Kailey v. Colorado State Dept. of Corrections, 90SA13

Decision Date18 March 1991
Docket NumberNo. 90SA13,90SA13
Citation807 P.2d 563
PartiesRandy KAILEY, Petitioner-Appellant, Cross-Appellee, v. COLORADO STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS; and James Brittain, Superintendent, Respondent-Appellee, Cross-Appellant.
CourtColorado Supreme Court

Randy Kailey, pro se.

Gale A. Norton, Atty. Gen., Raymond T. Slaughter, Chief Deputy Atty. Gen., Timothy M. Tymkovich, Sol. Gen., Paul S. Sanzo, Asst. Atty. Gen., Denver, for respondent-appellee, cross-appellant.

Justice QUINN delivered the Opinion of the Court.

Randy Kailey appeals from a district court judgment denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus in which he sought release from confinement on the basis that the sentences imposed on him were void. He asserts that the district court erroneously placed on him the burden of proving the allegations of his petition by a preponderance of the evidence and that the district court erred in not ordering his release from confinement. We affirm the judgment.

I.

On October 19, 1984, Kailey was charged in the Jefferson County Court with two counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, a class 3 felony. Because the victims of these charges were Kailey's natural children, the county court, prior to a preliminary hearing, granted the district attorney leave to file two additional counts charging Kailey with aggravated incest, also a class 3 felony. On the motion of the district attorney, the court dismissed the two counts of sexual assault on a child and renumbered the third and fourth counts of aggravated incest as counts one and two.

Kailey eventually was tried by a jury on the charges. The jury returned guilty verdicts on both counts, and on January 10, 1986, the court sentenced Kailey to consecutive terms of sixteen years on both counts. The original judgment, sentence, and mittimus, however, stated that he was convicted of two counts of sexual assault on a child, rather than aggravated incest, and was sentenced to consecutive terms of sixteen years on those counts.

Kailey filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the District Court of Fremont County on June 30, 1988, alleging that he was confined under sentences for the crime of sexual assault on a child for which he had never been tried or convicted. The District Court of Fremont County treated Kailey's petition for writ of habeas corpus as a motion for postconviction relief pursuant to Crim.P. 35(c) and transferred venue to Jefferson County.

The District Court of Jefferson County conducted a hearing on Kailey's petition on September 11, 1989. Kailey testified that he was present in court when the guilty verdicts were returned and that the verdicts were for the crime of sexual assault on a child. He also presented testimony from an attorney who was an associate of Kailey's trial counsel. This attorney was not present during the trial but received the jury verdicts because of the unavailability of Kailey's trial counsel. The attorney testified that his recollection was that the jury verdicts were on the charges of sexual assault on a child. Kailey also presented testimony from a casual acquaintance who was present in court when the verdicts were returned. This witness also testified that the verdicts were for sexual assault on a child. Evidence presented by Kailey also showed that the verdict forms in the court file were guilty verdicts on charges of sexual assault on a child. These verdicts, however, were not the original jury verdicts, but rather were photocopies made from some other document not in the court file.

The Department of Corrections presented testimony from the judge who presided at Kailey's trial. He testified that he instructed the jury on two counts of aggravated incest and that the jury returned guilty verdicts to those charges. The judge further testified that after the petition for a writ of habeas corpus was filed, he became aware that the original judgment of conviction, sentence, and mittimus were erroneous. He accordingly executed an amended judgment of conviction, sentence, and mittimus to reflect that Kailey was convicted of two counts of aggravated incest and was sentenced to consecutive terms of sixteen years on those counts. The court records showed that the judgment, sentence, and mittimus were executed sua sponte by the sentencing judge on July 27, 1988, nunc pro tunc January 10, 1986. The court reporter who transcribed Kailey's trial confirmed the judge's testimony and stated that her notes showed that the court instructed the jury on two counts of aggravated incest and that the jury returned guilty verdicts on those counts. The court records showed that at Kailey's trial the court instructed the jury that "[t]he defendant is charged with committing the crime of two counts of aggravated incest in Jefferson County, Colorado, on or before October 11, 1985." Included in the jury instructions was an elemental instruction listing the respective elements of the crime of aggravated incest.

