Michael Whitten v. State of Arkansas

Annotate this Case
Michael WHITTEN v. STATE of Arkansas

CR 97-447                                          ___ S.W.2d ___

                    Supreme Court of Arkansas
                Opinion delivered March 19, 1998


Certiorari -- writ granted - extension of time to complete record
     granted. -- Where the record was not timely completed due to
     the court reporter's backlog, the supreme court granted
     appellant's motion for a sixty-day extension of time to
     complete the record and also granted a writ of certiorari; the
     court reporter was directed to prepare a transcript of the
     trial for appeal and to file the record with the supreme court
     clerk within sixty days. 


     Petition for Writ of Certiorari granted.
     Ronald C. Nichols, for appellant.
     No response.

     Per Curiam.    On January 14, 1997, appellant, Michael
Whitten, by his attorney, Ronald C. Nichols, filed a petition for
writ of certiorari, requesting that the trial court clerk be
directed to complete the record on appeal.  We granted a thirty-day
extension to complete the record and issued a writ to the circuit
clerk and court reporter on January 29, 1998, for the purpose of
obtaining the transcript of testimony in this case.  On February
17, 1998, Appellant filed for an additional sixty-day extension of
time to complete the record, noting that the trial court reporter
has been ill and that her workload is seriously backlogged.  On
February 27, 1998, we received a duplicate copy of the record
already on file with the supreme court clerk, but we have yet to
receive a record of the trial testimony.
     We grant appellant's motion for a sixty-day extension of time
to complete the record.  We also grant a writ of certiorari and
direct the court reporter to prepare a transcript of the trial for
appeal and to file the record with the supreme court clerk within
sixty days from the date of this per curiam order.  An appropriate
briefing schedule will then be set by the clerk of this court.
     However, we are concerned that a serious backlog problem may
be developing with respect to the court reporter for the Pulaski
County Circuit Court, Seventh Division, that may impact cases
currently on appeal or to be appealed from that court.  A copy of
this opinion will be forwarded to Judge John B. Plegge for a
determination to be made by him as to (i) the nature and degree of
the backlog problem, and (ii) the necessity or advisability of
retaining additional help to alleviate the problem.