Moody v. Corsentino

Citation843 P.2d 1355
Decision Date11 January 1993
Docket NumberNo. 91SA277,91SA277
PartiesRobert Cecil MOODY, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Dan CORSENTINO, Sheriff of Pueblo County, Colorado, Respondent-Appellee.
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Robert Cecil Moody, pro se.

G.F. Sandstrom, Dist. Atty., Scott B. Epstein, Chief Deputy Dist. Atty., Pueblo, for respondent-appellee.

Justice LOHR announced the Judgment of the Court and delivered an Opinion in which Justice QUINN and Justice KIRSHBAUM joined.

This case arises out of a writ of habeas corpus issued by the Pueblo County District Court. In response to a pro se petition filed by Robert Cecil Moody, the district court issued a writ directing Pueblo County Sheriff Dan Corsentino to show cause why Moody should not be released from the county jail. Pursuant to sections 13-45-101(2) and -103(1), 6A C.R.S. (1987), Moody was brought before the district court and hearings were conducted on his claim for wrongful detention. Thereafter the district court discharged the writ of habeas corpus. Moody now challenges that decision on appeal and raises numerous assignments of error. 1 Upon review of the record and consideration of Moody's arguments, we affirm the judgment of the district court.


In issuing its order discharging the writ, the district court made detailed findings of fact regarding Moody's involvement with the criminal justice systems of Colorado and Nebraska during the pendency of the criminal proceedings in Pueblo County that resulted in his confinement in the Pueblo County jail. 2 On April 12, 1983, the Pueblo County district attorney charged Moody with two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of criminal attempt to commit aggravated robbery. Moody posted a surety bond and was released from custody pending a January 8, 1985, trial. On January 7, 1985, pursuant to a plea agreement, he entered pleas of guilty to one count of robbery and one count of criminal attempt to commit robbery. The other charges that had been filed against him were dismissed. The court then ordered a pre-sentence investigation report and scheduled sentencing for March 4, 1985. Moody, however, failed to appear at the sentencing hearing, and the court consequently ordered the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.

After his release on bail prior to sentencing in the Pueblo proceedings, Moody went to Nebraska where he was later arrested for robbery under the name of Lenny Raymond Dixon. 3 Upon entering a no-contest plea to the Nebraska charges, he was sentenced to serve eight to twenty years in the Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex.

While Moody was serving this sentence, the Nebraska authorities became aware that he had charges pending against him in Jefferson County, Colorado. Thereafter, on April 17, 1986, pursuant to the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD), §§ 24-60-501 to -507, 10B C.R.S. (1988), the Nebraska correctional system relinquished temporary legal custody of Moody to Jefferson County authorities. After the Jefferson County District Court found him guilty of criminal charges and sentenced him to sixteen years with the Colorado Department of Corrections, he was transferred back to Nebraska's custody. Moody testified in the Pueblo County habeas corpus proceeding that in May of 1986, while he was in Jefferson County awaiting disposition of the charges against him in that county, he prepared a written motion to be produced in Pueblo County for sentencing on the charges to which he had pled guilty on January 7, 1985. The district court found that the Pueblo County district attorney's office never received this document, and the prosecuting attorney who had been in charge of the Pueblo action against Moody testified that, except as an attachment to Moody's petition for the writ, the document did not appear in the file of the Pueblo County District Court. After spending nearly a year in Colorado, Moody was returned to Nebraska with the Pueblo action still pending.

In July of 1987, the Nebraska correctional authorities learned of Pueblo's warrant for Moody's arrest and filed the warrant as a detainer against him. Moody concedes that although he was notified of the detainer and was advised that he had a right to request speedy disposition of the sentencing action, 4 he made no such request. The following November, Moody was notified by the district attorney's office in Pueblo that the prosecution would seek his temporary custody as soon as possible for the purpose of sentencing. Through subsequent correspondence with that office, Moody asked that his return be postponed until he resolved some matters pending in Nebraska. The prosecution agreed to Moody's request and waited until February to initiate his return under the IAD. In April of 1988, however, Moody wrote another letter to the district attorney's office stating that he was not yet ready to return to Colorado because of pending legal proceedings in Nebraska but that he anticipated completion of the proceedings by the following June or July. The record reflects no response by the Pueblo County prosecutors to this letter and contains no other information of relevance covering the period preceding December of 1990.

