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 Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5238

AC44665 - Taylor v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court incorrectly dismissed his claims that the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, violated his constitutional rights to (1) procedural due process, (2) equal protection of the law, and (3) freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. We disagree that the court improperly dismissed the petitioner’s first claim. We agree, however, that the court improperly dismissed his second and third claims. We therefore affirm, in part, and reverse, in part, the judgment of the habeas court and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”)

AC42852 - Stenner v. Commissioner of Correction and AC43779 - Greenfield v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioners claim that the habeas courts erred in concluding that the petitioners failed to establish ‘good cause’ pursuant to General Statutes § 52-470 (d) and (e) to overcome the rebuttable presumption of unreasonable delay stemming from the untimely filing of their respective habeas petitions. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the habeas courts.”)

AC41627 - Hodge v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the dispositive claim raised by the petitioner is that the court improperly dismissed his amended habeas petition under § 23-29 without notice and a hearing.1 In light of our Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Brown v. Commissioner of Correction, 345 Conn. 1, 282 A.3d 959 (2022), and in Brown’s companion case, Boria v. Commissioner of Correction, 345 Conn. 39, 282 A.3d 433 (2022), we conclude that the habeas court committed error in dismissing the amended habeas petition pursuant to § 23-29 without providing to the pettioner prior notice of its intention to dismiss, on its own motion, the amended habeas petition and an opportunity to submit a brief or a written response addressing the proposed basis for dismissal. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5225

AC44620 - Jaynes v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in dismissing the petition pursuant to General Statutes § 52-470 (e) because (1) it includes an allegation of actual innocence which, pursuant to § 52-470 (f), cannot be dismissed for failure to meet the statutory time limit codified in § 52-470 (d), and (2) he demonstrated good cause for the untimely filing of his petition under § 52-470 (d). We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5209

AC44171 - Ayuso v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner, Jose Ayuso, appeals following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court denying his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus in which he alleged deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the eighth amendment to the United States constitution. The gravamen of the petitioner’s deliberate indifference claim is that the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, is providing inadequate medical treatment for the petitioner’s back pain and for a lump on his inner thigh, including by not providing the petitioner with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and back surgery.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5202

AC44258 - Donald v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner contends that the habeas court improperly rejected his claims that (1) the state violated his due process right to a fair trial in the underlying criminal trial by (a) knowingly presenting false or misleading testimony to the jury concerning the details of its agreement with one of his alleged accomplices, Tierais Harris, to testify against him in that trial and (b) failing to disclose material evidence to him, for his use in that trial, concerning the credibility of two of the state’s witnesses, both his alleged accomplice, Harris, and the lead detective in the case, Reginald Early, who testified to the petitioner’s alleged confession to participating in the armed robbery and shootings on which the charged offenses were based; and (2) his trial counsel in the underlying criminal trial, J. Patten Brown III, rendered ineffective assistance in connection with the petitioner’s sentencing after that trial by failing to present an effective argument urging leniency on the petitioner’s behalf and failing to support such an argument by developing and presenting to the trial court any of the extensive mitigating information about the petitioner’s troubled background and upbringing to which he and his expert witness, Jodi DeSauteles, a social worker employed by the public defender’s office, later testified at the habeas trial. Although we conclude that the petitioner failed to establish either of his due process claims, we agree with the petitioner that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance in connection with his sentencing and that he was prejudiced by such ineffective assistance with respect to his current total effective sentence, which was later imposed on him by order of the Sentence Review Division of the Superior Court (review division) after it determined that his original total effective sentence was disproportionate and should be reduced by thirty years of imprisonment to remedy its disproportionality. Accordingly, we affirm the habeas court’s judgment insofar as it rejects the petitioner’s due process claims but reverse that judgment insofar as it rejects his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing and remand the case to the habeas court with direction to vacate his modified total effective sentence in the underlying criminal case and to remand the case to the trial court for resentencing.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5189

AC44679 - Myers v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly (1) concluded that he failed to show that his trial counsel had performed deficiently, (2) rejected his actual innocence claim, and (3) determined that his due process rights were not violated. The petitioner further claims that the habeas court erred in denying his request for a capias and a continuance so that the petitioner could secure the appearance of an exculpatory witness at his habeas trial. In Docket No. AC 44736, the petitioner appeals, following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal, from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his petition for a new trial. The petitioner claims on appeal that the trial court erred in determining that his petition for a new trial was time barred pursuant to General Statutes § 52-582. As to AC 44679, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court. As to AC 44736, we dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.”)


