Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
from the Criminal Court for Johnson County No. CC-15-CR-7
Lisa Rice, Judge
se petitioner, Marquise Harris, appeals as of right from the
Johnson County Criminal Court's order summarily
dismissing his fourth petition for writ of habeas corpus
alleging that his 2006 guilty-pleaded convictions for two
counts of attempted first degree murder, two counts of
aggravated assault, and one count of felonious possession of
a weapon are void because the general sessions and trial
courts did not have jurisdiction over him due to his alleged
mental incompetency. The State has filed a motion to affirm
the trial court's judgment pursuant to Rule 20 of the
Rules of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. Following
our review, we conclude that the State's motion is
well-taken and affirm the order of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed
Pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Marquise Harris, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Clarence E. Lutz, Senior Counsel; and Tony Clark, District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.,
KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE
January 13, 2006, the petitioner pleaded guilty to two counts
of attempted first degree murder, two counts of aggravated
assault, and one count of felonious possession of a weapon
and was sentenced to a total effective sentence of 23
years' incarceration as a standard offender. The
petitioner did not seek a direct appeal of his convictions or
8, 2008, the petitioner filed his first petition for writ of
habeas corpus, alleging that the sentence imposed was
illegal, that he was denied a mental evaluation, that an
unconstitutional arrest and search had occurred, and that his
trial counsel was ineffective. The trial court denied the
petition without a hearing for failing to state a cognizable
habeas corpus claim. The petitioner improperly sought a
direct appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which was
denied on August 26, 2008. State v. Marquise Harris,
W2008-01853-SC-OT-HC, Order (Tenn. Aug. 26, 2008).
October 22, 2008, the petitioner filed a second petition for
writ of habeas corpus, alleging the same claims. The trial
court again denied the petition without a hearing for failing
to state a cognizable claim. This court affirmed the trial
court's order on appeal. Marquise Harris v.
State, M2009-01834-CCA-R3-HC (Tenn. Crim. App., at
Nashville, May 21, 2010).
28, 2010, the petitioner filed a third petition for writ of
habeas corpus, alleging that an unconstitutional transfer to
the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute deprived the
trial court of jurisdiction and that counsel was ineffective
for failing to challenge the transfer. The trial court
summarily dismissed the petition. This court affirmed the
trial court's order on appeal, and the supreme court
denied review. Marquise Harris v. State,
M2010-01905-CCA-R3-HC (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Jan.
21, 2011), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Apr. 13, 2011).
January 31, 2011, the petitioner filed his first petition for
post-conviction relief, which was summarily dismissed for
filing outside the statute of limitations. On appeal, this
court affirmed the summary dismissal, and the supreme court
denied review. Marquise Harris v. State,
M2011-00941-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Mar.
16, 2012), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Nov. 26, 2012).
February 12, 2015, the petitioner filed this latest petition
for writ of habeas corpus, alleging that the trial court had
no jurisdiction over him due to his incompetence. The trial
court summarily dismissed the petition for failing to state a
cognizable claim. The petitioner filed a timely notice of
appeal. The State filed a motion to affirm the trial
court's judgment by memorandum opinion. Tenn. Ct. Crim.
App. R. 20. The petitioner filed a motion seeking permission
to file a late response to the State's motion. By this
opinion, we grant the petitioner's motion to file a late
response. Upon full review, however, we conclude that the
State's motion is well-taken and affirm the trial
court's judgment by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule
determination of whether to grant habeas corpus relief is a
question of law and our review is de novo. Summers v.
State, 212 S.W.3d 251, 262 (Tenn. 2007). The Tennessee
Constitution guarantees a convicted criminal defendant the
right to seek habeas corpus relief. Tenn. Const. art. I,
§ 15. However, the grounds upon which habeas corpus
relief will be granted are very narrow. Taylor v.
State, 995 S.W.2d 78, 83 (Tenn. 1999). In this state,
habeas corpus relief only addresses detentions that result
from void judgments or expired sentences. Archer v.
State, 851 S.W.2d 157, 164 (Tenn. 1993). A petitioner
bears the burden of establishing a void judgment or illegal
confinement by a preponderance of the evidence. Hogan v.
Mills, 168 S.W.3d 753, 755 (Tenn. 2005). Moreover, it is
permissible for a court to summarily dismiss a habeas corpus
petition, without the appointment of counsel ...