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 Supreme Court Opinion

by Townsend, Karen


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.”)