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

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3179

AC38861 - Marshall v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court erroneously determined that his trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance by (1) having an actual conflict of interest as a result of his prior representation of a witness in an unrelated criminal case; (2) failing to object to the trial court’s exclusion of the petitioner from participation in an in-chambers conference; (3) failing to move to suppress one witness’ identification of him from a photographic array; and (4) failing to challenge the consolidation of his two criminal cases for trial. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Law Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3153

AC39952 - Chance v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance by failing to file motion to suppress incriminating statements and failing to present to trial court jury instructions; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal from the denial of his second amended petition, and (2) improperly concluded that he failed to establish that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.")


Habeas Appellate Law Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3139

SC19961 - Greene v. Commissioner of Correction ("The two primary issues are whether the habeas court properly determined that the petitioner’s due process rights were not violated during the underlying criminal trial when the prosecutor failed: (1) to correct certain allegedly false testimony from one of the state’s key witnesses, Markeyse Kelly and (2) to disclose certain evidence favorable to the petitioner. The third issue, which arose during the habeas trial, is whether the habeas court abused its discretion by denying the petitioner’s request for a capias after Kelly failed to comply with a subpoena commanding his attendance at the habeas trial. We conclude that the habeas court properly determined that the state had not violated the petitioner’s due process rights and that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion by denying the petitioner’s request for a capias. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3128

AC39945 - Thompson v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly concluded that he failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that his trial counsel rendered deficient performance because he failed to move for a mistrial or to seek any curative measures following prejudicial testimony from the complainant. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC39234 - Holliday v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in dismissing his petition (1) for lack of jurisdiction on the basis of Petaway v. Commissioner of Correction, 160 Conn. App. 727, 125 A.3d 1053 (2015), appeal dismissed, 324 Conn. 912, 153 A.3d 1288 (2017), and (2) without notice or a hearing. For the reasons set forth herein, we disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")



Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3127

SC19836 - Helmedach v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; claim that petitioner's criminal trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance when he delayed presenting favorable plea offer to her and offer was withdrawn; certification from Appellate Court; "In this certified appeal, we consider whether the attorney for the petitioner, Jennifer Helmedach, rendered ineffective assistance when, during trial, he delayed presenting to the petitioner a favorable plea offer from the prosecutor, an offer the prosecutor later withdrew before it could be accepted. We agree with the habeas court and Appellate Court that counsel's delay amounted to deficient performance pursuant to Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984), and, in light of the fact that the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, does not contest that the petitioner was prejudiced, we therefore affirm the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3125

SC19945 - Kelsey v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; request by respondent Commissioner of Correction, pursuant to statute (§ 52-470 [d] and [e]), for order to show cause why habeas petition should be permitted to proceed when petition was filed beyond two year limitation period set forth in § 52-470 (d) (1); "The sole question presented in this certified public interest appeal is whether General Statutes § 52-470 divests the habeas court of discretion to determine when it should act on a motion by the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, for an order to show cause why an untimely petition should be permitted to proceed. In the present case, the habeas court took no action on the motion of the respondent requesting the court, pursuant to § 52-470 (d) and (e), to order the petitioner, Eric Thomas Kelsey, to show cause why his petition should be permitted to proceed despite his delay in filing it. The court interpreted § 52-470 to deprive it of discretion to act on the respondent's motion prior to the close of all pleadings. Upon concluding both that this matter involved issues of substantial public interest and that further delay may work a substantial injustice, the Chief Justice granted the respondent's request to file an interlocutory appeal pursuant to General Statutes § 52-265a.

In this appeal, we are presented with three proposed interpretations of § 52-470 regarding the degree to which, if at all, that statute constrains the discretion of the habeas court as to when it may act on the respondent's motion for an order to show good cause why a petition should be permitted to proceed when a petitioner has delayed in filing the habeas petition. The habeas court believed that § 52-470 (b) (1) required the court to wait until the close of all pleadings to act on the respondent's motion. The respondent contends that the court mistakenly relied on § 52-470 (b) (1) in declining to act on his motion. The respondent argues that § 52-470 (e) controls and requires that, once the court is presented with a timeliness challenge to the petition, the court must resolve that question before the action is allowed to proceed further. The petitioner agrees with the respondent that § 52-470 (e), rather than § 52-470 (b), applies, but argues that, under that subsection, the habeas court retains discretion to decide when to issue the order. We conclude that § 52-470 (e) applies and does not limit the discretion of the habeas court as to when it may act on a motion for an order to show cause why an untimely petition should be permitted to proceed. Accordingly, we conclude that the habeas court improperly determined that it lacked discretion to act on the respondent's motion for an order to show cause because the pleadings in the case were not yet closed. We therefore reverse the determination of the habeas court that it could not act on the respondent's motion for an order to show cause why the petition should be permitted to proceed.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3117

