H. TOAL C.J.
was convicted of trafficking in crack cocaine. He was
sentenced to imprisonment for thirty years and payment of a
$50, 000 fine. After an Anders review, the Court of
Appeals dismissed petitioner's direct appeal. State
v. Lyles, Op. No. 2008-UP-223 (S.C. Ct. App. filed April
has now filed a pro se petition for a writ of
certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals. We
deny the petition and hold that, as a matter of policy, we
will not entertain petitions for writs of certiorari to the
Court of Appeals where the Court of Appeals has conducted an
Court explained in In re Exhaustion of State Remedies in
Criminal and Post-Conviction Relief Cases, 321 S.C. 563,
471 S.E.2d 454 (1990), the Court of Appeals was created to
reduce the State's appellate backlog. The Court has held
it will grant certiorari to the Court of Appeals only where
special reasons justify the exercise of that power.
Haggins v. State, 377 S.C. 135, 659 S.E.2d 170
(2008); In re Exhaustion of State Remedies in Criminal
Post-Conviction Relief Cases, supra. Further, Rule
226(b), SCACR, emphasizes the discretionary authority of the
Court to review decisions of the Court of Appeals. The rule
states, "[a] writ of certiorari . . . will be granted
only where there are special and important reasons," and
provides examples of reasons which may justify review by this
Court. In addition, an individual has no
constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel
when seeking discretionary appellate review, and counsel is
not required to seek a writ of certiorari after a criminal
appeal is decided by the Court of Appeals. Douglas v.
State, 369 S.C. 213, 631 S.E.2d 542 (2006). Litigants
are not required to petition for rehearing and certiorari
following an adverse decision of the Court of Appeals in
order to be deemed to have exhausted all available state
remedies for federal habeas corpus review. In re
Exhaustion of State Remedies in Criminal Post-Conviction
Relief Cases, supra.
Court has already identified two categories of Court of
Appeals' decisions it will not review. Missouri v.
State, 378 S.C. 594, 663 S.E.2d 480 (2008) (orders
denying certiorari in post-conviction relief cases);
Haggins v. State, supra (letter denials in
post-conviction relief cases).
State v. Williams, 305 S.C. 116, 406 S.E.2d 357
(1991), this Court set forth the process to be followed when
counsel submits a brief under Anders and petitions
to be relieved as counsel. In these cases, the role of the
appellate court is to review the brief submitted by counsel,
any pro se response submitted by the appellant, and
the record on appeal to determine whether the appeal contains
any issues of arguable merit. Id. If an issue is
found which has arguable merit, the appellate court will
direct the parties to file merit briefs, and the case will
proceed under the normal appellate process. Id. On
the other hand, if no issues of arguable merit are found by
the appellate court, the appeal is dismissed, and the
appellant's counsel is relieved. Id.
this procedure, a decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing
an appeal after conducting a review pursuant to
Anders is not a decision on the merits of the
appeal, but simply reflects that the appellate court was
unable to ascertain a non-frivolous issue which would require
counsel to file a merits brief. A decision of this nature
does not meet the "special and important" standard
established by Rule 226(b) and this Court's decisions
concerning petitions for writs of certiorari to the Court of
Appeals. Accordingly, we deny the petition for a writ of
certiorari in this matter. This Court will no longer
entertain petitions for writs of certiorari where the Court
of Appeals has dismissed an appeal after conducting an
H. Waller, Jr. J. Costa M. Pleicones J., Donald W. Beatty J.,
John W. Kittredge J.
 Anders v. California, 386 U.S.
 Where there are novel questions of law;
where there is a dissent in the decision of the Court of
Appeals; where the decision of the Court of Appeals is in
conflict with a prior decision of the Supreme Court; where
substantial constitutional issues are directly involved;
and/or where a federal question is included and the decision
of the ...