Adams v. Circuit Court of Randolph County, No. 16196

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtMILLER
Citation317 S.E.2d 808,173 W.Va. 448
Parties. Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Decision Date27 June 1984
Docket NumberNo. 16196

Page 808

317 S.E.2d 808
173 W.Va. 448
Dwayne E. ADAMS
v.
CIRCUIT COURT OF RANDOLPH COUNTY, etc.
No. 16196.
Supreme Court of Appeals of
West Virginia.
June 27, 1984.

Page 809

[173 W.Va. 449] Syllabus by the Court

1. "The intent of the Post-Conviction Habeas Corpus Act, Code, 53-4A-1, et seq., as amended, was to liberalize, rather than restrict, the exercise of the writ of habeas corpus in criminal cases." Syllabus Point 2, State ex rel. Burgett v. Oakley, 155 W.Va. 276, 184 S.E.2d 318 (1971).

2. Under W.Va.Code, 53-4A-3(b), the court receiving a writ of habeas corpus has three choices as to where to return the writ: "before (i) the court granting it, (ii) the circuit court, or a statutory court, of the county wherein the petitioner is incarcerated, or (iii) the circuit court, or the statutory court, in which, as the case may be, the petitioner was convicted and sentenced."

3. Given the office and function of the writ of habeas corpus, a circuit court should act with dispatch. Accordingly, a [173 W.Va. 450] circuit court must transfer habeas corpus applications promptly, if transfer is appropriate. If it does not make a prompt transfer, it is required to render a decision on the merits of the writ.

4. Evidentiary hearings are not required in a habeas corpus proceeding when only purely legal issues are raised which do not involve disputed issues of fact.

5. The West Virginia Board of Probation and Parole is explicitly authorized by W.Va.Code, 62-12-19, to require a parolee to serve all or any portion of the maximum sentence on which he was given parole when there has been a revocation of such parole.

Dwayne E. Adams, pro se.

MILLER, Justice:

This original mandamus proceeding by Dwayne E. Adams, an inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center, prays for a peremptory writ of mandamus to compel the Circuit Court of Randolph County to rule on his petition for post-conviction habeas corpus relief.

The record reveals that Adams executed a notarized petition for a writ of habeas corpus on April 14, 1983, directed to the Judge of the Circuit Court of Randolph County, the county where Huttonsville Correctional Center is located. The petition was sent certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Circuit Court of Randolph County. A notation on the habeas corpus petition indicates that the Randolph County Circuit Clerk's office received the petition from the circuit judge's office on December 14, 1983, and filed it that day as Civil Action No. 83-C-647. The following day the circuit judge entered an order transferring the case to the Circuit Court of Wayne County. This was based upon a finding that the relief prayed for could best be determined by that court because it was the circuit court where Adams had been convicted.

Page 810

Unfortunately, the record does not reveal when the petition was received in the Randolph County Circuit Judge's office, and the respondent did not respond to our rule to show cause. It appears that the petition was not acted upon for a considerable period of time and that the only action taken by the circuit court was to transfer the petition to the court where Adams had been convicted.

Since the 1967 enactment of our post-conviction habeas corpus statute, we have had little occasion to discuss its procedural operation, although we have recognized that "[t]he intent of the Post-Conviction Habeas Corpus Act, Code, 53-4A-1, et seq., as amended, was to liberalize, rather than restrict, the exercise of the writ of habeas corpus in criminal cases." Syllabus Point 2, State ex rel. Burgett v. Oakley, 155 W.Va. 276, 184 S.E.2d 318 (1971). By its terms, the Act is to "be liberally construed so as to effectuate its purposes." W.Va.Code, 53-4A-10. 1

Under W.Va.Code, 53-4A-3(b), 2 the court receiving a writ of habeas corpus has three choices as to where to return the writ: "before (i) the court granting it, (ii) the circuit court, or a statutory court, of the county wherein the petitioner is incarcerated, or (iii) the circuit court, or the statutory court, in which, as the case may be, the petitioner was convicted and sentenced." The fact that a circuit court may return the writ to another circuit court does not, however, justify an inordinate delay in making the decision to transfer.

[173 W.Va. 451] The writ of habeas corpus is designed to give a speedy remedy to a citizen who is being unlawfully detained. See Fay v. Noia, 372 U.S. 391, 83 S.Ct. 822, 9 L.Ed.2d 837 (1963); see also Lance v. McCoy, 34 W.Va. 416, 421, 12 S.E. 728,...

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9 practice notes
  • State v. Holcomb, No. 17175
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 22, 1987
    ...to run consecutively to the intervening sentence would result in an increased punishment. In Adams v. Circuit Court of Randolph County, 173 W.Va. 448, 317 S.E.2d 808 (1984), we rejected a similar argument in the case of a parolee who was convicted of a subsequent offense while on parole. Wh......
  • Allen v. State, Human Rights Com'n, No. 16303
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 6, 1984
    ...duty to render timely decisions on matters properly submitted within a reasonable time following their submission. In Patterson, 317 S.E.2d at 808, this Court concluded that a thirty-three month delay between initial hearing and the filing of the mandamus action to compel a decision was unr......
  • State ex rel. McCabe v. Seifert, No. 32976.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 29, 2006
    ...than restrict, the exercise of the writ of habeas corpus in criminal cases." Syl. pt. 1, Adams v. Circuit Court of Randolph County, 173 W.Va. 448, 317 S.E.2d 808 (1984).6 The 640 S.E.2d 146 relevant portion of the Act to these proceedings, W.Va.Code, 53-4A-1(a) (1967), provides: Any pe......
  • Cline v. Mirandy, No. 13–1200.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 3, 2014
    ...v. Coiner, 424 F.2d 157, 159 (4th Cir.1970) (footnote omitted). In syllabus point one of Adams v. Circuit Court of Randolph Co., 173 W.Va. 448, 317 S.E.2d 808 (1984), this Court held: “The intent of the Post–Conviction Habeas Corpus Act, West Virginia Code, 53–4–1 et seq., as amended, was t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • State v. Holcomb, No. 17175
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 22, 1987
    ...to run consecutively to the intervening sentence would result in an increased punishment. In Adams v. Circuit Court of Randolph County, 173 W.Va. 448, 317 S.E.2d 808 (1984), we rejected a similar argument in the case of a parolee who was convicted of a subsequent offense while on parole. Wh......
  • Allen v. State, Human Rights Com'n, No. 16303
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 6, 1984
    ...duty to render timely decisions on matters properly submitted within a reasonable time following their submission. In Patterson, 317 S.E.2d at 808, this Court concluded that a thirty-three month delay between initial hearing and the filing of the mandamus action to compel a decision was unr......
  • State ex rel. McCabe v. Seifert, No. 32976.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 29, 2006
    ...than restrict, the exercise of the writ of habeas corpus in criminal cases." Syl. pt. 1, Adams v. Circuit Court of Randolph County, 173 W.Va. 448, 317 S.E.2d 808 (1984).6 The 640 S.E.2d 146 relevant portion of the Act to these proceedings, W.Va.Code, 53-4A-1(a) (1967), provides: Any pe......
  • Cline v. Mirandy, No. 13–1200.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 3, 2014
    ...v. Coiner, 424 F.2d 157, 159 (4th Cir.1970) (footnote omitted). In syllabus point one of Adams v. Circuit Court of Randolph Co., 173 W.Va. 448, 317 S.E.2d 808 (1984), this Court held: “The intent of the Post–Conviction Habeas Corpus Act, West Virginia Code, 53–4–1 et seq., as amended, was t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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