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Habeas Corpus Law

Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5774

AC45984 - Clue v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly concluded that its equitable authority to open the judgment outside of the four month period set forth in General Statutes § 52-212a was limited to cases in which the judgment was obtained by fraud, duress, or mutual mistake. We agree and conclude that, in the context of a habeas corpus case, the court has the authority to consider an otherwise untimely motion to open that is based on the ineffective assistance of habeas counsel. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court and remand the case for a new hearing on the petitioner’s motion to open.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5769

AC45737 - Williams v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner claims that he relied on the advice of counsel when he pleaded guilty to capital felony and other charges, accepting a total effective sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of release in exchange for the state’s agreeing to not seek the death penalty against him. On appeal, the petitioner contends that the court (1) improperly rejected his claims that counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to move to suppress his confession and failing to investigate or properly advise him of a potential mental disease or defect defense, and (2) abused its discretion in excluding his testimony that he would have rejected the plea agreement and insisted on going to trial if his counsel had properly informed him of the potential defense to his pending charges. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5758

AC46191 - Bonds v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance of counsel during plea negotiations; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly rejected his claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. We affirm the judgment on the ground that the habeas court properly found that the petitioner did not prove that he was prejudiced by any ineffective assistance.”)

AC45738 - Love v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance of counsel; On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly concluded that his trial counsel’s failure to consult with and retain an eyewitness identification expert for assistance and testimony at the petitioner’s pretrial suppression hearing and at his criminal trial did not constitute deficient performance that prejudiced the petitioner. We disagree with the petitioner and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5746

AC45736 - Hankerson v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court erred in concluding that he failed to establish good cause for his late-filed petition. In particular, the petitioner argues that his prior habeas counsel’s failure to advise him of the statutory deadline for filing a new petition following the withdrawal of his then pending petition constituted ineffective assistance of counsel, which constituted good cause for the delay in filing. In light of our Supreme Court’s recent decision in Rose v. Commissioner of Correction, 348 Conn. 333, 304 A.3d 431 (2023), we conclude that the judgment of the habeas court must be reversed, and we remand the case for a new good cause hearing.”)


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5738

SC20576 - Felder v. Commissioner of Correction (Whether federal habeas petition is a prior petition; judgment of the Appellate Court dismissing the petitioner’s habeas petition on the grounds it was untimely filed and there was no good cause to excuse the delay; “This certified appeal requires us to consider whether the Appellate Court correctly determined that (1) the phrase “prior petition,” as used in § 52-470 (d), unambiguously refers to prior state habeas petitions and does not also include prior federal habeas petitions, and (2) the habeas court had not abused its discretion in dismissing the petition because the petitioner did not establish good cause to excuse the untimely filing of his habeas petition, as required by § 52-470 (e). We agree with the Appellate Court’s determinations and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5709

AC45655 - Glen S. v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner claims that the 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 because the court erred in precluding evidence of his character for truthfulness. We dismiss the appeal.”)



Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Carey, Sean

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5688

AC45273 - Mercer v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner, Leon Mercer, appeals, following the granting of his petition for certification to appeal, from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly concluded that his criminal defense counsel, Attorney Dean Popkin, did not render ineffective assistance during the criminal proceedings underlying his conviction. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5684

SC20558 - Rose v. Commissioner of Correction (“This certified appeal requires us to examine the proper application …that good cause excused the delayed filing of his habeas petition because his former attorney, Anthony A. Wallace, had advised him to withdraw a prior timely filed habeas petition but had failed to advise him of the need to refile a new petition within the time constraints imposed by § 52-470 (c). The habeas court rejected the petitioner’s claim and dismissed his petition as untimely on the ground that Attorney Wallace had advised the petitioner to ‘withdraw but [to] do it now,’ and the petitioner had failed to offer a ‘reason, impediment, or excuse’ for the delayed filing of a subsequent petition. (Emphasis in original.) The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5677

AC45675 - Raynor v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly determined that he failed to establish that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel during his criminal trial. Specifically, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erroneously determined that his trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance (1) by failing to object to uncharged misconduct evidence, and (2) by failing to limit the scope of cell site location information (CSLI) evidence by either requesting a Porter hearing or presenting a witness to challenge the state’s CSLI expert. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC46491 - Bennett v. Commissioner of Correction (“The self-represented petitioner, Erick Bennett, appeals, following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal, from the judgment of the habeas court denying his motion to open and/or vacate the judgment denying his third amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus (motion to open). Although the petitioner challenges the merits of the habeas court’s denial of his motion to open, he has failed to brief the threshold issue of whether the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5665

AC45712 - Soyini v. Commissioner of Correction (“In his petition, he asserted that his underlying conviction is invalid because his constitutional rights not to be subjected to an unreasonable warrantless search of his cell phone, to due process, and to the effective assistance of trial and appellate counsel were violated. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly concluded that his right to the effective assistance of trial counsel was not violated on the basis of counsel’s failure to move to suppress certain evidence that the police extracted from the petitioner’s cell phone prior to obtaining a valid search warrant and the ‘fruits’ of the purportedly unconstitutional search. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5659

