What is a Habeas Appeal and How Can I Apply For One?2018-09-24T19:51:03+00:00

The petitioner has a qualified right to appeal an adverse decision on the habeas petition. General Statutes § 52-470(g) states: “No appeal from the judgment rendered in a habeas corpus proceeding brought by or on behalf of a person who has been convicted of a crime in order to obtain such person’s release may be taken unless the appellant, within ten days after the case is decided, petitions the judge before who the case was tried or, if such judge is unavailable, a judge of the Superior Court designated by the Chief Clerk Administrator, to certify that a question is involved in the decision which ought to be reviewed by the court having jurisdiction and the judge so certifies.” See also Practice Book § 80 -1 (petition for certification must be filed within ten days after habeas case is decided).

Habeas Appeal

The appeal must get filed “within twenty days from the issuance of the notice of decision on the petition for certification, unless an application for waiver of fees, costs and security gets filed pursuant to § 63-6, in which event the appeal shall get filed within twenty days from the decision on the application.” Practice Book § 80-1. The appeal gets governed by Practice Book §§ 60-5 and 61-1, et seq. to 80-1, et seq.

Also, if the habeas court denies the petition for certification, the petitioner must establish on appeal, as a threshold matter, that the denial was an abuse of discretion. Also, see Simms v. Warden , 229 Conn. 178, 186-87 (1994)(Simms I). In addition, this is done by demonstrating on appeal “‘that the issues are debatable among jurists of reason; that a court could resolve the issues

[in a different manner]; or that the questions are adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.’” Simms v. Warden, 230 Conn. 608, 616 (1994)(Simms II)(quoting Lozada v. Deeds, 498 U.S. 430, 432 (1991)); see Castonguay v. Commissioner, 300 Conn. 649, 657-58 (2011)(same).

This necessarily requires the Connecticut Appellate Court or Connecticut Supreme Court, as the case may be, to “‘consider the merits of the petitioner’s underlying claims to determine whether the habeas court reasonably determined that the petitioner’s appeal was frivolous.’” Castonguay v. Commissioner , 300 Conn. at 658 (quoting Taylor v. Commissioner, 284 Conn. 433, 449 (2007)); see also Paulino v. Commissioner, 155 Conn. App. 154, 159-60, cert. denied, 317 Conn. 912 (2015).