petition for a writ of habeas corpus, brought to the Superior
Court in the judicial district of Tolland, where the court,
Hon. Edward J. Mullarkey, judge trial referee, sua
sponte, rendered judgment dismissing the petition for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction, from which the petitioner, on
the granting of certification, appealed to this court.
L. Ledford, special public defender, for the appellant
R. Strom, assistant attorney general, with whom, on the
brief, was George Jepsen, former attorney general, for the
Keller, Elgo and Harper, Js.
petitioner, Bryan Jordan, appeals from the judgment of the
habeas court dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas
corpus for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for the
failure to state a claim upon which habeas relief can be
granted. The petitioner's sole claim on appeal is that
the habeas court improperly dismissed his claim that the
respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, entered into, and
subsequently breached, a purported contract with the
petitioner to award him risk reduction credit in exchange for
his adherence to his offender accountability plan. We
disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas
following facts and procedural history are relevant to the
resolution of this appeal. The petitioner was found guilty,
following a jury trial, of manslaughter in the first degree
with a firearm in violation of General Statutes §
53a-55a (a) and carrying a pistol or revolver without a
permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). The
charges stemmed from a shooting death that occurred on
September 19, 2005. See State v. Jordan, 117
Conn.App. 160, 161, 978 A.2d 150, cert. denied, 294 Conn.
904, 982 A.2d 648 (2009). On April 27, 2007, the petitioner
was sentenced to a total effective sentence of forty-five
years of incarceration. The petitioner's conviction was
upheld on direct appeal by this court. See id.
the then self-represented petitioner initiated this action by
filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On November 6,
2017, the petitioner, after obtaining counsel, filed the
operative amended petition alleging, inter alia, breach of
contract. Specifically, the petitioner's breach of
contract claim alleges that the respondent, by virtue of
having the petitioner sign his offender accountability plan,
agreed to award the petitioner five days of risk reduction
credit per month in exchange for the petitioner's
adherence to the offender accountability plan. Further, he
alleges that, once No. 15-216 of the 2015 Public Acts (P.A.
15-216) came into effect, which rendered the petitioner
unable to earn further risk reduction credit, the respondent
nonetheless breached the parties' agreement by failing to
award further risk reduction credit.
March 19, 2018, the court, sua sponte, dismissed the amended
petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure
to state a claim on which habeas relief could be
granted. See Practice Book §
23-29. The court in its memorandum of decision
did not address each of the petitioner's counts but,
instead, broadly concluded that the court did not have
subject matter jurisdiction over the petitioner's claims
and that the petitioner had failed to state a claim on which
habeas relief could be granted. The court subsequently
granted the petition for certification to appeal, which was
timely filed in this court. Additional facts will beset forth
begin our analysis with the applicable standards of review
and relevant legal principles. ‘‘Our Supreme
Court has long held that because [a] determination regarding
a trial court's subject matter jurisdiction is a question
of law, our review is plenary. . . . Moreover, [i]t is a
fundamental rule that a court may raise and review the issue
of subject matter jurisdiction at any time. . . . Subject
matter jurisdiction involves the authority of the court to
adjudicate the type of controversy presented by the action
before it. . . . [A] court lacks discretion to consider the
merits of a case over which it is without jurisdiction. . . .
The subject matter jurisdiction requirement may not be waived
by any party, and also may be raised by a party, or by the
court sua sponte, at any stage of the proceedings, including
respect to the habeas court's jurisdiction, [t]he scope
of relief available through a petition for habeas corpus is
limited. In order to invoke the trial court's subject
matter jurisdiction in a habeas action, a petitioner must
allege that he is illegally confined or has been deprived of
his liberty. . . . In other words, a petitioner must allege
an interest sufficient to give rise to habeas relief. . . .
In order to . . . qualify as a constitutionally protected
liberty [interest] . . . the interest must be one that is
assured either by statute, judicial decree, or
regulation.'' (Citations omitted; internal quotation
marks omitted.) Green v. Commissioner of Correction,
184 Conn.App. 76, 85, 194 A.3d 857, cert. denied,
330 Conn. 933, 195 A.3d 383 (2018).
[w]hether a habeas court properly dismissed a petition
pursuant to Practice Book § 23-29 (2), on the ground
that it fails to state a claim upon which habeas corpus
relief can be granted, presents a question of law over which
our review is plenary.'' (Internal quotation marks
omitted.) Perez v. Commissioner of Correction, 326
Conn 357, 368, 163 A.3d 597 (2017). ‘‘It is well
settled that [t]he petition for a writ of habeas corpus is
essentially a pleading and, as such, it should conform
generally to a complaint in a civil action.''
(Internal quotation marks omitted.) Pentland v.
Commissioner of Correction, 176 Conn.App. 779, 786, 169
A.3d 851, cert. denied, 327 Conn. 978, 174 A.3d 800 (2017).
‘‘In reviewing whether a petitioner states a
claim for habeas relief, ...