Whitehead v. State, No. 23759

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtHARWELL
Citation310 S.C. 532,426 S.E.2d 315
PartiesSamuel E. WHITEHEAD, Petitioner, v. STATE of South Carolina, Respondent.
Decision Date14 December 1992
Docket NumberNo. 23759

Page 315

426 S.E.2d 315
310 S.C. 532
Samuel E. WHITEHEAD, Petitioner,
v.
STATE of South Carolina, Respondent.
No. 23759.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Submitted Oct. 26, 1992.
Decided Dec. 14, 1992.

Page 316

[310 S.C. 533] Asst. Appellate Defender Lesley M. Coggiola, of S.C. Office of Appellate Defense, Columbia, for petitioner.

Atty. Gen. T. Travis Medlock, Chief Deputy Atty. Gen. Donald J. Zelenka, Asst. Atty. Gen. Teresa N. Cosby, Columbia, for respondent.

[310 S.C. 534] HARWELL, Chief Justice:

We granted certiorari to review the dismissal of Samuel E. Whitehead's (Whitehead) application for post-conviction relief (PCR). Whitehead contends that the PCR judge erred by failing to appoint counsel or obtain a knowing and intelligent waiver of the right to counsel. We reverse and remand for a new PCR hearing.

I. FACTS

Whitehead pleaded guilty to first degree burglary and committing a lewd act on a minor. His first PCR application was dismissed as meritless. We denied his petition for writ of certiorari to review that ruling.

Whitehead filed a second PCR application and a petition for habeas corpus, followed by a motion requesting that counsel be appointed to represent him. At a hearing to consider Whitehead's habeas corpus petition, the judge ordered the PCR file and habeas corpus file consolidated. Then, after being informed by the State that the decision to appoint counsel for indigent defendants in successive PCR proceedings is discretionary, the judge declined to appoint counsel. Whitehead was forced to present his claims to the court pro se. At the conclusion of the hearing, Whitehead's PCR application was dismissed.

II. DISCUSSION

Whitehead contends that Rule 71.1(d), SCRCP, required the judge to appoint counsel for him or to obtain his intelligent and knowing waiver of the right to counsel. We agree.

Rule 71.1(d), SCRCP, provides:

If, after the State has filed its return, the application presents questions of law or fact which will require a hearing, the court shall promptly appoint counsel to assist the applicant if he is indigent....

Rules of procedure, like statutes, should be given their plain meaning. When the text of a rule is clear and unambiguous, judicial inquiry is complete. See, e.g., Business Guides v. Chromatic Communications Enterprises, Inc., 498 U.S. 533, 111 S.Ct. 922, 112 L.Ed.2d 1140 (1991) (clear and unambiguous text in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is given its plain meaning).

[310 S.C. 535] In...

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14 practice notes
  • Al-Shabazz v. State, No. 24995.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 23 Agosto 1999
    ...a hearing has a statutory right to be represented by a court-appointed attorney. S.C.Code Ann. § 17-27-60 (1985); Whitehead v. State, 310 S.C. 532, 426 S.E.2d 315 (1992); Rule 71.1(d), SCRCP. After a hearing, the PCR court grants or denies relief by issuing a written order containing findin......
  • Hilton v. Stephon, Case No. 2:18-cv-00962-DCC-MGB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 13 Noviembre 2018
    ...27772. "[T]he PCR Applicant must be made aware of right to counsel and the dangers of self-representation." Whitehead v. State 426 S.E.2d 315, Prince v. State 392 S.E.2d 462. Richardson v. State 659 S.E.2d 493. "Nevertheless, this record indicates—though does not clearly reve......
  • Wade v. State, No. 25409.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 11 Febrero 2002
    ...a hearing has a statutory right to be represented by a court-appointed attorney. S.C.Code Ann. § 17-27-60 (1985); Whitehead v. State, 310 S.C. 532, 426 S.E.2d 315 (1992). This right does not generally exist for plaintiffs in civil In addition to these concerns, we note the legislative and j......
  • Mangal v. State, Opinion No. 27726.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 19 Julio 2017
    ...a hearing, the court shall promptly appoint counsel to assist the applicant if he is indigent."); see also Whitehead v. State, 310 S.C. 532, 535, 426 S.E.2d 315, 316 (1992) ("Rule 71.1(d) mandates the appointment of counsel for indigent PCR applicants whenever a PCR hearing is hel......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Al-Shabazz v. State, No. 24995.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 23 Agosto 1999
    ...a hearing has a statutory right to be represented by a court-appointed attorney. S.C.Code Ann. § 17-27-60 (1985); Whitehead v. State, 310 S.C. 532, 426 S.E.2d 315 (1992); Rule 71.1(d), SCRCP. After a hearing, the PCR court grants or denies relief by issuing a written order containing findin......
  • Hilton v. Stephon, Case No. 2:18-cv-00962-DCC-MGB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 13 Noviembre 2018
    ...27772. "[T]he PCR Applicant must be made aware of right to counsel and the dangers of self-representation." Whitehead v. State 426 S.E.2d 315, Prince v. State 392 S.E.2d 462. Richardson v. State 659 S.E.2d 493. "Nevertheless, this record indicates—though does not clearly reve......
  • Wade v. State, No. 25409.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 11 Febrero 2002
    ...a hearing has a statutory right to be represented by a court-appointed attorney. S.C.Code Ann. § 17-27-60 (1985); Whitehead v. State, 310 S.C. 532, 426 S.E.2d 315 (1992). This right does not generally exist for plaintiffs in civil In addition to these concerns, we note the legislative and j......
  • Mangal v. State, Opinion No. 27726.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 19 Julio 2017
    ...a hearing, the court shall promptly appoint counsel to assist the applicant if he is indigent."); see also Whitehead v. State, 310 S.C. 532, 535, 426 S.E.2d 315, 316 (1992) ("Rule 71.1(d) mandates the appointment of counsel for indigent PCR applicants whenever a PCR hearing is hel......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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