The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.
Habeas Corpus Law

Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=615

AC38544 - Torres v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) improperly concluded that he was not entitled to earn ‘‘risk reduction earned credit,’’ pursuant to General Statutes § 18-98e, during the period of time he was confined as a pretrial detainee, and improperly concluded that he was not deprived of his right to equal protection guaranteed by the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution. We agree that the habeas court abused its discretion by denying the petitioner’s petition for certification to appeal, but conclude that it properly denied his second petition. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=600

AC39275 - Tilus v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; claim that trial counsel's joint representation of petitioner and accomplice in pretrial phase presented conflict of interest and that there was no valid waiver of potential conflict in violation of petitioner's constitutional right to conflict free representation; "The petitioner, Tinesse Tilus, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly concluded that his state and federal constitutional rights to (1) conflict free counsel and (2) the effective assistance of counsel were not violated. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=598

SC19527 - Diaz v. Commissioner of Correction ("We granted the respondent’s petition for certification to appeal, limited to the following question: ‘Did the Appellate Court properly determine that it was improper, based on the record of this habeas petition, for the trial court to sua sponte dismiss the petition on procedural default grounds?’ Diaz v. Commissioner of Correction, 318 Conn. 903, 122 A.3d 632 (2015). After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted. The appeal is dismissed.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=591

AC37565 - Bigelow v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) improperly denied his petition for a writ of habeas corpus in which he claimed that counsel in both his underlying criminal prosecution and his first habeas proceeding rendered ineffective assistance. Because the petitioner has failed to demonstrate that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal, we dismiss the appeal.")

AC39090 - Dull v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "The petitioner… appeals from the habeas court’s dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus as untimely pursuant to General Statutes § 52-470 (d). Specifically, he argues that he established good cause for the delay in the filing of his third habeas corpus petition. We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Supreme Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=576

SC19855 - Perez v. Commissioner of Correction ("This case presents challenges to the constitutionality of substantive and procedural amendments to General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 54-125a, which governs parole eligibility for persons who received a definite sentence or aggregate sentence of more than two years, as applied to an offender who was sentenced before the amendments took effect. More specifically, we consider statutory amendments (1) eliminating earned risk reduction credit from the calculation of a violent offender’s parole eligibility date, when such credit was not available at the time the offense was committed; Public Acts 2013, No. 13-3, § 59 (P.A. 13-3); and (2) altering parole eligibility hearing procedures to allow the Board of Pardons and Paroles to forgo holding a hearing. Public Acts 2013, No. 13-247, § 376 (P.A. 13-247)… We agree with the petitioner to the extent that the habeas court improperly dismissed many of the claims raised in the petition solely on the basis of the ‘‘speculative nature’’ of earned risk reduction credit. Nevertheless, applying the proper test to each claim raised by the petitioner, we hold that the habeas court lacked jurisdiction over the petitioner’s claims. We therefore affirm the judgment of the habeas court dismissing the petition.")

SC19854 - James E. v. Commissioner of Correction ("The sole issue in this appeal is whether the habeas court properly dismissed the petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by the petitioner, James E., alleging that a 2013 amendment to General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 54-125a repealing a provision advancing certain inmates’ parole eligibility dates by earned risk reduction credit violated the ex post facto clause of the United States constitution. See Public Acts 2013, No. 13-3, § 59 (P.A. 13-3)... On appeal, the petitioner claims that the proper comparison for purposes of the ex post facto analysis should have been between the provision in effect at the time of his sentencing and the challenged provision thereafter enacted, which would have reflected that he has suffered an increase in punishment. For the reasons set forth in Perez v. Commissioner of Correction, 326 Conn. 357, 374–75, 378–80, A.3d (2017), we disagree. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=570

AC39280 - Hampton v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly concluded that his claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel fails on the prejudice prong of the test set forth in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984). Having thoroughly reviewed the record, we conclude that the habeas court properly denied the petition and, accordingly, affirm the judgment… For the petitioner to prevail on the prejudice prong of his habeas claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, however, the high burden is on him to prove that there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the trial as to count eight would have been different. The petitioner has failed to show that his theory of juror nonunanimity was anything more than speculative and, thus, has not undermined confidence in the outcome. We, therefore, conclude that the habeas court did not improperly conclude that the petitioner’s claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel fails on the prejudice prong of the Strickland test. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=555

