Hooks v. State, 41476

Decision Date20 October 1971
Docket NumberNo. 41476,41476
Citation253 So.2d 424
PartiesHarold Raymond HOOKS, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

Harold Raymond Hooks, in pro. per.

Robert L. Shevin, Atty. Gen., and Charles W. Musgrove, Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondent.

ADKINS, Justice.

By petition for certiorari, we are asked to review a decision of the District Court of Appeal, Fourth District, (Hooks v. State, 250 So.2d 322), which allegedly conflicts with prior decisions of other District Courts of Appeal as well as this Court.

Petitioner, an indigent, was represented by the public defender during the trial and his appeal to the District Court of Appeal. He seeks counsel to represent him in this proceeding.

With his petition for writ of certiorari, the petitioner has filed a copy of the information charging him in two counts with the sale of L.S.D. and two counts charging him with the possession of L.S.D. Also, he has included a copy of the judgment and sentence and the pertinent portion of the transcript of record relating to the question raised in his petition. He also furnished copies of the briefs filed in the District Court of Appeal.

Petitioner filed a motion for 'immediate consideration for appointment of counsel,' which was denied without prejudice to reapply in the event this Court finds that it has jurisdiction. Petitioner then filed a second motion for immediate consideration of appointment of counsel. In the event counsel is not appointed under the second motion, petitioner requests that it be considered as an amended petition for writ of certiorari.

The thrust of his allegations in his second motion is the failure of the public defender to consult with him during the appellate proceedings in the District Court of Appeal. He says that a public defender should not conduct an ex parte appeal over the objections of the indigent he represents. He alleges that he does not have access to the decisions of the Florida court for the purpose of determining whether conflict exists.

Petitioner had a constitutional right to the assistance of counsel on his appeal to the District Court of Appeal from his judgment of conviction. Swenson v. Bosler, 386 U.S. 258, 87 S.Ct. 996, 18 L.Ed.2d 33 (1967).

Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), holds that the United States Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment requires the appointment of an attorney to prosecute a First appeal from an indigent's criminal conviction after an attorney first appointed for him concludes that there is no merit to the appeal and so advises the Court by letter. In discussing the right of counsel to withdraw, the United States Supreme Court said:

'The constitutional requirement of substantial equality and fair process can only be attained where counsel acts in the role of an active advocate in behalf of his client, as opposed to that of amicus curiae. The no-merit letter and the procedure it triggers do not reach that dignity. Counsel should, and can with honor and without conflict, be of more assistance to his client and to the court. His role as advocate requires that he support his client's appeal to the best of his ability. Of course, if counsel finds his case to be wholly frivolous, after a conscientious examination of it, he should so advise the court and request permission to withdraw. That request must, however, be accompanied by a brief referring to anything in the record that might arguably support the appeal. A copy of counsel's brief should be furnished the indigent and time allowed him to raise any points that he chooses; the court--not counsel--then proceeds, after a full examination of all the proceedings, to decide whether the case is wholly frivolous. If it so finds it may grant counsel's request to withdraw and dismiss the appeal insofar as federal requirements are concerned, or proceed to a decision on the merits, if state law so requires. On the other hand, if it finds any of the legal points arguable on their merits (and therefore not frivolous) it must, prior to decision, afford the indigent the assistance of counsel to argue the appeal.

'This requirement would not force appointed counsel to brief his case against his client but would merely afford the latter that advocacy which a nonindigent defendant is able to obtain. It would also induce the court to pursue all the more vigorously its own review because of the ready references not only to the record, but also to the legal authorities as furnished it by counsel. The no-merit letter, on the other hand, affords neither the client nor the court any aid. The former must shift entirely for himself while the court has only the cold record which it must review without the help of an advocate.' (386 U.S. pp. 744--745, 87 S.Ct. p. 1400, 18 L.Ed.2d pp. 498--499).

The principles enunciated in Anders v. California, Supra, have been applied by the District Court of Appeal. Schuler v. State, 229 So.2d 667 (Fla.App.1st, 1969); Leone v. State, 233 So.2d 404 (Fla.App.2d, 1970); Daniels v. State, 233 So.2d 405 (Fla.App.2d, 1970).

Under our appellate procedure the District Court of Appeal grants a full appeal and considers every phase of the record. This is the First appeal within the concept of Anders v. California, Supra. On the other hand, the jurisdiction of this Court is limited, in the case Sub judice, to the sole question of whether the decision of the District Court of Appeal conflicts with some decision of another District Court of Appeal or of this Court. Fla.Const., art. V, § 4(2), F.S.A.

The petitioner has no absolute right to appointed counsel in presenting his petition for certiorari in the case Sub judice. The question in each proceeding of this nature before this Court should be whether, under the circumstances, the assistance of counsel is essential to accomplish a fair and thorough presentation of the petitioner's claims. Of course, doubts should be resolved in favor of the indigent petitioner...

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34 cases
  • Howard v. Inch
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • October 18, 2021
    ...the appointment of counsel in order to accomplish a fair and thorough presentation of petitioner's claims to the [trial court].” Hooks, 253 So.2d at 427. Under Florida law, trial court, not the appellate court, has the discretion to determine whether the Graham factors have been met to warr......
  • Enrique v. State
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • December 22, 1981
    ...74 So.2d 650 (Fla.1954); Keur v. State, 160 So.2d 546 (Fla.2d DCA 1964); Brizzie v. State, 120 So.2d 27 (Fla.2d DCA 1960). See Hooks v. State, 253 So.2d 424 (Fla.), cert. denied, 405 U.S. 1044, 92 S.Ct. 1330, 31 L.Ed.2d 587 (1971). Were we to read the statute, as it apparently was read by t......
  • Recinos v. State, 77-1841
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • February 2, 1982
    ...is embraced in Article I, Sec 16 of the Florida Constitution. The right is that of the accused, not of the attorney. Hooks v. State, 253 So.2d 424 (Fla.1971), cert. denied, 405 U.S. 1044, 92 S.Ct. 1330, 31 L.Ed.2d 587 I must take issue with the majority's conclusion that "the sole conceivab......
  • Jones v. State , 4D10–4785.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • September 7, 2011
    ...right to appointed counsel in postconviction relief proceedings. See Graham v. State, 372 So.2d 1363, 1365 (Fla.1979); Hooks v. State, 253 So.2d 424, 426 (Fla.1971). The authority to appoint counsel in such proceedings derives from “due process concerns.” Russo v. Akers, 724 So.2d 1151, 115......
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