May 29, 2018
charging the defendant with the crimes of murder, felony
murder, and robbery in the first degree, brought to the
Superior Court in the judicial district of Hartford and tried
to the jury before Mullar-key, J.; verdict of guilty
of the lesser included offense of manslaughter in the first
degree with a firearm, and of felony murder and robbery in
the first degree; thereafter, the court vacated the verdict
of guilty as to the lesser included offense of manslaughter
in the first degree with a firearm; judgment of guilty of
felony murder and robbery in the first degree, from which the
defendant appealed; thereafter, the court, Prats,
J., granted the motion for leave to withdraw an
appearance filed by the defendant's court-appointed
Mendez, self-represented, the appellant (defendant).
A. Killen, senior assistant state's attorney, with whom,
on the brief, were Gail P. Hardy, state's attorney, and
Robin D. Krawczyk, senior assistant state's attorney, for
the appellee (state).
Alvord, Prescott and Pellegrino, Js.
direct criminal appeal, the self-represented defendant,
Kezlyn Mendez, claims that the trial court violated his right
to due process by improperly granting his court-appointed
appellate counsel's motion for leave to withdraw her
appearance in accordance with Practice Book § 62-9 (d).
We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
Book § 62-9 (d) (1) directs any appointed appellate
counsel who concludes, in accordance with Practice Book
§ 43-34, that an appeal would be wholly frivolous to
file under seal with the appellate clerk a motion for leave
to withdraw his or her appearance along with a memorandum of
law, commonly referred to as an Anders
brief, in accordance with Practice Book § 43-35.
‘‘Counsel shall deliver a notice that a motion
for leave to withdraw as appointed counsel has been filed,
but shall not deliver a copy of the motion and supporting . .
. memorandum of law to opposing counsel of record.''
Practice Book § 62-9 (d) (2). The motion, memorandum,
and the transcripts of the relevant proceedings are then
referred by the appellate clerk to the trial court for a
decision. Practice Book§ 62-9 (d) (3). If the trial
court grants appointed appellate counsel's motion to
withdraw, a copy of the court's decision is filed, under
seal, with the appellate clerk, and counsel must notify his
or her former client in writing of the trial court's
decision, the current status of the appeal, and the
defendant's responsibilities necessary to prosecute the
appeal. Practice Book § 62-9 (d) (3). Section 62-9 (d)
(3) further expressly provides that the trial court's
decision ‘‘may be reviewed pursuant to [Practice
Book §] 66-6.''
motion for review pursuant to Practice Book § 66-6 is
the proper vehicle by which to obtain review of an order
concerning the withdrawal of appointed appellate counsel
after an appeal has been filed. See Practice Book § 62-9
(d) (3) (‘‘If the trial court grants the motion
to withdraw, counsel shall immediately notify his or her
former client, by letter, of the status of the appeal and the
responsibilities necessary to prosecute the appeal. . . . The
trial court's decision shall be sealed and may be
reviewed pursuant to Section 66-6.'').
present case, the defendant's court-appointed appellate
counsel sent the defendant a letter notifying him of the
court's decision granting her motion to withdraw and, as
required by Practice Book § 62-9 (d) (3), provided him
with instructions on how to proceed with the appeal as a
self-represented party. Significantly, the instructions
explained: ‘‘You can try filing a [m]otion for
[r]eview of the trial court's decision on the Anders
motion. ([Practice Book] § 66-6) Remember that you only
have [ten] days to file this from the date of the notice of
the order. If you do, remember to ask for an extension of
time to file your brief until [twenty] or [thirty] days after
the motion is decided.''
defendant did not file a motion for review, but did file an
appellate brief. Although the defendant could have pursued
and briefed any appellate claim he deemed meritorious
regarding the underlying judgment of conviction, he raised in
his appellate brief only his claim that counsel should not
have been permitted to withdraw. He did so, despite the clear
instructions informing him that he could file, pursuant to
Practice Book § 66-6, a motion for review of the trial
court's decision on appellate counsel's motion for
permission to withdraw her appearance. Because the defendant
did not comply with Practice Book § 62-9 (d) (3) and,
instead, raised the issue in his direct appeal, we decline to
review his claim. In addition, because the defendant has not
raised or adequately briefed any claim that directly
challenges the judgment of conviction from which he took this
appeal, we deem any possible claims abandoned. See Joseph
v. Commissioner of Correction, 153 Conn.App. 570, 574,
102 A.3d 714 (2014), cert. denied, 315 Conn. 911, 106 A.3d
judgment is affirmed.
this opinion ...