At that time, Moody was released from Nebraska's correctional institution and was placed on parole. While serving his parole, Moody learned that on January 10, 1991, officials in El Paso County, Colorado, had filed a detainer with Nebraska authorities seeking his return to resolve charges pending in that county. Moody waived extradition and, at the joint request of El Paso and Pueblo Counties, was transported to the El Paso County jail. On January 28, 1991, the El Paso County charges were dismissed and he was released from custody. As found by the Pueblo County District Court in the present habeas corpus proceeding:

Subsequent to the dismissal of the charges pending in the El Paso County District Court Petitioner [Moody] should have been transferred to the Pueblo County Jail for further proceedings in Pueblo District Court Case number 83CR153 Division A. Petitioner, however, was informed by the El Paso County Sheriff's Department that there were no holds for him from Pueblo, Colorado and he was released from custody.

Thereafter, Moody traveled to Oakland, California, where his Nebraska parole was transferred. On February 10, 1991, Moody reported to his California parole officer, at which time he learned that Pueblo's warrant was still in effect. Moody was arrested on that warrant and, after waiving extradition, was returned to the Pueblo County jail. The Pueblo County District Court ordered the completion of a presentence investigation report and scheduled an April 1, 1991, sentencing for the crimes to which Moody had originally pled guilty in 1985. 5 Before the date on which he was to be sentenced, Moody filed his pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The Pueblo County District Court ordered the issuance of such a writ directed to the Pueblo County Sheriff, Dan Corsentino, requiring him to show cause for Moody's restraint. After a hearing, the court discharged the writ. Moody appealed the judgment of dismissal to this court.


In his appeal, Moody presents the issues as follows:

I. Whether the prosecution's failure to return appellant to Pueblo, Colorado results in a dismissal of all charges?

II. Whether the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (I.A.D.) and the Uniform Mandatory Disposition of Detainers Act (U.M.D.D.A.) apply to the sentencing phase of the proceeding?

III. Whether the [Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, §§ 16-19-101 to -132, 8A C.R.S. (1986) ] applies to [the] sentencing phase of a criminal proceeding?

IV. Whether prosecutorial delay in obtaining appellant's presence for purposes of sentencing resulted in improper suspension or termination of proceedings and places appellant in jeopardy for second time on same criminal proceeding?

V. Whether district court judge erred in failing to recuse himself?

VI. Whether district court judge erred in merging habeas corpus (civil) and criminal proceedings.

VII. Whether district court judge's conduct improperly influenced and coerced appellant into withdrawing motion to recuse?

VIII. Whether erroneous advisements from district court, pertaining to habeas corpus proceedings amounted to plain error?

IX. Whether jails [sic] refusal to timely mail or deliver appellant's amended motion for new trial, prior to district court ruling, denied appellant access to court and prejudiced first habeas proceedings?

X. Whether inadequate law library facilities at the Pueblo County Jail interfered with and impeded appellant's ability to research and litigate habeas corpus proceedings?


Before we address Moody's assertions of error, we summarize the nature and purpose of habeas corpus proceedings to provide a background against which to consider his arguments. A habeas corpus proceeding is a civil action, the usual purpose of which is to determine whether the person instituting the action is being unlawfully detained by the person who is holding him in custody. 6 Cardiel v. Brittian, 833 P.2d 748, 751 (Colo.1992); Zaborski v. Colorado Dep't of Corrections, 812 P.2d 236, 237 (Colo.1991); Mulkey v. Sullivan, 753 P.2d 1226, 1231-32 (Colo.1988). The procedures by which Colorado courts conduct the proceedings are statutory and are governed by sections 13-45-101 to -119, 6A C.R.S. (1987 & 1992 Supp.) (Habeas Corpus Act). A person seeking the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus must make a written application "setting forth the facts concerning his imprisonment and in whose custody he is detained." § 13-45-101(1); Cardiel, 833 P.2d at 752. The court must issue the writ forthwith unless it appears from the petition and supporting documents that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. § 13-45-101(1); Cardiel, 833 P.2d at 752. The petitioner bears the burden of alleging facts that warrant the relief sought. Cardiel, 833 P.2d at 752. If the court determines that the petitioner has set...

