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Hickmon v. Jones

Supreme Court of Florida

March 1, 2018

LEVORY WILLIAM HICKMON, Petitioner,
v.
JULIE L. JONES, etc., Respondent.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED.

         Original Proceeding - Habeas Corpus

          Levory William Hickmon, pro se, Lake City, Florida, for Petitioner

          No appearance for Respondent

          PER CURIAM.

         This case is before the Court on the pro se petition of Levory William Hickmon for a writ of habeas corpus. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(9), Fla. Const. This is the forty-ninth petition or notice that Hickmon has filed with this Court since 1999. On September 13, 2017, we dismissed the instant petition, expressly retained jurisdiction, and ordered Hickmon to show cause why he should not be barred from filing further pro se filings in this Court. See Hickmon v. Jones, No. SC17-997, 2017 WL 4021217 (Fla. Sept. 13, 2017); see also Fla. R. App. P. 9.410(a) (Sanctions; Court's Motion). We now find that Hickmon has failed to show cause why he should not be barred, and we sanction him as set forth below.

         In 2006, Hickmon was convicted of fleeing a law enforcement officer, obstructing a criminal investigation, and possessing cocaine in case number 592002CF003627A000XX in the Circuit Court for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, in and for Seminole County, Florida. He was sentenced to thirty years' imprisonment. On June 10, 2008, the Fifth District Court of Appeal per curiam affirmed his convictions and sentences. See Hickmon v. State, 983 So.2d 1162 (Fla. 5th DCA 2008) (table). Since then, Hickmon has demonstrated a pattern of vexatious filing of meritless pro se requests for relief in this Court.

         Hickmon has filed with this Court twenty-eight petitions and notices challenging his 2006 convictions and sentences.[1] He has filed twenty additional petitions and notices with the Court relating to other matters.[2] Only once has this Court granted Hickmon the relief he sought in any of his petitions and notices. See Hickmon v. Seminole Cty. Corr. Facility, 917 So.2d 193 (Fla. 2005) (table) (granting mandamus petition). Each of the remaining forty-seven petitions and notices was denied, dismissed, or transferred to another court for consideration.

         Hickmon filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus with the Court on May 23, 2017. In it, Hickmon argued that his convictions and sentences should be set aside because the judges of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit were allegedly biased against him, and his Sixth Amendment right to counsel and Fourteenth Amendment right to due process were violated at his 2006 trial. Because we determined the relief Hickmon sought was unauthorized, on September 13, 2017, we dismissed the petition as unauthorized pursuant to Baker v. State, 878 So.2d 1236 (Fla. 2004), and expressly retained jurisdiction to consider the imposition of sanctions. In accordance with State v. Spencer, 751 So.2d 47 (Fla. 1999), we ordered Hickmon to show cause why he should not be barred from filing further pro se requests for relief.

         In his response to this Court's order, Hickmon maintains that his convictions and sentences were improper and asks to "be let off with a warning." He asserts that due process requires such a warning before his access to this Court is limited. However, Hickmon was provided with notice that the Court was considering the imposition of sanctions and an opportunity to respond thereto, as is required before imposing sanctions. See Spencer, 751 So.2d at 48. Additionally, Hickmon has previously been prohibited from filing further pro se documents in the district court as a result of his unrelenting pro se requests for relief, and it should be no surprise to him that such conduct can lead to being barred from filing further pro se pleadings in this Court. See Hickmon v. State, 96 So.3d 1122 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012); Hickmon v. State, 887 So.2d 408 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004).

         Therefore, based on Hickmon's extensive history of filing pro se petitions and requests for relief that were meritless or otherwise inappropriate for this Court's review, we now find that he has abused this Court's limited judicial resources. See Pettway v. McNeil, 987 So.2d 20, 22 (Fla. 2008) (explaining that this Court has previously "exercised the inherent judicial authority to sanction an abusive litigant" and that "[o]ne justification for such a sanction lies in the protection of the rights of others to have the Court conduct timely reviews of their legitimate filings"). If no action is taken, Hickmon will continue to burden this Court's resources.

         Accordingly, we direct the Clerk of this Court to reject any future pleadings or other requests for relief submitted by Levory William Hickmon, unless such filings are signed by a member in good standing of The Florida Bar. Henceforth, Hickmon may only petition this Court through the assistance of counsel whenever such counsel determines that the proceeding may have merit and can be filed in good faith. Additionally, we find the petition filed in this case by Hickmon is a frivolous proceeding filed by a state prisoner. See § 944.279(1), Fla. Stat. (2017). Consistent with section 944.279(1), Florida Statutes (2017), we direct the Clerk of this Court to forward a certified copy of this opinion to the Department of Corrections' institution or facility where Hickmon is incarcerated. See Steele v. State, 14 So.3d 221, 224 (Fla. 2009).

         No motion for rehearing or clarification will be ...


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