Brock appeals from the denial of his mandamus petition
seeking records related to his murder convictions. We first
address whether we have jurisdiction over the appeal arising
from this civil action. We conclude that this appeal arises
from an extraordinary remedies case "concerning
proceedings in which a sentence of death was imposed or could
be imposed, " and thus we have jurisdiction under OCGA
§ 15-3-3.1 (a) (4). Nevertheless, Brock's appeal
must be dismissed for failure to file a discretionary
application as OCGA § 42-12-8 requires for civil cases
filed by prisoners.
record shows that Brock was convicted of two counts of murder
and other offenses in 2011. He sought to appeal his
convictions to this Court by filing a notice of appeal in
July 2015. We dismissed his appeal for failure to file a
brief and enumeration of errors after being ordered to do so.
the dismissal of his direct appeal, Brock filed a petition
for a writ of mandamus to force the Muscogee County Superior
Court Clerk to release records in criminal case number
SU-09-CR-3127, which was the number originally assigned to
his case before it was reassigned as case number
SU-10-CR-2571 after the return of a superseding
indictment. Brock sought the case summary report, the
indictment, and a final disposition for case number
SU-09-CR-3127, apparently to support arguments made in his
motion for new trial that his murder convictions violated
double jeopardy because he was twice indicted for the same
offense. The trial court denied the filing of
Brock's petition for mandamus under OCGA § 9-15-2
(d), and he filed a direct appeal in this Court pursuant to a
notice of appeal filed on September 21, 2017.
Although not raised by either party, it is our duty to
inquire into our jurisdiction "in any case in which
there may be a doubt about the existence of such
jurisdiction." Fulton County v. City of
Atlanta, 299 Ga. 676, 676 n.2 (791 S.E.2d 821) (2016)
(citation and punctuation omitted). We conclude that we have
appeal raises a question left unresolved by our recent
opinion in Henderson v. State, ___Ga.___ (811 S.E.2d
388) (2018), in which the appellant appealed from the denial
of his post-trial motion requesting records. We concluded in
Henderson that because the appellant, who had been
convicted of murder, filed his post-trial motion under the
docket number of his criminal case, the appeal fell within
our jurisdiction over murder cases "because the appeal
ar[ose] from a case 'in which a sentence of death was
imposed or could be imposed.'" Id. at
___(1) (quoting Ga. Const. of 1983, Art. VI, Sec. VI, Par.
III (8) ("Subparagraph 8")).
Brock's request for records was not filed under either
docket number associated with his criminal prosecution, but
as a separate civil action in the form of a mandamus
petition. As a separately filed civil action, this case is
not within our murder jurisdiction.But our analysis does not
is an extraordinary remedy to compel a public officer to
perform a required duty when there is no other adequate legal
remedy. Clayton County Bd. of Commrs. v. Murphy, 297
Ga. 763, 764 (778 S.E.2d 193) (2015). Our Constitution
provides that we have appellate jurisdiction over "[a]ll
cases involving extraordinary remedies" unless otherwise
provided by law. Ga. Const. of 1983, Art. VI, Sec. VI, Par.
III (5). Until the enactment of OCGA § 15-3-3.1, we had
appellate jurisdiction over all cases involving extraordinary
remedies. See Ga. Assn. of Professional Process Servers
v. Jackson, 302 Ga. 309, 310 n.1 (806 S.E.2d 550)
(2017). But when OCGA § 15-3-3.1 became effective on
January 1, 2017, our jurisdiction in this area narrowed
greatly. We now have appellate jurisdiction only in
extraordinary remedy "cases concerning proceedings in
which a sentence of death was imposed or could be imposed and
those cases concerning the execution of death"; the
Court of Appeals now has appellate jurisdiction over all
other extraordinary remedy cases. OCGA § 15-3-3.1 (a)
(4); Ga. L. 2016, p. 883, § 6-1 (c); see also Ga. Const.
of 1983, Art. VI, Sec. V, Par. III (the Court of Appeals
"shall exercise appellate . . . jurisdiction in all
cases not reserved to the Supreme Court").
case, the mandamus petition clearly concerned proceedings in
which a sentence of death was or could be imposed. Brock was
seeking records in a case in which he was indicted for
murder, that case was renumbered to the case under which he
was tried and convicted of murder, and he claimed that the
State was required to pay for those records so that he could
challenge that conviction. Brock's claim arises only from
his conviction for murder and his desire to use those records
to challenge that conviction. So, a mandamus petition brought
by a prisoner convicted of murder claiming a right to free
records of his murder case for the purpose of challenging
that conviction is a case "concerning [the]
proceedings" in which a sentence of death could have
been imposed. Therefore, this is an appeal arising from an
extraordinary remedy case, and we retain jurisdiction under
OCGA § 15-3-3.1 (4).
conclusion that we have jurisdiction over this appeal
doesn't help Brock, though, because the appeal still must
be dismissed. Brock filed this civil action as a prisoner,
and appeals from such actions must proceed via the
discretionary application process. See OCGA § 42-12-8;
Harris v. State, 278 Ga. 805, 806 (1) (606 S.E.2d
248) (2004). Because Brock filed a direct appeal, rather than
an application for a discretionary appeal, we must dismiss.
Harris, 278 Ga. at 806 (1) (dismissing
prisoner's direct appeal of denial of mandamus petition).
dismissed. All the Justices concur.
 Brock also filed a petition for a writ
of mandamus in this Court, but we dismissed the petition and
directed Brock to first seek relief ...