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Habeas Corpus Law

Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

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AC46420 - Smith v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Devon Earlington Smith, 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. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) erroneously concluded that he knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently withdrew a prior habeas petition with prejudice, thereby waiving his right to bring the same claims in the present petition. We disagree and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5868

AC43186 - Holley v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Ronnie Holley, appeals from 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 as untimely under General Statutes § 52-470 (d) and (e). On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly rejected his claim that his petition was timely under § 52-470 (d) because it was filed within two years of the final judgment on his prior federal habeas petition or, alternatively, that he had established good cause, under § 52-470 (e), to overcome the presumption of unreasonable delay for the filing of his untimely habeas petition in that he was unaware of the statutory time limit. We disagree and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5863

AC41747 - Coney v. Commissioner of Correction ("This appeal returns to this court on remand from our Supreme Court with direction to further consider the claim raised by the petitioner, Paul Coney, that the habeas court erred in dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas corpus as untimely pursuant to General Statutes § 52-470 (d) and (e) because he failed to demonstrate good cause to overcome the statutory presumption of an unreasonable delay. See Coney v. Commissioner of Correction, 348 Conn. 946, 308 A.3d 35 (2024). We reverse the judgment of the habeas court and remand the matter for a new hearing and good cause determination.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5857

AC43187 - Banks v. Commissioner of Correction ("This appeal returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court. See Banks v. Commissioner of Correction, 347 Conn. 335, 361, 297 A.3d 541 (2023).The petitioner, Harold T. Banks, Jr., appealed to this court 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 as untimely pursuant to General Statutes § 52-470 (c) and (e). Banks v. Commissioner of Correction, 205 Conn. App. 337, 338, 256 A.3d 726 (2021), rev'd, 347 Conn. 335, 297 A.3d 541 (2023). On appeal, the petitioner asserted unpreserved claims that were not included in his petition for certification to appeal, contending that his unpreserved claims were reviewable for plain error and pursuant to State v. Golding, 213 Conn. 233, 239–40, 567 A.2d 823 (1989), as modified by In re Yasiel R., 317 Conn. 773, 781, 120 A.3d 1188 (2015).Banks v. Commissioner of Correction, supra, 205 Conn. App. 342.This court dismissed the petitioner's appeal, holding that the certification requirement in § 52-470 (g) bars appellate review of unpreserved and uncertified claims whether for plain error or pursuant to Golding. Id., 343–45.

After granting the petitioner's petition for certification to appeal, our Supreme Court reversed the judgment of this court, holding that "§ 52-470 (g) does not restrict [a reviewing court's] authority to review unpreserved claims under the plain error doctrine or Golding following a habeas court's denial of a petition for certification to appeal, so long as the appellants' claims challenge the habeas court's handling of the habeas proceeding itself and the appellant fulfills his or her burden of establishing that the unpreserved claims" are nonfrivolous under Simms v. Warden, 230 Conn. 608, 616, 646 A.2d 126 (1994).Banks v. Commissioner of Correction, supra, 347 Conn. 350.Accordingly, our Supreme Court remanded the case to this court with direction to consider "whether the petitioner fulfilled his burden of establishing that his Golding and plain error claims challenging the habeas court's handling of the habeas proceeding itself were nonfrivolous under the [Simms] criteria." Id., 360–61.Because we conclude that he has not fulfilled his burden, we dismiss the appeal.")