AC39313 - Green v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; "The petitioner, Courtney Green, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court disposing of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus for lack of jurisdiction. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly disposed of his petition because it (1) incorrectly concluded that it lacked jurisdiction and (2) failed to conduct a hearing on that issue prior to disposing of the petition. We disagree with the claims of the petitioner and, accordingly, affirm the judgment. ")

AC39830 - Banks v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; kidnapping in first degree; robbery in first degree; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; "The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the absence of a jury instruction required by our Supreme Court's seminal decision in State v. Salamon, 287 Conn. 509, 949 A.2d 1092 (2008), and subject to a retroactive application in a subsequent collateral proceeding; see Luurtsema v. Commissioner of Correction, 299 Conn. 740, 12 A.3d 817 (2011); constituted harmless error. See Hinds v. Commissioner of Correction, 321 Conn. 56, 136 A.3d 596 (2016). This court recently articulated the issue as follows: "[A] defendant who has been convicted of kidnapping may collaterally attack his kidnapping conviction on the ground that the trial court's jury instructions failed to require that the jury find that the defendant's confinement or movement of the victim was not merely incidental to the defendant's commission of some other crime or crimes." Wilcox v. Commissioner of Correction, 162 Conn. App. 730, 736, 129 A.3d 796 (2016). Further, a reviewing court must conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the absence of the Salamon instruction did not contribute to the kidnapping conviction. White v. Commissioner of Correction, 170 Conn. App. 415, 428, 154 A.3d 1054 (2017).

In this case, the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, bears the arduous burden of demonstrating that the omission of an instruction on incidental restraint did not contribute to the verdict. See, e.g., id., 428–29. Accordingly, our task is not to determine whether sufficient evidence existed in the record to support a conviction of kidnapping or "whether a jury likely would return a guilty verdict if properly instructed; rather, the test is whether there is a reasonable possibility that a properly instructed jury would reach a different result." (Emphasis added.) State v. Flores, 301 Conn. 77, 87, 17 A.3d 1025 (2011). We conclude that, under the facts and circumstances of this case, as well as the analysis established in our appellate precedent, the absence of the Salamon instruction was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court denying the petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and remand the case with direction to vacate his kidnapping convictions and to order a new trial with respect to those charges.")

AC38401 - Bell v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; kidnapping in first degree; robbery in first degree; "The petitioner, Leon Bell, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The habeas court denied the petition after concluding that, although the petitioner was entitled to a jury instruction in accordance with the seminal case of State v. Salamon, 287 Conn. 509, 949 A.2d 1092 (2008), that failure was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the habeas court correctly concluded that the absence of a Salamon instruction in the petitioner's criminal trial was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. In a separate opinion, which we also release today; see Banks v. Commissioner of Correction, 184 Conn. App. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2018); we considered the same legal claim under similar facts. In Banks, we concluded that, under the facts of that case, the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, failed to meet his burden to prove that the absence of the Salamon instruction was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt and therefore the habeas court in that case improperly denied the habeas petition. Id., ___. Our analysis and conclusion in Banks controls the resolution of the present case. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court and remand the case with direction to grant the petition for a writ of habeas corpus and to proceed with a new trial on the kidnapping charges.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3112

AC39879 - Grover 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) erroneously determined that he was not denied his constitutional rights to counsel free from conflicts of interest and to the effective assistance of counsel.”)