Habeas Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5182

SC20474 - Brown v. Commissioner of Correction (Proper procedure for court to follow before dismissing a petition under PB 23-29; defective petitions under PB 23-24; “After reviewing the language of §§ 23-24 and 23-29, and their relationship to the provisions generally governing habeas corpus proceedings; see Practice Book § 23-21 et seq.; the historical development of the writ of habeas corpus and the public policy underlying the legislature’s comprehensive habeas reform; see Public Acts 2012, No. 12-115, § 1 (P.A. 12-115); we conclude that § 23-29 requires the habeas court to provide prior notice of the court’s intention to dismiss, on its own motion, a petition that it deems legally deficient and an opportunity to be heard on the papers by filing a written response. The habeas court may, in its discretion, grant oral argument or a hearing, but one is not mandated. We believe this interpretation draws a proper balance between the competing interests of affording petitioners due process while addressing the need for the expeditious resolution of habeas petitions in an effort to reach the meritorious cases. We observe that the Rules Committee remains free to amend the text of the relevant rules as it deems appropriate.”)

SC20459 - Boria v. Commissioner of Correction (Companion case to Brown v. Commissioner; “For the reasons stated in Brown, we conclude that a dismissal under § 23-29 requires that a petitioner be afforded both prior notice and an opportunity to submit a brief or a written response. We therefore reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion and our decision in Brown.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5163

AC43985 - Ayuso v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner claims that the court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal because (1) the prosecutor’s presentation of false or misleading testimony at his criminal trial violated his due process right to a fair trial, (2) his trial counsel’s performance was deficient and deprived him of his right to the effective assistance of trial counsel, (3) his appellate counsel’s performance was deficient and deprived him of his right to the effective assistance of appellate counsel, and (4) the habeas court committed an evidentiary error that entitles him to a new habeas trial. We dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5155

AC41747 - Coney v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in determining that he failed to demonstrate good cause to overcome the statutory presumption of unreasonable delay. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of dismissal.”)

AC43289 - Soto v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly rejected his claim that trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance (1) during pretrial proceedings and (2) by failing to investigate and present the testimony of a confidential informant at trial. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC44654 - Smith v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly concluded that (1) he was not deprived of his right to the effective assistance of counsel during his underlying criminal trial and (2) he knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily entered a plea of nolo contendere to a persistent serious felony offender charge. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC44915 - Crenshaw v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, and (2) improperly concluded that he failed to establish that his trial counsel’s performance was constitutionally deficient. We disagree and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5141

AC44505 - Velasco v. Commissioner of Correction ("The court concluded that a certain ‘Settlement Agreement and Release’ the petitioner had entered into with the state of Connecticut in 2018 (settlement agreement) barred the petitioner’s habeas petition. On appeal, the petitioner argues that the settlement agreement is unenforceable because the terms of the release provision are unconscionable. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5112

SC20536 - Diaz v. Commissioner of Correction (“The primary issue on appeal is whether the habeas court abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal with respect to the claim that his defense counsel at his second criminal trial rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by laboring under a conflict of interest, namely, simultaneously working as defense counsel and as an active duty police officer in a different city. Although counsel’s failure to disclose the potential conflict to the petitioner is deeply troubling, and although we conclude that the legal issues raised are fairly debatable among jurists of reason, such that certification to appeal should have been granted, we ultimately agree with the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, that the petitioner failed to prove his claim that his counsel labored under an actual conflict of interest.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5100

AC43327 - Michael G. v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal because (1) the habeas court erred in determining that the petitioner failed to demonstrate good cause to overcome the statutory presumption of unreasonable delay and (2) the habeas judge improperly failed to disqualify himself. We disagree and, therefore, dismiss the appeal.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5089

AC44504 - Diaz v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner, Raul Ivan Diaz, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court dismissing in part and denying in part his fourth petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in rejecting his claims that (1) his right to due process was violated when the court in his underlying criminal trial failed to instruct the jury on the requirement of unanimity in its verdict, and (2) he was denied effective assistance by his trial counsel, his first habeas counsel and his second habeas counsel. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court as to the petitioner's claims as to his second habeas counsel. We dismiss the appeal as to the petitioner's remaining claims.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5051

AC44492 - Inglis v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and improperly rejected his claims that (1) his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance in his underlying criminal trial, and (2) his right to due process under the Connecticut constitution was violated by the admission of both out-of-court and in-court eyewitness identifications of him that were obtained through unnecessarily suggestive identification procedures. We conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5038

AC44533 - Santiago v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; whether habeas court abused its discretion in denying certification to appeal; "The petitioner, Joaquin Santiago, appeals following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification and improperly dismissed his petition for a writ of habeas corpus by concluding that he was not denied the effective assistance of his trial counsel, Special Public Defender John Stawicki, with respect to Stawicki's failure to preserve the petitioner's direct appeal. We disagree and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal. ")


