Narel v. Liburdi

Decision Date15 December 1981
Citation185 Conn. 562,441 A.2d 177
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesAndrew J. NAREL, Jr. v. Victor LIBURDI, Warden, Community Correctional Center, Bridgeport.

David S. Golub, Stamford, with whom, on the brief, were Ernest F. Teitell, Stamford, and Wayne D. Skigen, for appellant (plaintiff).

Carl Schuman, Asst. State's Atty., with whom, on the brief, were Walter D. Flanagan State's Atty., Danbury, and Richard L. Shiffrin and Brian E. Cotter, Asst. State's Attys., for appellee (defendant).


PARSKEY, Associate Justice.

This case involves the relationship of the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, General Statutes §§ 54-157 through 54-185, and the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, General Statutes §§ 54-186 through 54-192. The precise question presented by this appeal is whether, if we assume that the plaintiff has properly invoked his rights under the agreement on detainers, the failure of the charging state to bring him to trial within the time limit prescribed by the detainer agreement precludes that state from invoking the provisions of the extradition act. The short answer to that question is "no."

In 1977, the plaintiff was being held in custody in the federal correctional institution at Danbury, Connecticut. On September 6, 1977, the commonwealth of Virginia filed a detainer with the prison authorities at Danbury notifying them of an outstanding escape charge. When the plaintiff learned of the detainer he contacted Robert Flynn, an official in the records department at Danbury, and orally requested Flynn to send a notice to Virginia seeking prompt disposition of the escape charge pursuant to the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, 18 U.S.C.App. (1976), pp. 1395-98; Va.Code § 53-304.1. Flynn refused to send the notice and told the plaintiff to file his own motion for a speedy trial. The plaintiff thereupon prepared a notarized motion for speedy trial which he sent to the Manassas, Virginia court. This motion, the receipt of which was acknowledged by the clerk's office at the 31st Judicial District of Virginia, Prince William General District Court, Manassas, Virginia, made specific reference to the detainer charge of escape lodged against the plaintiff by the commonwealth of Virginia on September 6, 1977, and requested a speedy trial of the charge. The motion, which was prepared on a form made available to the plaintiff at the federal prison, was sworn to before Ron Simpson, a caseworker at Danbury.

The Virginia authorities took no action on the pending escape charge against the plaintiff until he had completed his federal sentence and was released from federal custody on September 1, 1978. At that time, he was arrested on a fugitive warrant issued by the commonwealth of Virginia and thereafter was held under a rendition warrant issued by the governor of this state as a result of a requisition made upon him by the governor of Virginia. The plaintiff filed a habeas corpus petition which, after an evidentiary hearing, was dismissed and this appeal followed. While the trial court dismissed the petition for failure of the plaintiff to satisfy the notice requirements of the agreement on detainers, the view we take of this case makes it unnecessary for us to reach that issue.


The extradition clause of the constitution of the United States, article four, § 2, cl. 2, provides: "A person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime." The extradition act implements this clause by providing the procedural mechanism for the summary disposition of extradition cases. Glavin v. Warden, 163 Conn. 394, 395n., 311 A.2d 86 (1972). The hearing in such cases is limited to four questions, namely, (a) whether the extradition documents on their face are in order, (b) whether the plaintiff has been charged with a crime in the charging state, (c) whether the plaintiff is the person named in the request for extradition and (d) whether the plaintiff is a fugitive. Cuyler v. Adams, 449 U.S. 433, 443n., 101 S.Ct. 703, 709n., 66 L.Ed.2d 641 (1981); Michigan v. Doran, 439 U.S. 282, 289, 99 S.Ct. 530, 535, 58 L.Ed.2d 521 (1978). The custodial court may not inquire into the merits of the charge or into any claimed procedural infirmities, constitutional or otherwise, lurking in the prosecution. Michigan v. Doran, supra; Ross v. Hegstrom, 157 Conn. 403, 409, 254 A.2d 556 (1969); Rosenberg v. Slavin, 122 Conn. 304, 308, 188 A. 272 (1936). Such matters are to be determined by the court in the charging state. Ross v. Hegstrom, supra. Questions involving the status of the charge or the status of the petitioner as a fugitive from justice, however, are appropriate issues to be determined by the courts in the custodial state. Ross v. Hegstrom, supra, 410, 254 A.2d 556. For example, if subsequent to the issuance of the formal documents by the governors of the appropriate states, the plaintiff received a pardon for the crime charged, or the charge was nolled by the prosecution or dismissed by the court, it could not seriously be questioned that the plaintiff would no longer be subject to an outstanding charge nor could it be seriously questioned that the court in the custodial state could not examine the pertinent documents for the purpose of determining the status of the charge. See Moulthrope v. Matus, 139 Conn. 272, 278, 93 A.2d 149, cert. denied, 345 U.S. 926, 73 S.Ct. 785, 97 L.Ed. 1357 (1952).

