Inmate’s request rejected by court
Judge says Clark’s petition ‘frivolous’
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected a request by an Altoona man in prison for drug violations that would have forced Blair County’s president judge to vacate his convictions and sentences that occurred nearly 10 years ago.
Nathaniel Clarance Clark, 36, was sentenced by Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron to a term of seven to 14 years in a state prison after he entered pleas to two separate charges of possession with intent to deliver cocaine and charges of conspiracy and possession of a prohibited firearm.
Court records indicate the charges stemmed from a drug buy and a separate vehicle stop that occurred in February 2008.
Clark is housed in the State Correctional Institution Forest at Marienville.
In August, he sent a correspondence to President Judge Elizabeth Doyle titled a “Notice of Interest & Conveyance,” stating that he was creating a trust for his court documents under her name, thereby removing them from the office of the Blair County Clerk of Courts.
If Judge Doyle did not respond in 20 days, the inmate stated he would seek a default judgment to remove the records from the Clerk of Courts office, a move that would then, allegedly, end up in his release from prison.
The judge, however, did respond within the 20-day period by stating, “Dear Mr. Clark, I respectfully deny all your claims.”
Clark, in a correspondence in August, renounced his citizenship in the United States and Pennsylvania, claiming to be a “private citizen.”
Finally in September, Clark asked the Clerk of Courts to enter a default judgment — which did not occur — and in November, he went to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus that would force the judge and Clerk of Courts to carry out his wishes.
Late last week, the state’s highest court denied the request for a mandamus in a one-sentence order.
Doyle, in her reply to the Supreme Court, stated she was not going to address Clark’s petition because it was “frivolous.”
She pointed out his notice of conveyance “is virtually incomprehensible,” and she believed his ultimate goal was simply to get out of prison.
The judge attempted to address Clark’s correspondence as possibly a post-conviction petition, a petition for expungement of his record, or a mandamus request.
She concluded that if it was a post-conviction petition, it was untimely. Clark did not appeal his initial sentence from Milliron, and any post-trial appeal should have been filed by April 28, 2010, or within a year of his sentence becoming final.
As for expungement, the judge related to the Supreme Court that Clark is not entitled to obtain an expungement, and his files must be maintained as part of the public record.
Addressing the mandamus, or request to the Supreme Court to enforce his notice of conveyance, the judge responded that that Clark never filed a civil complaint or a notice to the judge to “defend,” and did not specify a period in which she had to legally respond.
Clark failed to “demonstrate a clear right to mandamus relief,” Doyle related to the Supreme Court.
Clark, a native of Johnstown, was charged in 2008 with selling $50 worth of crack to a confidential informant.
During a traffic stop on Feb. 23, 2008, police found three grams of cocaine, 500 ecstasy pills and a firearm.