AC39134 - Diaz v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "First, the petitioner claims that the court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal because his right to due process and a fair trial were violated by the prosecutor’s failure to disclose material evidence that was favorable to the defense, namely, that an express or implied agreement existed between the state and one of the state’s witnesses, Eddie Ortiz, in exchange for Ortiz’ testimony at the petitioner’s criminal trial. In connection with this claim, the petitioner also claims that the state failed to correct false testimony provided by Ortiz concerning the existence of such an agreement. Second, the petitioner claims that his right to the effective assistance of counsel was violated by virtue of representation afforded to him by counsel in a prior habeas proceeding. The petitioner claims that prior habeas counsel failed to adequately pursue his claim that his right to due process was violated by the state’s failure to disclose an agreement reached with Ortiz prior to the petitioner’s trial. Because we conclude that the court’s denial of the petition for certification to appeal reflected a proper exercise of its discretion, we dismiss the appeal.")

AC38530 - Clinton S. v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal because the record established that his criminal trial counsel had rendered ineffective assistance by (1) failing to present evidence of an alternative exculpatory explanation for the allegations made by the victim and (2) failing to investigate adequately and present evidence of the employment records of the petitioner and his wife, M. Additionally, in connection with the claim regarding M.’s employment records, the petitioner claims that the habeas court applied the wrong standard with respect to whether he was prejudiced by counsel’s allegedly deficient performance. We conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.")


Judicial Branch Now Publishing Headnotes for its Supreme & Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=534

The Judicial Branch has announced that it is now publishing a syllabus (headnote) at the top of each Supreme and Appellate Court opinion:

The Judicial Branch is now posting online headnotes for both Supreme and Appellate Court opinions. These headnotes, which accompany individual Supreme and Appellate Court decisions, include a short summary of the ruling and the procedural history of a case. The Reporter of Judicial Decisions prepares the headnotes, which are not part of the opinion. As such, the opinion alone should be relied upon for the reasoning behind the decision [Emphasis added].

Subscribe to a case law category (or categories) of your choice through our Email Digest or RSS delivery services to receive the latest cases from the Supreme or Appellate Courts delivered directly to your inbox.


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=528

AC38033 - Marra v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly dismissed his eighteen count petition, which alleged claims of ineffective assistance of counsel against his prior habeas attorneys, because the court improperly (1) relied on a decision of the prior habeas court deeming his withdrawal of that action as being ‘‘with prejudice’’ and (2) concluded that the deliberate bypass doctrine barred his action. We conclude that only the form of the habeas court’s judgment is improper and, accordingly, reverse the judgment on that limited ground.")


Habeas Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=493

AC38505 - Rogers v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; claim of ineffective assistance; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court erred in concluding that (1) the state did not violate his right to due process when it withheld third-party culpability evidence from the petitioner in his criminal trial, and (2) he was not denied effective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC37693 - Pires v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; claim of ineffective assistance; "He claims that the habeas court erred in failing to conclude that his trial lawyers provided ineffective assistance by failing to adequately convey to the trial court his desire to represent himself. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=485

AC38662- Bueno v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; whether habeas court abused its discretion in denying petition for certification to appeal denial of petition for writ of habeas corpus; knowledge of immigration consequences; “At the outset, we note that two distinct issues are presented in this appeal. The first concerns the question of mootness; the second involves the merits of the petitioner’s due process and ineffective assistance of counsel claims… We therefore conclude that the petitioner cannot demonstrate that his due process and ineffective assistance of counsel claims are debatable among jurists of reason, could be resolved in a different manner, or are adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further. Simms v. Warden, supra, 230 Conn. 616. Accordingly, the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=473

AC38214 - Haughey v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal because his mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of release violated the requirement of individualized, proportionate sentencing under the eighth amendment to the United States constitution as articulated in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S. Ct. 2455, 183 L. Ed. 2d 407 (2012). The petitioner also claims, for the first time on appeal, that his mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of release violates the Connecticut constitution. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal, and, accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=449