To continue reading

Request your trial
85 cases
  • Painter v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 5, 2004
    ...v. State, 801 So.2d 34, 40 (Ala.Crim.App.2000); People v. Castoe, 86 Cal.App.3d 484, 150 Cal. Rptr. 237, 239 (1978); Moody v. Corsentino, 843 P.2d 1355, 1372 (Colo.1993); Bogue v. Fennelly, 705 So.2d 575, 581 (Fla.Dist. Ct.App.1997); State v. Miller, 134 Idaho 458, 4 P.3d 570, 575 (Ct.App.2......
  • Hall v. Walter, 97SC100
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • December 14, 1998
    ...We initially rely on the language of the statute, giving words and phrases their plain and ordinary meaning. See Moody v. Corsentino, 843 P.2d 1355, 1370 (Colo.1993); People v. Guenther, 740 P.2d 971, 975 (Colo.1987). We must give effect to the spirit and intent of the General Assembly in e......
  • Horton v. Suthers
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • January 22, 2002
    ...exhausting other available remedies in situations such as we have here, is pro tanto a suspension of the writ.") with Moody v. Corsentino, 843 P.2d 1355, 1361 (Colo.1993) ("Generally, a court will not consider a request for habeas corpus relief unless the petitioner has no other form of rel......
  • Jolly v. State
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • June 24, 2004
    ...v. State, 582 P.2d 630, 633 (Alaska 1978); State v. Burkett, 179 Ariz. 109, 876 P.2d 1144, 1149 (Ct.App.1993); Moody v. Corsentino, 843 P.2d 1355, 1363 (Colo.1993) (en banc); State v. Wall, 40 Conn.App. 643, 673 A.2d 530, 540 (1996); State v. Cunningham, 405 A.2d 706 (Del. 1979); Moore v. S......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 books & journal articles
  • Court Business
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 39-7, July 2010
    • Invalid date
    ...898 P.2d 1058 (Colo. 1995); Klinck v. District Court of Eighteenth Judicial District, 876 P.2d 1270 (Colo. 1994); Moody v. Corsentino, 843 P.2d 1355 (Colo. 1993); Goebel v. Benton, 830 P.2d 995 (Colo. 1992); Brewster v. District Court of the Seventh Judicial Dist., 811 P.2d 812 (Colo. 1991)......
  • Court Business
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 38-6, June 2009
    • Invalid date
    ...898 P.2d 1058 (Colo. 1995); Klinck v. District Court of Eighteenth Judicial District, 876 P.2d 1270 (Colo. 1994); Moody v. Corsentino, 843 P.2d 1355 (Colo. 1993); Goebel v. Benton, 830 P.2d 995 (Colo. 1992); Brewster v. District Court of the Seventh Judicial Dist., 811 P.2d 812 (Colo. 1991)......
  • Recovering Actual Damages Under Colorado's Construction Defect Action Reform Act-part I
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 38-5, May 2009
    • Invalid date
    ...must presume that a legislature says in a statute what it means and means in a statute what it says there"); Moody v. Corsentino, 843 P.2d 1355, 1370 (Colo. 1993) (courts must give effect to general assembly's intent by looking to statute's plain language). 11. Leprino Foods Co. v. Industri......
  • Disciplinary Opinion
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 42-12, December 2013
    • Invalid date
    ...shall be supported by affidavit." Respondent's motion was denied in part because it was not accompanied by an affidavit. [6]843 P.2d 1355, 1374 (Colo. 1993) (holding that a litigant's lawsuit against a judge is not sufficient to create a reasonable inference of bias). [7]655 P.2d 814, 818 (......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT