Respondents have an opportunity to contend a habeas corpus claim. One way they might do this is through collateral estoppel. Another way is through insufficiency. Learn more here.
The collateral estoppel principle holds that when an issue of ultimate fact has once gotten determined by a valid and final judgment, that issue cannot again get litigated between the same parties in any future lawsuit…[Thus] [i]ssue preclusion arises when an issue is actually litigated and determined by a valid and final judgment, and that determination is essential to the judgment. (internal quotation marks omitted; citation omitted) In re Ross, 272 Conn. at 661.
“‘[T]he decision whether to apply the doctrine of collateral estoppels in any particular case should get made based upon a consideration of the doctrine’s underlying policies…These [underlying] purposes generally identify as (1) promoting judicial economy by minimizing repetitive litigation; (2) preventing inconsistent judgments which undermine the integrity of the judicial system; and (3) providing repose by preventing a person from getting harassed by vexatious litigation…Stability in judgments grants to parties and others the certainty in the management of their affairs which results when a controversy is finally laid to rest.’” In re Ross, 272 Conn. at 662 (quoting Cumberland Farms, Inc. v. Groton, 262 Conn. 45, 59 (2002)).
So accordingly, when the respondent raises collateral estoppel as a defense, habeas counsel must review the trial record. Also, they have to review the appellate record. They do this to determine the precise nature of any previous issue and ruling. If such review reveals that the issues are not identical, habeas counsel should reply. Then, they reply by denying the allegation and explaining the distinction between the issues. See Practice Book §§ 23-31 and 29-35(c). Counsel, in the reply, should also assert the general inapplicability of the defense in habeas proceedings.
The respondent, in its return, may contend that a claim in the amended petition is insufficient or fails to state a cause of action and, accordingly, should be dismissed under Practice Book §§ 23-22(1), 23 -24(a)(2)(3), 23 – 29(2)(5), 23-30(b), 23-34 and/or 23 -37. See, e.g. Abed v. Commissioner, 43 Conn. App. 176, 182 (“Because the petitioner has no liberty interest in unearned statutory good time credits, he has failed to raise a legally cognizable claim upon which relief can be granted.”), cert. denied, 239 Conn. 937 (1996). In reply, see Practice Book §§ 23-31and 29 -35(c), habeas counsel should deny the allegation if counsel believes the claim provides sufficient notice or states a cause of action. See supra R. AMENDED PETITION 2. Claims Inside & Outside the Record. However, if habeas counsel believes there is merit to the defense, counsel should move to amend the pleading, citing Practice Book §§ 23-32 and 23-33 and addressing the factors set forth in Reeves v. Commissioner, 119 Conn. App. at 864-65.
If you are interested in filing a habeas corpus petition, continue to learn about the process here on our website. To have specific questions answered, we are happy to talk with you or your family on the phone.