September 7, 2016
from Superior Court, judicial district of Hartford, Miano, J.
[judgment]; Alexander, J. [motions to correct illegal
sentence; petition for writ of error coram nobis].
Rolando Robles, self-represented, the appellant (defendant).
Hanna, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the
brief, were Gail P. Hardy, state's attorney, and David L.
Zagaja, senior assistant state's attorney, for the
DiPentima, C. J., and Alvord and Pellegrino, Js.
DiPENTIMA, C. J.
self-represented defendant, Rolando Robles, appeals from the
judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion to correct
an illegal sentence. The defendant was convicted, following
his guilty pleas made pursuant to the Alford
doctrine,  of kidnapping in the first degree in
violation of General Statutes § 53a-92 (a) (2) (A),
attempt to commit kidnapping in the first degree in violation
of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-92 (a) (2)
(A) and sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of
General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (2). On appeal, the
defendant, raising a number of constitutional and
nonconstitutional issues, claims that the trial court
improperly concluded that it lacked subject matter
jurisdiction to consider his motion to correct an illegal
sentence. The defendant's appellate claims, however,
challenge the validity of his conviction rather than his
sentence or the sentencing proceeding. We conclude,
therefore, that the court properly determined that it lacked
subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
following facts and procedural history are relevant to our
discussion. On August 29, 2007, the defendant appeared before
the court, Miano, J., to enter guilty pleas to the
charges pending against him. The defendant intended to plead
guilty pursuant to the Alford doctrine. The
prosecutor recited the factual bases underlying the charges
against the defendant.During the plea canvass, a question arose
regarding whether the defendant wanted to plead guilty
pursuant to the Alford doctrine or enter a
‘‘straight guilty plea to all three of the
charges . . . .'' After further discussion, the court
accepted the guilty pleas pursuant to the Alford
doctrine. On October 17, 2007, Judge Miano sentenced the
defendant to fifteen years incarceration, execution suspended
after time served,  and twenty years probation.
22, 2011, the defendant filed a motion to correct an illegal
sentence. That motion was denied on November 10, 2011. On
September 3, 2014, the defendant filed another motion to
vacate or correct an illegal sentence or, in the alternative,
for a writ of error coram nobis. The defendant requested that
the court vacate or correct the plea disposition and his
sentence pursuant to Practice Book § 43-22,
in the alternative, issue a writ of error coram nobis. He
argued that as a result of the new interpretation of our
kidnapping statutes as set forth in State v.
Salamon, 287 Conn. 509, 949 A.2d 1092 (2008),
state and the court had committed ‘‘numerous
constitutional errors'' resulting in his
sentences being void or subject to correction. On
November 20, 2014, the state filed a response to the
defendant's motion arguing, inter alia, that the court
lacked jurisdiction to consider the defendant's claims.
March 19, 2015, the court, Alexander, J., issued a
memorandum of decision dismissing the defendant's motion.
With respect to the Practice Book § 43-22 claim, the
court noted that the defendant's arguments essentially
challenged the validity of his conviction, and therefore it
lacked subject matter jurisdiction. As to the petition for a
writ of error coram nobis, the court observed that it lacked
subject matter jurisdiction because the petition had been
appeal, the defendant presents a variety of claims, including
that the dismissal of his motion to correct an illegal
sentence deprived him of his federal and state constitutional
rights to due process, that his conviction for kidnapping
constituted plain error and that the court abused its
discretion and misapplied Practice Book § 43-22. The
state counters that the court properly dismissed the
defendant's motion because it challenged his convictions
and not his sentence or the sentencing proceeding. We agree
with the state.
outset, we note that the defendant's claims pertain to
the subject matter jurisdiction of the trial court, and
therefore present a question of law subject to the plenary
standard of review. State v. Koslik, 116 Conn.App.
693, 697, 977 A.2d 275, cert. denied, 293 Conn. 930, 980 A.2d
916 (2009); see also State v. Bozelko, 154 Conn.App.
750, 759, 108 A.3d 262 (2015); State v. Abraham, 152
Conn.App. 709, 716, 99 A.3d 1258 (2014).
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. . . . It is well established that under the
common law a trial court has the discretionary power to
modify or vacate a criminal judgment before the sentence has
been executed. . . . This is so because the court loses
jurisdiction over the case when the defendant is committed to
the custody of the commissioner of correction and begins
serving the sentence. . . . Because it is well established
that the jurisdiction of the trial court terminates once a
defendant has been sentenced, a trial court may no longer
take any action affecting a defendant's sentence unless
it expressly has been authorized to act.'' (Citation
omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) State v.
Monge, 165 Conn.App. 36, 41-42, 138 A.3d 450, cert.
denied, 321 Conn. 924, 138 A.3d 284 (2016); see also
State v. Cruz, 155 Conn.App. 644, 648-49, 110 A.3d
Book] § 43-22 embodies a common-law exception that
permits the trial court to correct an illegal sentence or
other illegal disposition. . . . Thus, if the defendant
cannot demonstrate that his motion to correct falls within
the purview of § 43-22, the court lacks jurisdiction to
entertain it. . . . [I]n order for the court to have
jurisdiction over a motion to correct an illegal sentence
after the sentence has been executed, the sentencing
proceeding [itself] . . . must be the subject of the attack.
. . . [T]o invoke successfully the court's jurisdiction
with respect to a claim of an illegal sentence, the focus
cannot be on what occurred during the underlying
conviction.'' (Citations omitted; internal ...