AC43188 - Bosque v. Commissioner of Correction ("This appeal returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court. See Bosque v. Commissioner of Correction, 347 Conn. 377, 297 A.3d 981 (2023). The petitioner, Benjamin Bosque, appealed 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 as untimely pursuant to General Statutes § 52-470 (c) and (e).Bosque v. Commissioner of Correction, 205 Conn. App. 480, 481, 257 A.3d 972 (2021), rev'd, 347 Conn. 377, 297 A.3d 981 (2023).On appeal, the petitioner claimed that "the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal because (1) it should have been obvious to the court that his habeas counsel had provided constitutionally ineffective assistance and (2) he was denied his constitutional right to counsel because the court had failed to intervene when his counsel did not present any evidence in support of his claim that good cause existed to rebut the presumption of unreasonable delay in the filing of his petition."Id., 481–82.Although the petitioner conceded that he neither preserved his claims before the habeas court nor included them in his petition for certification to appeal, he contended that his unpreserved and uncertified claims were reviewable under the plain error doctrine or pursuant to State v. Golding, 213 Conn. 233, 239–40, 567 A.2d 823 (1989), as modified by In re Yasiel R., 317 Conn. 773, 781, 120 A.3d 1188 (2015).Bosque v. Commissioner of Correction, supra, 205 Conn. App. 486. This court dismissed the appeal, holding that the certification requirement in § 52-470 (g) bars appellate review of unpreserved claims not raised in the petition for certification, whether for plain error or pursuant to Golding. Id., 487–89.We concluded "that, if the petitioner desired appellate review of his claims of ineffective assistance of habeas counsel and/or whether the habeas court had a duty to address counsel's deficient performance to prevent prejudice to the petitioner, he was required to include those issues as grounds for appeal in his petition for certification to appeal." Id., 489.

...

Accordingly, in the present case, because this court dismissed the petitioner's appeal "without first considering whether his unpreserved claims are nonfrivolous under the Simms criteria," our Supreme Court remanded the case to this court to consider "that issue consistent with the principles set forth in Banks." Id. For the reasons stated in the companion case also released today; see Banks v. Commissioner of Correction, 225 Conn. App. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2024); we conclude that the petitioner's unpreserved claims are frivolous under the Simms criteria and, therefore, dismiss the appeal.")

AC46237 - Davis v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Paul Davis, 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, in which he alleged a due process violation and ineffective assistance of his trial and appellate counsel. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court violated his constitutional right to due process and abused its discretion when it denied his motion for a continuance to afford him additional time to secure the testimony of a witness. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC46270 - Hilton v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, James Hilton, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his second petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) improperly rejected his claim that his right to the effective assistance of counsel was violated when his first habeas counsel, Attorney David B. Rozwaski, failed to present the expert testimony of a forensic pathologist in support of his claim that the petitioner's criminal trial counsel, Attorney Al Ghiroli, had provided ineffective assistance of counsel and (2) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal as to his claim that the habeas court applied the wrong legal standard in assessing witness credibility. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court as it relates to the petitioner's first claim. We dismiss the appeal as to the petitioner's second claim.")

AC46580 - Hodge v. Commissioner of Correction ("This case returns to us following the remand ordered in Hodge v. Commissioner of Correction, 216 Conn. App. 616, 624, 285 A.3d 1194 (2022).The petitioner, Marcus Hodge, appeals, following the grant of his petition for certification to appeal, from the judgment of the habeas court dismissing, on its own motion, his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus dated November 15, 2017 (first amended petition).On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court erred in rejecting the filing of his six count amended petition dated February 21, 2023 (second amended petition).Because there is no practical relief that we can afford the petitioner, who has fully served his underlying sentence, we dismiss the appeal as moot.")

AC43327 - Michael G. v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Michael G., 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 as untimely pursuant to General Statutes § 52-470 (d) and (e). The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, filed a request for an order to show cause why the petitioner's habeas petition should not be dismissed as untimely pursuant to § 52-470 (d) and (e). On appeal, the petitioner claims, inter alia, 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 prior to the withdrawal of his previously pending petition constituted ineffective assistance of counsel, which constituted good cause for the delay in filing. In accordance with our Supreme Court's recent decision in Rose v. Commissioner of Correction, 348 Conn. 333, 304 A.3d 431 (2023), and our recent decision in Hankerson v. Commissioner of Correction, 223 Conn. App. 562, 308 A.3d 1113 (2024), we conclude that the judgment of the habeas court must be reversed, and we remand the case for a new hearing and good cause determination under § 52-470 (d) and (e).

The judgment of the habeas court is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.")

