McNichols v. Elmore , 2014 Ark. 133 ( 2014 )


Menu:
  •                                       Cite as 
    2014 Ark. 133
    
                      SUPREME COURT OF ARKANSAS
                                            No.   CR-14-132
    
                                                       Opinion Delivered   March 20, 2014
    JAMES E. MCNICHOLS                                 PRO SE PETITION FOR WRIT OF
                                   PETITIONER          MANDAMUS [LONOKE COUNTY
                                                       CIRCUIT COURT, NO. 43CR-07-238]
    v.
    
    HONORABLE BARBARA ELMORE,
    CIRCUIT JUDGE                                      PETITION MOOT.
                     RESPONDENT
    
    
                                             PER CURIAM
    
    
           Now before us is a pro se petition for writ of mandamus filed by petitioner James E.
    
    McNichols. In 2013, petitioner’s petition for postconviction relief pursuant to Arkansas Rule
    
    of Criminal Procedure 37.1 (2007) was dismissed in the Lonoke County Circuit Court. On
    
    October 2, 2013, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. On February 11, 2014, petitioner
    
    filed in this court the instant petition seeking a writ compelling Circuit Judge Barbara Elmore
    
    to act on the motion for reconsideration. Judge Elmore timely filed a response to the petition
    
    to which was appended a copy of her order, entered February 19, 2014, disposing of the motion.
    
           As the motion that was the subject of the mandamus action has been acted on by the
    
    respondent, the mandamus action is now moot. Glaze v. Reynolds, 
    2013 Ark. 43
     (per curiam);
    
    McCoy v. Pope, 
    2010 Ark. 183
     (per curiam). Even though the respondent has acted on the motion
    
    that was the subject of the mandamus action, rendering it moot, we note that Judge Elmore in
    
    her response states that she was unaware that the motion for reconsideration had been filed
    
    because she did not receive a copy of it. In the order, Judge Elmore also notes that she would
    
    have acted on the motion earlier but petitioner failed to provide her with a copy of it. However,
                                            Cite as 
    2014 Ark. 133
    
    this court has specifically said that lack of service is not in itself good cause for delay in disposing
    
    of a pleading on the court’s docket. See Paige v. Reynolds, 
    2013 Ark. 73
     (per curiam). This is true
    
    for all filings, including Rule 37.1 petitions where a petitioner may have an obligation to comply
    
    with notification rules in order to obtain relief under the Rule. Paige, 
    2013 Ark. 73
    .
    
            As we have made clear in prior opinions, the prompt resolution of all matters before a
    
    court is vital to the administration of justice. Paige, 
    2013 Ark. 73
    ; Nelson v. Glover, 
    2012 Ark. 307
    
    (per curiam); Higgins v. Proctor, 
    2009 Ark. 496
     (per curiam). In order for the courts to comply
    
    with this judicial obligation, a system must be in place in every judicial district whereby each
    
    judge is made fully aware of all filings on his or her docket. Paige, 
    2013 Ark. 73
    ; Goodwin v.
    
    Keaton, 
    2012 Ark. 137
     (per curiam). We take this opportunity to again urge all judicial districts
    
    to ensure that the district has a plan whereby judges are promptly informed of all filings in their
    
    courts. See Nelson, 
    2012 Ark. 307
    ; see also Cabral v. Keith, 
    364 Ark. 456
    , 
    220 S.W.3d 683
     (2005);
    
    McCoy v. Phillips, 
    357 Ark. 368
    , 
    166 S.W.3d 564
     (2004) (per curiam).
    
            Petition moot.
    
            James E. McNichols, pro se petitioner.
    
            Dustin McDaniel, Att’y Gen., by: Karen Virginia Wallace, Ass’t Att’y Gen., for appellee.
    
    
    
    
                                                       2
    

Document Info

DocketNumber: CR-14-132

Citation Numbers: 2014 Ark. 133

Judges: Per Curiam

Filed Date: 3/20/2014

Precedential Status: Precedential

Modified Date: 3/3/2016