 5/g/98):

Because Parker's filing below did not point to a claimed illegal term in his sentence, he did not raise a claim cognizable in a motion to correct an illegal sentence. Instead, he raised a claim of trial error properly cognizable in an application for post-conviction relief if at all. Accordingly the "at any time" language of La.C.Cr.P. art. 882 does not apply to Parker's filing and the three-year prescriptive period of La.C.Cr.P. art. 930.8 applies instead. See State ex re] Stepter v. Whitley, 93-2346 (La.10/13/95), 661 So.2d 480

         The same is true of Mr. Causey's present motion. Accordingly, his motion is DENIED.

          Justice Hughes would grant for the reasons.

          JOHNSON, C.J., would grant the writ application and assigns reasons

         I would grant defendant's writ application, finding his 13-year sentence on a possession of marijuana charge excessive.

         In 2010, defendant entered an Alford plea to one count of possession of marijuana. The district court sentenced defendant to 5 years imprisonment at hard labor. Following habitual offender proceedings, the district court adjudicated defendant as a fourth-felony habitual offender, vacated the 5-year sentence, and resentenced defendant to 20 years imprisonment at hard labor, without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. The court of appeal affirmed the defendant's conviction but vacated the fourth offender adjudication and sentence and remanded the case to the district court. Defendant was then adjudicated as a third-felony offender, and resentenced to 13 years imprisonment at hard labor.

         In 2016, the district court denied defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence. The court of appeal then denied writs, finding no error in the district court's ruling. The majority ...


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