Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bridges v. Commissioner of Correction

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

December 20, 2016

DAVID BRIDGES
v.
COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION

          Argued September 7, 2016

         Appeal from Superior Court, judicial district of Tolland, Fuger, J.

          David B. Rozwaski, assigned counsel, for the appellant (petitioner).

          Matthew A. Weiner, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Leon F. Dalbec, Jr., former senior assistant state's attorney, Michael Dearington, former state's attorney, and Tamara Grosso, assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (respondent).

          DiPentima, C. J., and Alvord and Pellegrino, Js.

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM.

         The petitioner, David Bridges, appeals following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court, Fuger, J., (1) abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal, and (2) improperly denied his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Specifically, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in finding that his criminal trial attorney and his previous habeas attorney did not render ineffective assistance. We disagree, and dismiss the petitioner's appeal.

         The following facts and procedural history are relevant to our resolution of this appeal. On March 8, 2001, the petitioner entered guilty pleas pursuant to the Alford doctrine[1] in two separate cases that were pending in the New Haven judicial district. In the first case, Docket No. CR-95-423523, the petitioner pleaded guilty to attempt to commit sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-70 (a), and unlawful restraint in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-95. In the second case, Docket No. CR-99-484012, the petitioner pleaded guilty to aiding aggravated sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-8 and 53a-70a (a) (4), aggravated sexual assault in the first degree in violation of § 53a-70a (a) (4), conspiracy to commit sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-70 (a) (1), aiding sexual assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-8 and 53a-72a (a) (1), and aiding burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-8 and 53a-101 (a) (2). During the plea process, the petitioner was represented by his trial attorney.

         Prior to sentencing, the petitioner filed motions as a self-represented party to withdraw his guilty pleas and for the appointment of new counsel. On May 2, 2001, the trial court, Fasano, J., granted his motion to dismiss his trial attorney. After the court appointed a new attorney to represent the petitioner, the petitioner filed a formal motion to withdraw his pleas on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel.

         The trial court denied the motion to withdraw on June 7, 2001, following an evidentiary hearing. Both the petitioner and his trial attorney testified at the hearing. The court specifically found that there was nothing in the record to indicate that the petitioner's trial attorney had rendered anything less than effective assistance. In addition, the court found that the petitioner heard, understood, and responded to the plea canvassing voluntarily and intelligently, and that there was no visible effort to disrupt the proceeding. After the denial of his motion to withdraw the guilty pleas, the court sen- tenced the petitioner on September 7, 2001, to fifteen years imprisonment and ten years of special parole. The petitioner appealed the denial of his motion to vacate his pleas, and this court affirmed the judgment. State v. Bridges, 80 Conn.App. 903, 833 A.2d 948, cert. denied, 267 Conn. 907, 840 A.2d 1171 (2003).

         On November 14, 2002, the petitioner filed an amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus (first habeas) claiming in a single count that his trial attorney provided ineffective assistance during the plea process. Both the petitioner and his trial attorney testified during the first habeas trial. In an oral decision rendered on August 10, 2004, the first habeas court, White, J., denied the petition for a writ of habeas corpus, ruling that the petitioner failed to meet his burden of demonstrating that his trial attorney's performance was deficient or that the petitioner suffered any prejudice. The petitioner appealed the first habeas court's judgment on October 14, 2004, and this court dismissed the appeal on August 15, 2006. Bridges v. Commissioner of Correction, 97 Conn.App. 119, 122, 905 A.2d 103 (2006).

         On November 10, 2014, the petitioner filed his amended second petition for a writ of habeas corpus. In a single count, the petitioner alleged that the attorney who represented him during his first habeas trial (first habeas attorney) provided ineffective assistance by failing to raise claims that his trial attorney performed deficiently by (1) failing to properly explain to the petitioner the terms, conditions, and consequences of special parole; and (2) failing to properly investigate each of the petitioner's cases. In addition, the petitioner alleged that his first habeas attorney performed deficiently by failing to ‘‘present testimony or evidence from witnesses who would have supported or aided possible defense claims with respect to each case . . . .''

         Following a trial, the habeas court, Fuger, J., denied the petitioner's second habeas petition on November 17, 2014, on the basis of the petitioner's failure to show that either his trial attorney or first habeas attorney performed deficiently. The petitioner filed a petition for certification to appeal, and the habeas court denied certification to appeal on November 25, 2014. This appeal from the habeas court's judgment regarding the second habeas petition followed.

         On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly determined that his trial attorney's alleged failure (1) to ensure that the petitioner understood the consequences of pleading guilty to a term of special parole, and (2) to investigate the petitioner's defense, were not deficient performance or prejudicial to the petitioner. In addition, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly concluded that the petitioner's first ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.