STATE of Arkansas v. Murray ARMSTRONG
97-1565 ___ S.W.2d ___
Supreme Court of Arkansas
Opinion delivered January 29, 1998
Appeal & error -- motion for clarification granted. -- Granting the State's
motion for clarification regarding whether an assignment order
in appellee's three criminal cases covered the adjudication of
appellee's habeas corpus petition, the supreme court declared
that if there were a recusal by all of the circuit judges in
the judicial district, the court would follow the procedure
set forth in Ark. Code Ann. 16-10-101(b) (1987), whereby the
Chief Justice would assign a special judge to hear the habeas
Motion for Clarification; granted.
Winston Bryant, Att'y Gen., by: O. Milton Fine II, Asst.
Att'y Gen., for appellant.
Sam Heuer, for appellee.
The State has filed a motion for clarification inquiring about
the presiding trial judge in a petition for writ of habeas corpus,
Case No. LCIV 97-98-3, filed by appellee Murray Armstrong in
Lincoln County Circuit Court on October 8, 1997.
Appellee had been previously charged by felony information in
Lincoln County Circuit Court with multiple counts of theft of
property in Case Nos. LCR 96-6-1, LCR 96-17-1, and LCR 96-18-1.
After all of the circuit judges in the Eleventh Judicial District
recused from these cases, the Chief Justice, pursuant to Ark. Code
Ann. 16-10-101(b) (1987), assigned the Hon. John Cole of the
Seventh Judicial Circuit to hear the cases. The assignment order,
No. 97-035, was entered on January 31, 1997.
When appellee filed the petition for writ of habeas corpus at
issue, the case was assigned to the Third Division of Lincoln
County Circuit Court. This case, No. LCIV 97-98-3, was then merely
forwarded to Judge Cole pursuant to Assignment Order No. 97-035.
The State now asks us to clarify whether Assignment Order 97-
035 covers the adjudication of appellee's habeas corpus petition.
If there is a recusal by all of the circuit judges in the Eleventh
Judicial District, we will follow the procedure as set forth in
Ark. Code Ann. 16-10-101(b) (1987), whereby the Chief Justice
will assign a special judge to hear LCIV 97-98-3.