AC45482 - Stephenson v. Commissioner of Correction ("After the granting of certification to appeal, the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court granting the petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by the petitioner, Joseph Stephenson. The habeas court found that the petitioner's criminal trial counsel, James Lamontagne, had provided ineffective assistance by failing to properly advise the petitioner about the mandatory deportation consequence of his guilty pleas to two charges of larceny in the sixth degree. On appeal, the respondent claims that the habeas court's determination that Lamontagne had performed deficiently was improper because the court (1) did not determine what advice Lamontagne actually provided, as required by Budziszewski v. Commissioner of Correction, 322 Conn. 504, 142 A.3d 243 (2016), (2) failed to hold the petitioner to his burden to rebut the presumption that Lamontagne's advice fell within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance, and (3) applied a higher standard than what the law requires when it based its finding of deficient performance on Lamontagne's failure to advise the petitioner that his pleas would "`automatically subject him to mandatory deportation.'" (Emphasis omitted.) 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=5651

AC45756 - Brown 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, and (2) improperly concluded that his trial counsel’s failure to call an eyewitness identification expert at the petitioner’s criminal trial did not constitute constitutionally deficient performance that prejudiced the petitioner. We agree with the petitioner that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal. We agree, however, with the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, that the petitioner failed to establish that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Accordingly, 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=5626

AC45795 - Martinez v. Commissioner of Correction (Ineffective assistance of counsel; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that his trial counsel, Attorney TaShun Bowden-Lewis, performed deficiently by failing to offer her opinion as to whether the petitioner should have taken a pretrial plea offer from the state and that he was prejudiced by trial counsel’s deficient performance. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5601

AC45841 - Godfrey-Hill v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) his trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance by failing to investigate and to call a certain witness to testify during the petitioner’s criminal trial and (2) he was not prejudiced by counsel’s alleged deficiencies. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC45321 - Madera v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly concluded that he failed to sustain his burden of establishing that he was prejudiced by counsel’s alleged deficient performance. We agree with the habeas court’s conclusion and, accordingly, affirm its judgment.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5580

AC45442 - Williams v. Commisioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) improperly concluded that certain undisclosed impeachment evidence was not material under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), and (3) improperly concluded that the petitioner failed to prove that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance. We agree with the petitioner’s first two claims, and, 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=5569

AC44188 - Pierce v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner argues that the court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal because the court improperly dismissed the first count of his third amended petition in 2019 without first providing him with notice and an opportunity to be heard.3 We agree with the petitioner that the court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal. Furthermore, in light of our Supreme Court’s 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), which were decided in 2022, after the habeas court’s 2019 dismissal of the first count of the petitioner’s third amended petition, we agree that the habeas court committed error in dismissing that count pursuant to § 23- 29 without first providing him with prior notice of its intention to dismiss and an opportunity to submit a brief or a written response addressing the proposed basis for dismissal. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5555

SC20786 - Maia v. Commissioner of Correction (Ineffective assistance; plea bargaining; “In this certified appeal, we consider whether trial counsel for the petitioner, Derek Maia, rendered ineffective assistance when he failed to recommend that the petitioner accept the court’s pretrial plea offer of a forty-five year sentence of incarceration, considering that the court sentenced him to sixty years after trial. We disagree with the habeas court’s determination that counsel’s lack of a specific recommendation amounted to deficient performance pursuant to Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984). As a result, we reverse the habeas court’s judgment and remand the case to that court with direction to deny the petitioner’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus.”)


Habeas Supreme Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5542

SC20621- Banks v. Commissioner of Correction ("We conclude that plain error and Golding review is available to challenge the habeas court’s handling of the habeas proceeding itself, despite its denial of a petition for certification to appeal, if the appellant can demonstrate that the unpreserved claims involve issues that ‘are debatable among jurists of reason; that a court could resolve [them in a different manner]; or that [they] are adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.’ (Emphasis in original; internal quotation marks omitted.) Simms v. Warden, 230 Conn. 608, 616, 646 A.2d 126 (1994) (Simms II). We therefore reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court dismissing the appeal filed by the petitioner, Harold T. Banks, Jr., and remand the case to that court for consideration of the petitioner’s claims under the Simms II criteria.")

SC20622 - Bosque v. Commissioner of Correction (“In Banks v. Commissioner of Correction, 347 Conn. 335, 350–77, A.3d (2023), also released today, we held that unpreserved claims challenging the habeas court’s handling of the habeas proceeding itself are reviewable under the plain error doctrine and Golding, despite the failure to include those claims in the petition for certification to appeal, if the appellant can demonstrate that the claims are nonfrivolous because they involve issues that ‘are debatable among jurists of reason; that a court could resolve [them in a different manner]; or that [they] are adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.’ (Emphasis in original; internal quotation marks omitted.) Simms v. Warden, 230 Conn. 608, 616, 646 A.2d 126 (1994). Because the Appellate Court dismissed the petitioner’s uncertified appeal without first considering whether his unpreserved claims are nonfrivolous under the Simms criteria, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and remand for consideration of that issue consistent with the principles set forth in Banks.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5539

AC45232 - Crocker v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner claims on appeal that the court improperly rejected his claims that counsel in two previous habeas actions provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to raise claims that his criminal trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by not conducting a proper investigation to identify exculpatory witnesses and/or by failing to call exculpatory witnesses to testify at his criminal trial. We disagree. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)