AC39632 - Edwards v. Commissioner of Correction ("Claim of ineffective assistance; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that because his trial counsel, Raul Davila, failed to subject the state’s case against him to any meaningful adversarial testing, his claim is controlled by United States v. Cronic, 466 U.S. 648, 104 S. Ct. 2039, 80 L. Ed. 2d 657 (1984), and prejudice should be presumed. On that basis, he claims that the habeas court should have granted his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, set aside his conviction and the revocation of his probation, and remanded his case for a new trial. We agree, and therefore reverse the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC39519 - Dupigney v. Commissioner of Correction (Amended petition for writ of habeas corpus; “In this certified appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly rejected his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3104

SC19780 - Eubanks v. Commissioner of Correction ("The respondent claims that the Appellate Court improperly reached the merits of the petitioner’s claim that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to object to certain portions of the prior testimony of Tanika McCotter on the basis that those portions of her testimony constituted double hearsay. Eubanks v.Commissioner of Correction, 166 Conn. App. 1, 22, 140 A.3d 402 (2016). The respondent contends that because the petitioner raised this argument for the first time on appeal, the petitioner’s claim is unreviewable. The petitioner responds that the Appellate Court properly addressed the double hearsay issue and reasserts the alternative ground for affirmance that he raised in the Appellate Court…Accordingly, we agree with the respondent that the Appellate Court improperly reached the merits of the petitioner’s claim. For the same reason, we reject the petitioner’s alternative ground for affirmance. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3098

AC39462 - Gaskin v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; "It has been usual for trial judges, when instructing jurors on how to weigh the credibility of witnesses, to tell them to consider whether the witness has an interest of whatever sort in the outcome of the trial that might influence or color the witness’ testimony. In the petitioner’s criminal trial, however, the jury never received important evidence of a cooperating witness’ interest in the outcome. This appeal requires us to examine a situation where a necessary cooperating witness, the only one who put the defendant at the crime scene with the likely murder weapon in his hand, falsely denied before the jury any promise from the state in exchange for his testimony and such falsity was not disclosed to the jury, but the prosecutor argued in summation to the jury that the witness had ‘‘everything to lose, nothing to gain,’’ by giving statements to the police and testifying. We hold this scenario to be antithetical to due process under the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution.

The petitioner, Christopher Gaskin, filed this appeal 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. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court: (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal; (2) erred in finding that the petitioner’s due process claim was procedurally defaulted; and (3) in addressing the merits, erred in finding that the state did not deprive the petitioner of his due process rights when it did not correct a witness’ known false testimony at the underlying criminal trial. We agree with all of the petitioner’s claims as they pertain to his underlying convictions of murder and conspiracy to commit murder under General Statutes §§ 53a-54 and 53a-48, respectively. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the habeas court and remand the case to the habeas court with instruction to render judgment granting the peti- tion for a writ of habeas corpus, vacating the petitioner’s underlying convictions of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and ordering a new trial on those charges. We affirm the judgment as to the petitioner’s underlying conviction of tampering with a witness under General Statutes § 53a-151.")

AC39802 - Mercado v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; ineffective assistance of trial counsel; "The petitioner, Marcos Mercado, appeals from 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. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and improperly rejected his claim that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Specifically, the petitioner claims that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing: (1) to take appropriate measures at trial to preclude the introduction of evidence of the petitioner’s prior commission of crimes; (2) to take appropriate measures to preclude, or failing to call an expert to challenge, the state’s introduction of firearms and ballistics evidence; and (3) to adequately preserve an issue for appellate review. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.")


Habeas Appellate Law Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3086

AC33424 - St. Juste v. Commisssioner of Correction ("The petitioner claimed that the habeas court improperly rejected his claim that his trial counsel had rendered ineffective assistance because he failed to inform him that if he were convicted of the crime of assault in the second degree, his conviction would result in his certain deportation. In 2015, this court dismissed the appeal on mootness grounds. St. Juste v. Commissioner of Correction, 155 Conn. App. 164, 181, 109 A.3d 523 (2015). In 2018, following a grant of certification to appeal, our Supreme Court reversed the judgment of this court and remanded the case to this court with direction to consider the merits of the petitioner’s appeal. St. Juste v. Commissioner of Correction, 328 Conn. 198, 219, 177 A.3d 1144 (2018). Having done so, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3037

AC37131 - Bennett 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) abused its discretion in declining to admit into evidence a transcript from the criminal trial of another defendant, and (3) erred in finding that his right to the effective assistance of counsel at his criminal trial had not been violated. We disagree and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.")

