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.

Noze v. Commissioner of Correction

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

November 7, 2017

MACKENZY NOZE
v.
COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION

          Argued: September 11, 2017

          Daniel Fernandes Lage, assigned counsel, for the appellant (petitioner).

          James M. Ralls, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Michael L. Regan, state's attorney, and Thomas M. DeLillo, senior assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (respondent).

          Alvord, Sheldon and Mullins, Js. [*]

         Syllabus

         The petitioner, a citizen of Haiti, sought a writ of habeas corpus, claiming that his trial counsel had provided ineffective assistance by failing to advise him adequately as to the immigration consequences of his plea of guilty to a certain drug related offense that subjected him to mandatory deportation. The petitioner initially was charged with offenses that exposed him to sixty years imprisonment before he pleaded guilty and received a lesser sentence under a plea agreement offered by the state. The habeas court rendered judgment denying the habeas petition and, thereafter, denied the petition for certification to appeal, and the petitioner appealed to this court. Held that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal: that court properly determined that the petitioner failed to demonstrate that he was prejudiced by his trial counsel's allegedly deficient performance, the petitioner having failed to show that, absent counsel's failure to adequately inform him regarding the immigration consequences of his plea, it was reasonably probable that he would have rejected the plea agreement and insisted on going to trial; moreover, the habeas court's finding that the petitioner was well aware that his conviction of the initial charges was virtually inevitable and that deportation was realistically unavoidable was not clearly erroneous, as the court was free to credit his trial counsel's testimony that the petitioner was not concerned about the immigration consequences of the plea and wanted to receive the shortest possible period of incarceration, which he accomplished by accepting the plea agreement, and to reject the petitioner's testimony that he would have rejected the proposed plea agreement and gone to trial had he been advised adequately.

         Procedural History

         Amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Tolland and tried to the court, Sferrazza, J.; judgment denying the petition; thereafter, the court denied the petition for certification to appeal, and the petitioner appealed to this court. Appeal dismissed.

          OPINION

          SHELDON, J.

         The petitioner, Mackenzy Noze, a citizen of Haiti, appeals following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. In his amended petition, the petitioner claimed that his right to the effective assistance of counsel under the sixth and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution was violated by trial counsel's failure to warn him, clearly and unequivocally, of the mandatory deportation consequences of his guilty plea to the charge of possession of narcotics with intent to sell in violation of General Statutes § 21a-277 (a). Before this court, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in denying his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel and later abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal from that denial. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal from its judgment, and thus we dismiss this appeal.

         The record reveals the following relevant facts and procedural history. The petitioner initially was charged with three counts of sale of crack cocaine in violation of General Statutes § 21a-278 (b), each of which carried a maximum possible prison sentence of twenty years incarceration.[1] On July 24, 2012, the petitioner appeared before the court, Kwak, J., accompanied by his private counsel, Ryan P. Barry of Barry & Barall, LLC, and pleaded guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to asubstitute information charging him with one count of possession of narcotics with intent to sell in violation of § 21a-277 (a), a lesser offense that carried a maximum possible prison sentence of fifteen years incarceration. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the state agreed to recommend a sentence of seven years incarceration, execution suspended after twenty months, followed by two years probation on terms and conditions to be determined by the court after the preparation of a presentence investigation report, with the petitioner reserving the right to argue for a lesser sentence. Although there was an indication on the record that the court's likely sentence in the event of a guilty plea had been discussed in chambers before the petitioner entered his plea, the particulars of that likely sentence were not recited for the record.

         At the plea proceeding, the prosecutor stated the following factual basis for the record. On or about October 21, 2011, within the city of Norwich, the petitioner sold a small amount of a white substance to a confidential police informant in return for recorded funds. The confidential informant turned the substance over to the police, who submitted a portion of it for chemical testing. The substance tested positive for cocaine. The petitioner later was arrested on a warrant and charged with three counts of sale of narcotics.

         The court then canvassed the petitioner in detail about the nature and consequences of his plea. At the end of its canvass, the court inquired of the petitioner as follows as to his general awareness that, if he were not a United States citizen, his plea could have certain adverse immigration consequences:

‘‘The Court: If you're not a [United States] citizen, with this conviction you may face consequences of deportation, exclusion from readmission or denial of naturalization. You understand that, ...

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.