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Pickett v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

December 19, 2014

Edward Charles Pickett
v.
State of Alabama

Appeal from Montgomery Circuit Court. (CC08-652.60).

Edward Charles Pickett, Appellant, Pro se.

For Appellee: Luther Strange, Atty. Gen., and Stephen N. Dodd, Asst. Atty. Gen.

BURKE, Judge., Windom, P.J., and Welch, Kellum, and Joiner, JJ., concur.

OPINION

BURKE, Judge.

Edward Charles Pickett pleaded guilty in November 2008 to one count of attempted rape in the first degree and to two counts of violating the " Community Notification of Released Convicted Sex Offenders Act," also known as the " Community Notification Act," § 15-20A-1, et seq., Ala. Code 1975, and was sentenced as a habitual offender to 30 years' imprisonment on the attempted rape count and to 20 years' imprisonment on each count of violating the CNA; the sentences were to run concurrently. Pickett did not file a direct appeal of his convictions.

On April 18, 2014, Pickett filed this, his first, petition for postconviction relief pursuant to Rule 32, Ala. R. Crim. P. In his petition, Pickett claimed that the Montgomery

Page 120

Circuit Court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over his case because the warrant issued by the district court for his arrest was not supported by sufficient probable cause.

On May 2, 2014, Pickett filed a motion to amend and to correct his petition for postconviction relief. The circuit court denied Pickett's motion to amend and correct his petition on May 5, 2014. After the State filed a response to Pickett's original petition on May 16, 2014, the circuit court summarily dismissed the petition. This appeal follows.

On appeal, Pickett contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion to amend and to correct his Rule 32 petition.

" In Ex parte Rhone, [900 So.2d 455 (Ala. 2004), the Alabama Supreme] Court stated:
" 'Subsection (b) of [Rule 32.7, Ala. R.Crim. P.,] unambiguously grants discretion to the trial court, providing that " [a]mendments to pleadings may be permitted at any stage of the proceedings prior to the entry of judgment." (Emphasis added.) Guiding the exercise of that discretion is the mandate of subsection (d) that " [l]eave to amend shall be freely granted." (Emphasis added.) However, because the trial court has discretion to refuse an amendment to a Rule 32 petition, ...

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