AC39445 - Francis v. Commissioner of Correction ("The habeas court granted his petition for certification to appeal to this court; he claims on appeal that he was prejudiced as a result of the ineffective assistance of his erstwhile habeas counsel, Michael Day. Specifically, the petitioner argues that, at his habeas trial, Day failed (1) to question a witness properly and (2) to present evidence of that witness’ availability to testify at the original criminal trial. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3006

AC39783- White v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly rejected his claims that (1) his right to due process was violated because his guilty plea was not made knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily and (2) his right to effective assistance of counsel was violated because his attorney failed to adequately research and investigate the issue of the petitioner’s mental state at the time of his guilty plea and to bring information about the petitioner’s compromised mental state to the attention of the criminal trial court. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2993

SC19251 - Skakel v. Commissioner of Correction ("The sole issue now before us in this appeal by the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, is whether the habeas court properly concluded that the petitioner, Michael Skakel, is entitled to a new trial because counsel in his murder case, Michael Sherman, rendered ineffective assistance by failing to obtain certain readily available evidence that Sherman should have known was potentially critical to the petitioner's alibi defense, that is, the testimony of a disinterested alibi witness whom the habeas court found to be highly credible. Because we agree with the habeas court both that Sherman's failure to secure that evidence was constitutionally inexcusable and that that deficiency undermines confidence in the reliability of the petitioner's conviction—a conviction founded on a case, aptly characterized by the habeas court as far from overwhelming, that was devoid of any forensic evidence or eyewitness testimony linking the petitioner to the crime—we affirm the judgment of the habeas court ordering a new trial.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2990

AC39131 - Turner 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 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. For the reasons set forth herein, we agree with the petitioner and conclude that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and in denying the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court and remand the matter for a new trial.")

AC39493 - Henderson v. Commissioner of Correction (Cohabitation; motion to modify; “On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court applied an improper legal standard as a prerequisite for the termination of alimony under General Statutes § 46b-86 (b). We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the court and remand the case for further proceedings.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2979

AC39946 - Johnson v. Commissioner of Correction ("In his habeas petition, the petitioner alleged that his conviction is illegal because he did not understand, due to his compromised mental state, what was occurring when he pleaded guilty to one charge and then proceeded to trial on a second charge. The habeas court sua sponte dismissed the petition because it raised the same ground as two prior petitions that had been denied, and it failed to state new facts or to proffer new evidence not reasonably available at the time of the prior petitions. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal because he has a meritorious claim that his prior habeas counsel was ineffective. The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, argues that the issue raised on appeal is not reviewable because the petitioner did not raise it in his habeas petition or in his petition for certification. We agree and, therefore, dismiss the appeal.")



Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2961

SC19774 - Barlow v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the commissioner contends that the Appellate Court improperly concluded in Barlow II that (1) General Statutes § 51-183c required that a different habeas judge preside over the proceedings directed by Barlow I to determine whether deficient performance by the petitioner’s attorney during the plea bargaining process was prejudicial under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984), and (2) the Barlow I remand order allowed for the introduction of new evidence on the question of whether counsel’s deficient performance had prejudiced the petitioner, rather than requiring the habeas court to make that determination based solely on evidence already in the record. 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.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2952

AC39795 - Cator v. Commissioner of Correction (General Statutes § 53a-3 (11); "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal from the denial of his amended petition, (2) improperly concluded that he failed to establish that his appellate counsel in his direct criminal appeal rendered deficient performance, and (3) improperly concluded that his stand-alone due process claim was procedurally defaulted. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.")

AC39760 - Jobe v. Commissioner of Correction (General Statutes § 52-466 (a); “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly determined that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the merits of his claim under Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 176 L. Ed. 2d 284 (2010). The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, concedes that the habeas court improperly dismissed the petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to Padilla, but contends that the judgment of dismissal may be affirmed on the alternate ground that the petitioner failed to allege that he was in custody at the time he filed his petition. We affirm the judgment of dismissal on the basis of the respondent’s alternate ground.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2938

AC39441 - Humble 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 claim that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Specifically, the petitioner claims that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by (1) failing to adequately investigate exculpatory evidence, and (2) misadvising him to plead guilty to murder. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denyingthe petition for certification to appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.")


1 2 3 4 5