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Madden v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

October 13, 2017

Joseph Wayne Madden
v.
State of Alabama

         Appeal from Marion Circuit Court (CC-82-31.64; CC-82-34.65; CC-82-37.64)

          BURKE, JUDGE

         Joseph Wayne Madden appeals the circuit court's summary denial of his Rule 32, Ala. R. Crim. P., petition for postconviction relief. The petition challenged his 1983 convictions for three counts of first-degree receiving stolen property, a violation of § 13A-8-17, Ala. Code 1975, and his resulting concurrent sentences of 10 years' imprisonment; those sentences were suspended, and Madden was placed on five years' probation. Madden did not take a direct appeal from his convictions.

         On or about March 17, 2017, Madden filed the instant petition, his sixth, in which he alleged that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to render the judgments or to impose his sentences because (1) the crimes were committed in Mississippi; and (2) his three convictions and concomitant sentences violated double-jeopardy principles because they all arose from the same offense.

         On or about March 30, 2017, the State responded to Madden's petition. The State alleged that Madden's claims had been previously addressed in collateral proceedings and that his petition was due to be dismissed as successive under Rule 32.2(b), Ala. R. Crim. P. The State also argued that Madden's claim (1), as listed above, was meritless because Madden admitted at his guilty-plea proceedings that he was in possession of the vehicles in the State of Alabama, with the knowledge that the goods were stolen and that he did not have the intent to return the goods to the owner. The State also argued that Madden's claim (2), as listed above, was meritless because he was in possession of three stolen vehicles, taken from three victims.

         On March 30, 2017, the circuit court summarily denied Madden's petition. The circuit court found that Madden's petition was due to be denied pursuant to Rule 32.2, Ala. R. Crim. P., because he raised the same claims that were contained in his first five Rule 32 petitions and that had already been adjudicated on the merits. The circuit court also ordered the Marion County Circuit Clerk "to neither accept, nor take any action on further post-conviction motions or petitions tendered by Joseph Wayne Madden unless and until" (1)Madden prepays the docketing fee at the time of filing, (2) Madden presents motions that have been filed by an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Alabama, and (3) Madden provides an affidavit executed by Madden and his attorney "certifying and subject to contempt for false swearing that the claim(s) being raised are novel cognizable jurisdiction claims and are not claims that [were] previously raised and adjudicated on the merits." (C. 112.)

          On appeal, Madden reasserts the claims raised in his petition and argues that the circuit court abused its discretion by summarily denying his claims without holding an evidentiary hearing. Madden also claims that the circuit court abused its discretion by adopting the State's response. Lastly, Madden alleges that the circuit court abused its discretion by imposing sanctions against him in its order denying his petition, which, he claims, constitute a denial of access to the courts.

         A circuit court may summarily dismiss a petitioner's Rule 32 petition pursuant to Rule 32.7(d), Ala. R. Crim. P.,

"[i]f the court determines that the petition is not sufficiently specific, or is precluded, or fails to state a claim, or that no material issue of fact or law exists which would entitle the petitioner to relief under this rule and that no purpose would be served by any further proceedings, the court may either dismiss the petition or grant leave to file an amended petition."

See also Hannon v. State, 861 So.2d 426, 427 (Ala.Crim.App.2003); Cogman v. State, 852 So.2d 191, 193 (Ala.Crim.App.2002); Tatum v. State, 607 So.2d 383, 384 (Ala.Crim.App.1992). Because Madden's claims were precluded, or were without merit, summary disposition was appropriate.

         To the extent that Madden alleges that the court lacked jurisdiction to accept his guilty-pleas because the offenses were committed in Mississippi, this claim is without merit. Madden argued in his petition and in his brief on appeal that, because the property was stolen in Mississippi and then brought back to Marion County, the offense was committed "wholly outside the State of Alabama." (Madden's brief, at 15.) Section 13A-8-16, Ala. Code 1975, provides that "[a] person commits the crime of receiving stolen property if he intentionally receives, retains or disposes of stolen property knowing that it has been stolen or having reasonable grounds to believe it has been stolen, unless the property is received, retained or disposed of with intent to restore it to the owner." Madden concedes in his brief on appeal that, during his guilty-plea colloquy, he told the court that he brought the vehicles back from Mississippi to Marion County. Section 15-2-6, Ala. Code 1975, provides that "when an offense is committed partly in one county and partly in another, or the act or effects thereof constituting or requisite to the consummation of the offense occurs in two or more counties, venue is in either county." Therefore, because he "retained" the stolen property in Marion County, his claim is meritless.

         In as much as Madden reasserts his double-jeopardy claim, in which he argues that the court lacked jurisdiction to accept his guilty plea and to impose his sentences because he was found to be in possession of the stolen property at one location, this claim was also properly denied as successive under Rule 32.2(b), Ala. R. Crim. P. This claim has been raised and addressed by this Court on numerous occasions. This Court most recently stated in an unpublished memorandum affirming the dismissal of one of Madden's earlier petitions, Madden v. State, (No. CR-11-0801, August 10, 2012) 152 So.3d 460 (Ala.Crim.App.2012)(table):[1]

"Even if Madden's claim is, in fact, jurisdictional, a duplicative jurisdictional claim can be precluded as successive under Rule 32.2(b), Ala. R. Crim. P., if the claim was previously raised and adjudicated on its merits. Ex parte Trawick, 972 So.2d 782, 784 (2007).
"Madden argued in his fourth Rule 32 petition that 'the [circuit] court was without jurisdiction because his three convictions and sentences for receiving stolen property were based on a single possession'; Madden, therefore, concluded that his double-jeopardy rights were violated. Madden v. State (CR-08-0255, August 14, 2009), So.3d (Ala.Crim.App.2009)(table). In this Court's ...

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