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4994

SC20553 - Kelsey v. Commissioner of Correction (Statutory presumption that a successive petition for a writ of habeas beyond statutory time limits is unreasonable delay; § 52-470 (d) and (e); “The petitioner, Eric Thomas Kelsey, appeals, upon our grant of his petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the habeas court, which dismissed his second petition for a writ of habeas corpus following its determination that the petitioner had failed to establish good cause for the delayed filing of that second petition. See Kelsey v. Commissioner of Correction, 202 Conn. App. 21, 43–44, 244 A.3d 171 (2020). On appeal, the petitioner claims that the Appellate Court improperly (1) reviewed the habeas court’s dismissal of his second petition pursuant to § 52-470 (e) under the abuse of discretion standard, and (2) concluded that the habeas court correctly determined that the petitioner had failed to establish good cause for the untimely filing of his second petition. We disagree with both claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)



Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4984

SC20591 - Barlow v. Commissioner of Correction (“The habeas court granted the petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by the petitioner, Alison Barlow, after determining that the petitioner had suffered prejudice as a result of the ineffective assistance rendered by his trial counsel, who failed to provide the petitioner with professional advice and assistance during pretrial plea negotiations. The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court, claiming that the habeas court improperly found that it was reasonably probable that the petitioner would have accepted the trial court’s pretrial plea offer but for the ineffective assistance of his trial counsel. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4974

AC43895 - VanDeusen v. Commissioner of Correction (”On appeal, the petitioner primarily claims that the habeas court improperly concluded that she failed to demonstrate that her trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by neglecting to request a jury instruction setting forth the statutory elements of General Statutes § 53-202k and, more specifically, defining the term ‘firearm,’ as used in § 53-202k and defined in General Statutes § 53a-3 (19). She additionally claims on appeal that the habeas court improperly concluded that she failed to demonstrate that her trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by neglecting to request that the court instruct the jury that § 53-202k expressly excludes ‘assault weapon[s]’ from the term ‘firearm,’ or otherwise to object to the court’s instruction as to § 53-202k. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court denying the petition”.)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4953

AC42942 - Kaddah v. Commissioner of Correction (On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court erred in rejecting his claim that his prior habeas attorneys were ineffective in not pursuing the claim that his trial and appellate counsel were ineffective for their failure to challenge the trial court’s jury instructions as to (1) the element of intent required for the specific offenses alleged against him and (2) his affirmative defense of mental disease or defect. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.)

AC44390 - O'Reagan v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner claims that the court erred (1) in dismissing in part his habeas petition after finding that he was not in custody on two of his challenged convictions, and (2) in denying his habeas petition after concluding that his trial counsel had not provided ineffective assistance. We disagree with both of the petitioner’s claims and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC44160 - Sease v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner raises three principal issues on appeal: (1) the court abused its discretion in denying certification to appeal; (2) his right of due process was violated by the prosecuting authority’s knowing presentation of false testimony at his criminal trial; and (3) the court improperly denied his claim that his right to effective assistance of trial counsel at sentencing was violated. We make no determination as to whether the petitioner prevails on his third claim, but we conclude that the habeas court improperly denied his petition for certification to appeal, and remand the matter to the habeas court for additional factual findings regarding the performance prong of his ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing claim. We leave the petitioner’s second claim to another day in light of our remand order on his third claim.”)

AC43862 - Jones v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) deprived him of his constitutional and statutory rights by failing to admit into evidence or consider the transcripts of the underlying criminal trial, (3) improperly concluded that his trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance, and (4) improperly concluded that there were no violations of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), at his underlying criminal trial. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petitioner’s petition for certification to appeal and, therefore, dismiss the appeal.”)


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4943

SC20430 - Saunders v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that (1) the defense of procedural default applies to competency claims, and (2) his pleadings failed to allege sufficient cause and prejudice to overcome the procedural default defense. We disagree with the petitioner that competency claims are categorically exempt from being procedurally defaulted because incompetency may satisfy the cause and prejudice standard to excuse a procedural default. In the petitioner’s case, our review of the petition leads us to conclude that his pleadings met the standard necessary to survive a motion to dismiss. Accordingly, we reverse the Appellate Court’s judgment and remand the case to that court with direction to remand it to the habeas court for an evidentiary hearing on the threshold question of whether the petitioner was incompetent at the time of his underlying criminal trial or his direct appeal and, if so, whether he suffered any resulting prejudice, thereby excusing his procedural default.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4935

AC44228 - Leach v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; claim that habeas court abused its discretion in denying petition for certification to appeal; "The petitioner, Kareem Leach, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) improperly concluded that his trial counsel had not provided ineffective assistance. We disagree that the court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.")