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Jackson v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

December 4, 2019

Carlos Lorenzo Jackson, Petitioner,
The State of Florida, Respondent.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          A Case of Original Jurisdiction - Habeas Corpus. Lower Tribunal No. 77-34723

          Carlos Jackson, in proper person.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, for respondent.

          Before EMAS, C.J., and FERNANDEZ and LOGUE, JJ.

          PER CURIAM.

         Carlos Jackson filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, contending, inter alia, that the sentences imposed in lower court case number 77-34723 violated the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the Florida and United States Constitutions. We find this claim (and the other claims raised) to be wholly without merit and would ordinarily deny this petition without further discussion. However, having reviewed and considered Jackson's litigation history in this court, further action is warranted.

         This is now the fortieth pro se appeal or original proceeding Jackson has filed with this Court since 1992.[1] Jackson has continued to raise and litigate meritless claims in successive appeals and petitions, even after we have affirmed the trial court's order or denied relief sought by him in an original proceeding filed with this court.[2] Indeed, in our 2000 opinion denying one of Jackson's prior pro se petitions for habeas corpus relief (3D00-52), we placed Jackson on notice:

The defendant's petition for habeas corpus is denied as frivolous and an abuse of process. It is well established that successive motions which were or could have been raised on appeal or in prior postconviction proceedings are procedurally barred. See, e.g., Rivera v. State, 728 So.2d 1165 (Fla.1998); Christopher v. State, 489 So.2d 22 (Fla.1986); Francois v. State, 470 So.2d 687 (Fla.1985); Duncan v. State, 728 So.2d 1237 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999). Any further frivolous filings on the part of the petitioner will result in forfeiture of all or part of his gain time. § 944.28(2)(a), Fla. Stat. (1997); Duncan, 728 So.2d at 1237 ("We caution defendant that 'a prisoner who is found by a court to have brought a frivolous suit, action, claim, proceeding or appeal in any court is subject to having his or her gain time forfeited.'"); see also Green v. State, 743 So.2d 178 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999).

Jackson v. State, 774 So.2d 747 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000).

         It would appear Jackson has failed to heed this warning, and has engaged in the filing of meritless, frivolous and successive claims, continuing to seek relief from this court on the very same claim notwithstanding prior adverse determinations. Jackson's actions have caused this court to expend precious and finite judicial resources which could otherwise be devoted to cases raising legitimate claims. Hedrick v. State, 6 So.3d 688, 691 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) ("A legitimate claim that may merit relief is more likely to be overlooked if buried within a forest of frivolous claims.")

         While we acknowledge that pro se parties must be afforded a genuine and adequate opportunity to exercise their constitutional right of access to the courts, that right is not unfettered. Although termination of the right to proceed pro se will undoubtedly impose a burden on a litigant who may be unable to afford counsel, the courts must strike a balance between the pro se litigant's right to participate in the judicial process and the courts' authority to protect the judicial process from abuse. The right to proceed pro se may be forfeited where it is determined, after proper notice and an opportunity to be heard, that the party has abused the judicial process by the continued filing of successive or meritless collateral claims in a criminal proceeding. State v. Spencer, 751 So.2d 47 (Fla.1999). As our sister court aptly described it, there comes a point when "enough is enough." Isley v. State, 652 So.2d 409, 410 (Fla. 5th DCA 1995).

         The defendant, Carlos Jackson, is hereby directed to show cause, within forty-five days from the date of this opinion, why he should not be prohibited from filing any further pro se appeals, pleadings, motions, or petitions relating to his convictions, judgments and sentences in circuit court case number 77-34723. Absent a showing of good cause, we intend to direct the Clerk of the Third District Court of Appeal to refuse to accept any such papers relating to this circuit court case number unless it has been reviewed and signed by an attorney who is a duly licensed member of The Florida Bar in good standing.

         Additionally, and absent a showing of good cause, any such further and unauthorized pro se filings by this defendant will subject him to appropriate sanctions, including the issuance of written findings forwarded to the Florida Department of Corrections for its consideration of disciplinary ...

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