AC46226 - Reed v. Commissioner of Correction ("The self-represented petitioner, Doraine Reed, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying her amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus.Her appeal concerns an administrative directive amended by the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, in 2016, which changed the calculation of credit that inmates may earn under the risk reduction earned credit program established by General Statutes § 18-98e. See Conn. Dept. of Correction, Administrative Directive 4.2A (effective February 1, 2016). On appeal, the petitioner contends that the application of that administrative directive to her violates the ex post facto clause of the United States constitution.

Resolution of the petitioner's claim is controlled by Rios v. Commissioner of Correction, 224 Conn. App. 350, ___ A.3d ___ (2024).In Rios, this court concluded that, because Administrative Directive 4.2A, as amended, did not constitute a law within the meaning of the ex post facto clause, the petitioner could not establish an ex post facto violation.Id., 353, 375.Bound by that precedent; see State v. White, 215 Conn. App. 273, 304–305, 283 A.3d 542 (2022), cert. denied, 346 Conn. 918, 291 A.3d 108 (2023); the petitioner's ex post facto challenge must fail.

The judgment is affirmed.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5852

AC46059 - Kukucka v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Dale Kukucka, 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 improperly denied his freestanding due process claim on the basis of procedural default. Specifically, he argues that the court erroneously concluded that the only way he could overcome procedural default was by showing ineffective assistance of appellate counsel, and, in so concluding, it improperly rejected his claim that he satisfied the cause and prejudice test set forth in Reed v. Ross, 468 U.S. 1, 13–15, 104 S. Ct. 2901, 82 L. Ed. 2d 1 (1984).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=5841

AC45569 - Grant v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly (1) concluded that the eyewitness identification evidence presented at his criminal trial did not violate his due process rights; (2) concluded that he had not established that his trial counsel was ineffective for having failed to consult with or offer the testimony of an eyewitness identification expert, for having failed to investigate the issue of phone calls the petitioner allegedly made from a witness’ cell phone immediately prior to the crime, and for having failed to investigate and to present potential alibi witness testimony; and (3) declined to credit the testimony of two expert witnesses at the habeas trial. 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=5820

AC46227 - James P. v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner, who had been convicted of various crimes pursuant to a guilty plea, claims that (1) his trial counsel performed deficiently by informing him that it was possible for the sentencing court to reject the plea agreement if the court determined that the agreed upon sentence was too high and (2) he was prejudiced by his trial counsel’s deficient performance. We disagree with the petitioner’s second claim and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC46077 - Vega v. Commissioner of Correction (“The petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) improperly concluded that he failed to prove that the state had suppressed exculpatory information in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), and (3) improperly concluded that he failed to establish that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Because the petitioner has failed to demonstrate that the court improperly denied his petition for certification to appeal, we dismiss the appeal.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5807

AC46164 - Rios v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the respondent first claims that the court improperly concluded that the amended administrative directive at issue was subject to ex post facto scrutiny because it constitutes a law within the meaning of that clause. The respondent also argues, in the alternative, that, even if the amended administrative directive were subject to scrutiny under the ex post facto clause because it constitutes a law within the meaning of that clause, the court nonetheless improperly concluded that the application of the amended administrative directive to the petitioner violated the ex post facto clause prohibition. We agree with the respondent’s first argument and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5799

AC45982 - Delgado v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly concluded that his criminal trial counsel, Attorney Kimberly Graham, and his appellate counsel, Attorney Theresa M. Dalton, did not render ineffective assistance during the criminal proceedings underlying his conviction or in the direct appeal from his conviction, respectively, a conclusion that necessarily defeated the petitioner’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel directed at his second habeas counsel, Attorney Laljeebhai R. Patel. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC46079 - Rapp v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court erred in concluding that he failed to establish good cause for his untimely petition. Specifically, 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 Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5787

AC45422 - Donald G. v. Commissioner of Correction (“He claims that the court improperly (1) failed to consider two of his claims of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel and (2) concluded that his appellate counsel did not render ineffective assistance by failing to raise claims of prosecutorial impropriety on direct appeal from the petitioner’s criminal conviction. 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=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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.”)