final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Mark Borello,
Jamichea Ziegler, pro se, Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Ziegler appeals an order dismissing his motion for
postconviction relief with prejudice. Because Ziegler failed
to comply with multiple court orders and Florida Rule of
Criminal Procedure 3.850(d), we affirm.
years after his 2014 conviction for attempted second-degree
murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,
Ziegler filed his first motion for postconviction relief. He
then filed two amended motions. He also moved twice for leave
to exceed the 50-page limit on such motions set forth in rule
3.850(d). The court dismissed Ziegler's amended motions
as facially insufficient for failing to comply with rule
3.850(d), and it denied his motions for leave to exceed the
50-page limit. However, Ziegler was granted leave to file an
filed four more amended motions, raising 33 grounds for
relief in the first motion, 32 grounds in the second, 33
grounds in the third, and 42 grounds in the fourth. The
postconviction court found that the first three motions were
voluntarily dismissed and dismissed the fourth motion for an
insufficient oath. Still, the court granted Ziegler another
chance to amend his postconviction motion pursuant to
Spera v. State, 971 So.2d 754 (Fla. 2007). But the
court included in its order a warning that Ziegler would not
be permitted to write his motion in a way to defeat the
50-page limitation in rule 3.850(d), and that he should
comply with the margin, line-spacing, and legibility
requirements of the rule.
then moved to add an oath to his fourth postconviction motion
that had been dismissed for lack of an oath. Ziegler
indicated that he wanted to rely on the grounds raised in
that motion. He declined the opportunity to file an amended
motion or re-submit his previous motion.
court dismissed Ziegler's amended motion with prejudice
as an abuse of process. The court found that Ziegler drafted
the motion in a manner that violated the requirements for
legibility, margins, line spacing, and page limits in rule
3.850(d). The rule requires motions to be "typewritten
or hand-written in legible printed lettering, in blue or
black ink, double-spaced, with margins no less than 1 inch on
white 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper." Fla. R. Crim. P.
3.850(d). It also provides that "[n]o motion, including
any memorandum of law, shall exceed 50 pages without leave of
the court upon a showing of good cause." Id.
Second District explained in Al-Hakim v. State, 87
So.3d 836, 838 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012), that a handwritten motion
containing an excessive number of lines per page could be
dismissed as illegible or, depending on the number of pages,
as violative of the length limitations. The court further
The clear intent of the amendment to rule
3.850(c) was to relieve judges and their staffs
from the burden of sifting through overlong and illegible
motions. Before the amendment, the Fourth District in
Ezer v. State, 10 So.3d 1175, 1177 (Fla. 4th DCA
2009), reviewed an "excessively lengthy motion" and
declared that "a strict page limitation should be
imposed on rule 3.850 motions." In the same vein, the
Fourth District lamented that "[t]he laudable goals of
post-conviction relief are lost when defendants abuse the
process" by filing extremely long motions. Hedrick
v. State, 6 So.3d 688, 691 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009). By
imposing a limit of fifty pages of specified size with
explicit margins, the amendment tackled that problem. Like
the margin requirement, double-spacing prevents evasion of
the length limit by compression of an overlong motion into
the required number of pages.
when it dismissed Ziegler's postconviction motion and
granted leave to amend, the court specifically instructed
Ziegler to write legibly, and comply with the page limit,
margin, and line-spacing requirements of rule 3.850(d).
Despite the court's order, Ziegler chose not to amend his
motion. Instead, he relied on his earlier-filed motion that
was 49 pages long and contained 42 grounds for relief. The
handwritten text is very small and illegible at times. Each
page typically includes 40-50 lines of text and the margins
throughout the motion are typically less than 1
inch. If (Image Omitted) the motion had been
drafted with the required margins and ...