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Saunders v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

October 27, 2014

ROBERT SAUNDERS, Defendant Below, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee

Submitted August 11, 2014.

Motion for Rehearing en Banc filed 11/7/14; Denied 11/12/14. Case Closed November 13, 2014.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Table of Decisions Without Published Opinions." in the Atlantic Reporter.

Court below--Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County. Cr. ID No. 89008879DI.

Before HOLLAND, RIDGELY and VALIHURA, Justices.

ORDER

Randy J. Holland, Justice.

This 27th day of October 2014, upon consideration of the appellant's opening brief and the appellee's motion to affirm, it appears to the Court that:

(1) Nearly thirty-eight years ago, in November 1976, a Superior Court jury convicted the appellant, Robert Saunders, of Murder in the First Degree and related offenses. Saunders' convictions were affirmed on direct appeal in 1979.[1]

(2) In this appeal, Saunders seeks review of the Superior Court's denial of his ninth motion for postconviction relief and related motions for appointment of counsel, to disqualify the judge deciding the postconviction motion, and " for discovery and inspection" of all of his postconviction motions since 1981 and the decisions on those motions. The appellee, State of Delaware, has moved to affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.

(3) The Court has reviewed the parties' positions on appeal and the Superior Court record and has concluded that there is no error of law or abuse of discretion in the Superior Court's denials of Saunders' ninth postconviction motion and related motions for appointment of counsel, to disqualify the assigned judge, and for " discovery and inspection." Moreover, because it appears that Saunders' ninth postconviction motion and related motions raised the same right to counsel claims that were raised and rejected in his eighth postconviction motion the denial of which was affirmed on appeal,[2] we have found that this appeal is legally frivolous and is an abuse of the judicial process.[3]

(4) We do not intend to continue to invest scarce judicial resources in addressing repetitive and frivolous claims. In the future, if Saunders files a notice of appeal or a petition for an extraordinary writ concerning his 1976 convictions, the Clerk is directed to refuse the filing unless it is accompanied by the required filing fee or a completed motion to proceed in forma pauperis with a sworn affidavit containing the certifications under 10 Del. C. § 8803(e), and that motion is first granted by the Court.[4]

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the State's motion to affirm is GRANTED. The judgment of the Superior Court is AFFIRMED.


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