At the conclusion of the evidence, the district court initially remarked that it was not going to deal with the issue of whether Kailey's petition should be treated as a motion for postconviction relief under Crim.P. 35. It then ruled that it was Kailey's burden to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that his conviction and sentence were void and that Kailey had failed to carry his burden. With respect to the verdict forms for sexual assault on a child that were in the court file, the court stated that "[i]t's clear that they have been altered" and hence are not accurate representations of the verdicts actually returned by the jury. Regarding the original mittimus, which stated that Kailey had been convicted of sexual assault on a child, the court remarked:

The fact that the original mittimus had Counts One and Two wrong in this particular case doesn't seem to me to be significant because as one opens the file right now, one will get the impression that Counts One and Two were sexual assault on a child. It is extremely unusual for a case to proceed in a way where Counts Three and Four are added, Counts One and Two are dismissed, and then the district attorney asks that Counts Three and Four be renumbered as Counts One and Two. It is most unusual, and it appears to me that the fact that those counts were given the wrong names on the mittimus is most consistent with a simple clerical error.

Kailey thereafter filed this appeal and argues that the district court erred in placing the burden of proof on him and in denying his request for release from confinement.

II.

As a preliminary matter, we address the Department of Correction's contention that Kailey's petition was not within the scope of habeas corpus relief and thus should have been dismissed. We agree that Kailey was not entitled to habeas corpus relief.

"The essential purpose to be served with a writ of habeas corpus is to resolve the issue of whether a person is unlawfully detained." Ryan v. Cronin, 191 Colo. 487, 489, 553 P.2d 754, 755 (1976). Habeas corpus is an appropriate remedy to redress an unlawful restraint of one's liberty when no other form of relief is available. See, e.g., Mulkey v. Sullivan, 753 P.2d 1226, 1231-32 (Colo.1988); Blevins v. Tihonovich, 728 P.2d 732, 733...

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35 cases
  • People v. Wiedemer
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • May 10, 1993
    ...shifts to the prosecution to show the validity of the judgment by a preponderance of the evidence) with Kailey v. Colorado State Dep't of Corrections, 807 P.2d 563 (Colo.1991) (moving party in a Crim.P. 35(c) proceeding bears the burden of proving his claim by a preponderance of the These d......
  • Dunlap v. People
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • May 14, 2007
    ...of proving his claims by a preponderance of the evidence. Id.; People v. Naranjo, 840 P.2d 319, 325 (Colo.1992); Kailey v. Colo. Dept. of Corr., 807 P.2d 563, 567 (Colo. 1991). The trial court that presides over a Crim. P. 35(c) hearing is the trier of fact and bears the responsibility of d......
  • Moody v. Corsentino
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • January 11, 1993
    ...merely because they would have been more properly filed as requests for post-conviction relief, see, e.g., Kailey v. State Dep't of Corrections, 807 P.2d 563, 567 (Colo.1991); Chatfield v. Colorado Court of Appeals, 775 P.2d 1168, 1173-74 (Colo.1989), we address the merits of each of Moody'......
  • West v. People
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • January 20, 2015
    ...the weight and credibility of witness testimony. Dunlap v. People, 173 P.3d 1054, 1061–62 (Colo.2007) ; Kailey v. Colo. State Dep't of Corr., 807 P.2d 563, 567 (Colo.1991). We defer to a post-conviction court's findings of fact when they are supported by the evidence but review conclusions ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Crim. P. 35(c): Colorado Law Regarding Postconviction Relief
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 04-1993, April 1993
    • Invalid date
    ...v. Bruebaker, 539 P.2d 1277 (Colo. 1975). 14. People v. Bossert, 772 P.2d 618 (Colo. 1989). 15. Kailey v. Department of Corrections, 807 P.2d 563 (Colo. 1991). 16. People v. Boehmer, 767 P.2d 787 (Colo. App. 1988). 17. Trujillo, supra, note 6. 18. Id. 19. People v. Wimer, 681 P.2d 967 (Colo......

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