Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Middlesex, Middletown, Geographic Area 9
(with first initial, no space for Sullivan, Dorsey, and
Walsh): Vitale, Elpedio N., J.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE DEFENDANT'S AMENDED
MOTION TO CORRECT SENTENCE
ELPEDIO VITALE, JUDGE
the defendant's convictions after a joint trial on the
above captioned matters, the court (Clifford, J.), on April
27, 2001, imposed a total effective sentence of 50 years,
suspended after serving 32 years, and 20 years of probation
for two counts of aggravated sexual assault in the first
degree, four counts of sexual assault in the first degree,
two counts of kidnapping in the first degree with a firearm,
four counts of kidnapping in the first degree, threatening,
criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of credit card
theft, three counts of fraudulent use of an automatic teller
machine, two counts of illegal use of a credit card, two
counts of failure to appear in the first degree, and one
count of larceny in the sixth degree.
defendant's convictions were affirmed on appeal.
State v. Walker, 80 Conn.App. 542, (2003); cert.
denied, 268 Conn. 902 (2004).
(15) years after his sentencing, the defendant now moves
pursuant to P.B. § 43-22 to " correct his illegal
sentence, " claiming first that the trial court "
did not specifically canvass [the defendant] or his counsel
as to whether [the defendant] had an opportunity to review
the presentence report or the supplemental materials provided
by the State, and whether the information was controverted or
needed to be explained, " and second, that "
information referenced in his presentence report and in the
supplemental materials concerning his 1991 conviction of
robbery and sexual assault was inaccurate and
prejudicial" and was improperly relied upon by the
sentencing court. The State objects to the motion, and argues
that the instant motion should be dismissed for a lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. The State submitted a memorandum
of law in support of its motion to dismiss.
Court has reviewed a seventy-six (76) page transcript of the
sentencing proceeding that occurred before Judge Clifford on
April 27, 2001.
The Superior Court is a constitutional court of general
jurisdiction . . . In the absence of statutory or
constitutional provisions, the limits of its jurisdiction are
delineated by the common law." (Internal quotation marks
omitted.) State v. Lawrence, 281 Conn. 147, 153, 913
A.2d 428 (2007). Under the common law, a trial court's
jurisdiction over a criminal case terminates once the
defendant has begun serving his or her sentence. State v.
Ramos, 306 Conn. 125, 134, 49 A.3d 197 (2012); State
v. Reid, 277 Conn. 764, 775, 894 A.2d 963 (2006). An
exception to this general principle exists, however, that
permits a trial court to retain jurisdiction to correct an
illegal sentence. State v. Parker, 295 Conn. 825,
836, 922 A.2d, 1103 (2010); State v. Daniels, 207
Conn. 374, 387, 542 A.2d 306, after remand for articulation,
209 Conn. 225, 550 A.2d 885 (1988), cert. denied, 489 U.S.
1069, 109 S.Ct. 1349, 103 L.Ed.2d 817 (1989).
exception is recognized in Practice Book § 43-22, which
provides that " [t]he judicial authority may at any time
correct an illegal sentence or other illegal disposition, or
it may correct a sentence imposed in an illegal manner or any
other disposition made in an illegal manner."
[A]n illegal sentence is essentially one which either exceeds
the relevant statutory maximum limits, violates a
defendant's right against double jeopardy, is ambiguous,
or is internally contradictory. By contrast . . . [s]entences
imposed in an illegal manner have been defined as being
within the relevant statutory limits but . . . imposed in a
way which violates [a] defendant's right . . . to be
addressed personally at sentencing and to speak in mitigation
of punishment . . . or his right to be sentenced by a judge
relying on accurate information or considerations solely in
the record, or his right that the government keep its plea
agreement promises . . ." (Internal quotation marks
omitted.) State v. Smith, 150 Conn.App. 623, 635, 92
A.3d 975, cert. denied, 314 Conn. 904, 99 A.3d 1169 (2014).
These definitions are not exhaustive, however, and " the
parameters of an invalid sentence will evolve";
State v. Parker, supra, 295 Conn. 840; as
additional rights and procedures affecting sentencing are
subsequently recognized under state and federal law.
to invoke the jurisdiction of a trial court to correct an
illegal sentence, a defendant must allege that his or her
sentence is illegal, or has been illegally imposed, for one
of the reasons recognized under our common law. See State
v. Lawrence, supra, 281 Conn. 155 (" for
the trial court to have jurisdiction to consider the
defendant's claim of an illegal sentence, the claim must
fall into one of the categories of claims that, under the
common law, the court has jurisdiction to review").
Connecticut courts have considered four categories of claims
pursuant to § 43-22. The first category has addressed
whether the sentence was within the permissible range for the
crimes charged . . . The second category has considered
violations of the prohibition against double jeopardy . . .
The Third category has involved claims pertaining to the
computation of the length of the sentence and the question of
consecutive or concurrent prison time . . . The fourth
category has involved questions as to which sentencing
statute was applicable." (Citations omitted; internal
quotation marks omitted.) State v. Lawrence,
supra, 281 Conn. 156-57. " [I]f a
defendant's claim falls within one of these four
categories the trial court has jurisdiction to modify a
sentence after it has commenced . . . If the claim is not
within one of these categories, then the court must dismiss
the claim for a lack of jurisdiction and not consider its
merits." (Citation omitted.) State v. Koslik,
116 Conn.App. 693, 698-99 (2009), cert. denied, 293 Conn. 930
the question is thus whether the defendant has satisfied a
recognized jurisdictional threshold in order to permit the
court to consider his claims.
defendant's first claim is that " in contravention
of P.B. § 43-10, " the sentencing court did not
specifically canvass him, or his counsel, as to whether the
defendant had an opportunity to ...