In sum, while both the extradition clause and the extradition act contemplate the prompt return of a fugitive from justice as soon as the state from which he fled demands him and, to assure such return, preclude the asylum state from engaging in a plenary review of the charge; Michigan v. Doran, supra, 439 U.S. 289-90, 99 S.Ct. at 535-36; Sweeney v. Woodall, 344 U.S. 86, 73 S.Ct. 139, 97 L.Ed. 114 (1952), reh. denied, 344 U.S. 916, 73 S.Ct. 332, 97 L.Ed. 702 (1953); this does not mean that the asylum court is merely a clerical functionary in extradition matters. To the contrary, in the limited area within which it operates, the judicial authority of the asylum court is undiminished. See Ross v. Hegstrom, supra, 157 Conn. 410, 254 A.2d 556. This brings us to the heart of the issue in this case, namely, the applicability and effect of the detainer agreement.


The detainer agreement is an interstate compact 1 and as such its interpretation is a matter of federal law. Cuyler v. Adams, 449 U.S. 433, 442, 101 S.Ct. 703, 708, 66 L.Ed.2d 641 (1981). Article I of the act, noting "that charges outstanding against a prisoner, detainers based on untried indictments, informations or complaints, and difficulties in securing speedy trial of persons already incarcerated in other jurisdictions, produce uncertainties which obstruct programs of prisoner treatment and rehabilitation," states that the purpose of the agreement is "to encourage the expeditious and orderly disposition of such charges and determination of the proper status of any and all detainers based on untried indictments, informations or complaints."

The detainer agreement contains two trigger mechanisms. The provisions of the agreement itself are activated only when the receiving or charging state lodges with the sending or asylum state a detainer based on a pending indictment, information or complaint. People v. Lincoln, 42 Colo.App. 512, 514, 601 P.2d 641 (1979); Burns v. State, 578 S.W.2d 650, 652 (Tenn.Cr.App.1978). At that point the time clock can be activated by the detainee, under article III, or by the prosecuting authority in the charging state, under article IV. In this case, the applicable provision is article III. 2

To initiate proceedings under article III, the detainee must give or send to his custodian in the asylum state a written request for final disposition of the charge lodged against him in the charging state and shall cause to be delivered to the prosecuting officer and the appropriate court of the prosecutor's jurisdiction written notice of the place of his imprisonment and of his request for final disposition. The initial burden is on the custodian to inform the detainee of the source and contents of any detainer lodged against him and to inform him of his right to make a request for final disposition of the pending charge. Article III (c). Thereafter the burden is on the detainee to give or send to his custodian his written notice and request. Article III (b). The notice and request must be accompanied by a certificate of the custodian stating specified information pertaining to the detainee's confinement. Article III (a). The duty is on the custodian to forward the written notice, request and certificate promptly to the appropriate prosecuting authority and court by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. Article III (b).


The detainer agreement sets forth specific sanctions for failure of the charging state to bring the detainee to trial within the prescribed time limits. First, the pending charge is nullified. Second, the charge is required to be dismissed with prejudice and third, the detainer is invalidated. The circumstances under which the sanctions are imposed are spelled out in the agreement. Nullification of the charge occurs only in situations where the detainee has been returned to the charging state. Article III (d) provides: "If trial is not had on any indictment, information or complaint contemplated hereby prior to the return of the prisoner to the original place of imprisonment, such indictment, information or complaint shall not be of any further force or effect, and the court shall enter an order dismissing the same with prejudice." A similar provision, in article IV (e), covers...

To continue reading

Request your trial
32 cases
  • Gelinas v. West Hartford
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • August 28, 2001
    ...134 Conn. 118, 132, 55 A.2d 732 (1947). A statute, of course, should not be interpreted to thwart its purpose. Narel v. Liburdi, 185 Conn. 562, 571, 441 A.2d 177 (1981), cert. denied, 456 U.S. 928, 102 S. Ct. 1974, 72 L. Ed. 2d 443 (1982); Kron v. Theten, 178 Conn. 189, 192, 423 A.2d 857 (1......
  • Johnson v. Manson
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • May 28, 1985 detainers, "custodial officials in the asylum and the charging states are viewed as agents for each other." Narel v. Liburdi, 185 Conn. 562, 572, 441 A.2d 177 (1981), cert. denied, 456 U.S. 928, 102 S.Ct. 1974, 72 L.Ed.2d 443 (1982); see State v. Braswell, 194 Conn. 297, 305, 481 A.2d 41......
  • Parks v. Bourbeau
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • May 29, 1984
    ...[709 n. 11], 66 L.Ed.2d 641 (1981); Michigan v. Doran, 439 U.S. 282, 289, 99 S.Ct. 530 , 58 L.Ed.2d 521 (1978).' Narel v. Liburdi, [185 Conn. 562, 565, 441 A.2d 177 (1981), cert. denied, 456 U.S. 928, 102 S.Ct. 1974, 72 L.Ed.2d 443 (1982) ]; see Glavin v. Warden, 163 Conn. 394, 401, 311 A.2......
  • 1997 -NMSC- 55, Reed v. State ex rel. Ortiz
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • September 9, 1997 the limited area within which it operates, the judicial authority of the asylum court is undiminished." Narel v. Liburdi, 185 Conn. 562, 441 A.2d 177, 180 (1981). ¶71 The Governor's warrant is accorded presumptive validity. Doran, 439 U.S. at 289, 99 S.Ct. at 535. However, like any legal......
  • 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