SC19072 - Breton v. Commissioner of Correction (Petition for a writ of habeas corpus; "This appeal ensued after the habeas court denied the petition. Subsequent events have rendered the petitioner’s claims relating to his death sentence moot; see part II of this opinion; leaving for our consideration those challenging the judgment of conviction. The principal issue in those remaining claims concerns defense counsel’s obligation to investigate and present mitigating evidence that could reduce a defendant’s culpability when the defendant has directed counsel not to present such evidence and has refused to aid in the presentation of such evidence. The petitioner claims, among other things, that his criminal trial counsel provided deficient representation by failing to investigate evidence that would have revealed that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and methamphetamine intoxication at the time of the offenses which in turn prejudiced him by depriving him of a meritorious mitigating defense strategy… We conclude that counsel must ensure that a defendant has made a knowing and voluntary decision not to present mitigating evidence. We further conclude that the habeas court properly denied the petition in the present case as to the claims related to this issue, as well as to the petitioner’s other claims challenging his conviction.”)

AC37363 - Sinchak v. Commissioner of Correction (Fifth amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in rejecting his claims that: (1) his due process rights were violated at his underlying criminal trial because the jury’s guilty verdict was against the weight of the evidence; (2) he was deprived of effective assistance of counsel in the underlying criminal trial by the failure of his trial counsel, Michael Graham, to marshal the facts in his favor during closing argument and to move, after the verdict, for a judgment of acquittal on each charge of which he was found guilty on the ground that the jury’s guilty verdict was against the weight of the evidence; (3) he was deprived of effective assistance of counsel on direct appeal from his underlying conviction by the failure of his appellate counsel, Pamela S. Nagy, to raise his weight of the evidence claims as grounds for reversing the conviction; and (4) he was deprived of effective assistance of counsel in a prior habeas corpus proceeding, in which he challenged the lawfulness of the same underlying conviction by the failure of his prior habeas counsel, Donald J. O’Brien, to raise the previously described clams of ineffective assistance of both trial and appellate counsel as grounds for obtaining relief in that proceeding. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC38417- Lee v. Commissioner of Correction (Denial of petition for certification to appeal; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying certification to appeal and (2) improperly denied his ineffective assistance of counsel claim based on trial counsel’s asserted failure to request certain pretrial bond increases. Because the petitioner did not demonstrate that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal, we dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=440

SC19251- Skakel v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "After previous unsuccessful attempts to overturn his conviction, including two appeals to this court, the petitioner filed the habeas petition that is the subject of this appeal. In that petition, he principally claimed that his criminal trial counsel provided such inadequate representation that he was denied his constitutional right to have the effective assistance of counsel for his defense. The habeas court agreed with the petitioner on some of his claims and rendered judgment granting the petition. The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, has appealed from the habeas court’s judgment. Because we conclude that the petitioner’s trial counsel rendered constitutionally adequate representation, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court and remand the case to that court with direction to render judgment denying the petition.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=427

AC37661 - Antwon W. v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "He claims that, contrary to the decision of the habeas court, his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to (1) adequately protect his constitutional right to an impartial jury; (2) object to the jury instructions provided by the trial court, Cremins, J., regarding the proper use of constancy of accusation evidence; (3) adequately cross-examine or otherwise impeach the victim; (4) advise him to accept the state’s plea offer rather than proceed to trial; and (5) investigate and call witnesses who would have provided exculpatory testimony. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=401

AC38431 - Arroyo v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Reynaldo Arroyo, appeals following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) improperly concluded that his trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance and that his claim of prosecutorial impropriety was procedurally defaulted. Because the petitioner has failed to demonstrate that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, we dismiss the appeal.")

