James E. Manley, Appellant-Petitioner,
Keith Butts, Appellee-Respondent.
from the Henry Circuit Court The Honorable Kit C. Dean Crane,
Judge Trial Court Cause No. 33C02-1604-MI-37
Appellant, pro se James E. Manley New Castle, Indiana.
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Aaron T. Craft Deputy Attorney General
of the Case
James E. Manley ("Manley"), pro se, appeals the
Henry Circuit Court's order dismissing his petition for
writ of state habeas corpus as an unauthorized successive
petition for post-conviction relief. Manley contends that his
petition was not an unauthorized successive petition for
post-conviction relief and that, even if it were, the Henry
Circuit Court should have transferred it to his court of
conviction in Monroe County. Because Manley's habeas
petition is challenging the validity of his convictions and
sentence and because Indiana Post-Conviction Rule 1(1)(c)
requires that, under such circumstances, a trial court is
required to transfer the petition to the court where the
petitioner was convicted, we reverse the Henry Circuit
Court's dismissal of Manley's petition and instruct
the trial court to transfer the petition to Manley's
conviction court, the Monroe Circuit Court, where it shall be
treated as a post-conviction petition.
We reverse and remand with instructions.
the trial court erred by dismissing Manley's state habeas
corpus petition as an unauthorized successive petition for
In 1997, Manley was convicted, in Monroe County, of two
counts of Class A felony child molesting and two counts of
Class B felony child molesting for acts committed against his
daughter. The Monroe Circuit Court sentenced Manley to an
aggregate term of fifty-five (55) years in the Indiana
Department of Correction.
Thereafter, Manley filed a direct appeal, and this Court
affirmed his convictions in a memorandum opinion in 1999.
See Manley v. State, 53A04-9806-CR-333 (Ind.Ct.App.
Feb. 18. 1999). He then appealed from the denial of his
petition for post-conviction relief in 2001, and we affirmed
that judgment as well. See Manley v. State,
53A01-0103-PC-107 (Ind.Ct.App. Aug. 28, 2001) (holding, in
part, that Manley had waived his constitutional challenges to
the child molesting statute because he had failed to raise
the issue in a motion to dismiss prior to trial).
In 2004 and again in 2006, Manley filed, with this Court,
petitions seeking permission to file a successive
post-conviction petition, and our Court denied both of his
requests. In 2007, he appealed the trial court's denial
of his motion to modify his sentence, and we affirmed the
trial court's judgment. See Manley v. State, 868
N.E.2d 1175 (Ind.Ct.App. 2007), trans. denied.
A few years later, in 2014, Manley appealed from the denial
of a motion for relief from judgment that he had filed in the
Monroe Circuit Court. After noting that Manley had already
litigated a petition for post-conviction relief, that he had
failed to follow the procedure set forth in Indiana
Post-Conviction Rule 1(12), and that his motion equated to an
unauthorized successive petition for post-conviction relief,