AC38359 - Brian S. v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Brian S., appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court erred in concluding that he failed to prove that his criminal trial counsel had provided ineffective assistance. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC38161 - Abreu v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Rafael Abreu, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which alleged ineffective assistance of prior habeas counsel. The petitioner claims on appeal that the habeas court improperly rejected his claim that his prior habeas counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to pursue adequately three claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Specifically, the petitioner claims that trial counsel improperly failed (1) to conduct an adequate investigation regarding a potentially exculpatory witness, (2) to offer certain evidence in support of the petitioner’s self-defense claim, and (3) to advise the petitioner properly regarding his potential sentence exposure should he proceed to trial. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC38205 - Green v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Courtney Green, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly rejected his claims that (1) he received ineffective assistance of counsel due to his attorney’s failure to advise him properly regarding the sentencing consequences of his guilty pleas, and (2) his guilty pleas were not made knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily because the trial court failed to ensure he was not under the influence of any medications that would inhibit his ability to enter guilty pleas. We conclude that the habeas court properly rejected the petitioner’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim on the ground that he failed to demonstrate prejudice as required under the test articulated in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984), as modified by Ebron v. Commissioner of Correction, 307 Conn. 342, 357, 53 A.3d 983 (2012), cert. denied sub nom. Arnone v. Ebron, U.S. , 133 S. Ct. 1726, 185 L. Ed. 2d 802 (2013). We also conclude that the petitioner’s second claim must fail as a matter of law because, although it is common practice in Connecticut and perhaps advisable to do so, the law does not require a court to determine whether a defendant’s faculties are impaired by any medications prior to accepting guilty pleas. See State v. Ocasio, 253 Conn. 375, 378–79, 751 A.2d 825 (2000). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC38774 - Shipman v. Commissioner of Correction ("Following a grant of certification to appeal, the petitioner, Somen Shipman, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred by finding that his right to the effective assistance of counsel was not violated. Specifically, the petitioner claims that the court improperly found that his constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel was not violated by his trial counsel’s failure (1) to adequately raise a Batson challenge, and (2) to present the testimony of two alibi witnesses. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")



Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=365

AC37129 - Thompson v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying him certification to appeal and improperly concluded that his trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance. We dismiss the appeal… The principal issue raised by the petitioner in this appeal is that the court erred in not finding counsel ineffective for an alleged failure to present a closing argument that the restraint or abduction of the victim was not a kidnapping, but merely incidental to his other crimes, and to properly file a motion for a judgment of acquittal as to the charge of kidnapping.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=354

AC38139 - Carpenter v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court erred in denying her claims of ineffective assistance of counsel with respect to (1) her lost opportunity to pursue a plea bargain and (2) the exclusion of expert witness testimony regarding codependency syndrome. We disagree, and affirm the judgment of the habeas court…With respect to her first claim, that her trial counsel were ineffective by failing to engage in plea negotiations on her behalf, the court concluded that the trial counsel’s performance was not deficient. In support of its conclusion, the court reasoned that the petitioner was adamantly opposed to engaging in plea negotiations throughout the state’s prosecution, she explicitly instructed counsel not to pursue a plea bargain, and the state was not interested in negotiating a plea. The court also concluded that the petitioner failed to demonstrate prejudice. With respect to her second claim, that the petitioner’s trial counsel were ineffective in failing to lay a proper foundation for the introduction of expert testimony regarding codependency syndrome through Dr. Robert Novelly, the habeas court similarly concluded that the petitioner had failed to satisfy her burden under Strickland. Specifically, the court concluded that, because codependency syndrome was a novel concept at the time of the petitioner’s trial, and counsel made a reasonable attempt to introduce Novelly’s testimony by analogizing codependency syndrome evidence to other syndrome evidence, their performance was not deficient.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=347

AC37508 - Giuca v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; " The petitioner claims that the court improperly denied his petition for a writ of habeas corpus by concluding that he failed to establish that his mental state at the time of his guilty plea rendered his plea involuntary, unknowing, and unintelligent in violation of the federal due process clause. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC37366 - Duncan v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying certification to appeal, (2) improperly concluded that he had received the effective assistance of counsel and (3) improperly denied his due process claim that his pleas were not made knowingly and voluntarily. Because the petitioner did not demonstrate that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal, we dismiss the appeal.")

AC38575 - Ampero v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly (1) concluded that his trial counsel provided effective assistance, (2) rejected his claim of actual innocence, and (3) rejected his claim that his due process rights were violated by the use of allegedly perjured testimony. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC38238 - Rojas v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "The petitioner claims that the habeas court erred by not concluding that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to negotiate a plea bargain on his behalf, and by not concluding that the petitioner was prejudiced by his trial counsel’s failure to properly investigate his case. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")



1 2 3