Valdez-Garcia v. State, No. 2D06-2441.

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtAltenbernd
Citation965 So.2d 318
PartiesLuis VALDEZ-GARCIA, a/k/a Luis Garcia-Valdez, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Decision Date19 September 2007
Docket NumberNo. 2D06-2441.
965 So.2d 318
Luis VALDEZ-GARCIA, a/k/a Luis Garcia-Valdez, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
No. 2D06-2441.
District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District.
September 19, 2007.

[965 So.2d 319]

Luis Valdez-Garcia, pro se.

Bill McCollum, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Jonathan P. Hurley, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.

ALTENBERND, Judge.


Luis Valdez-Garcia, a/k/a Luis Garcia-Valdez, appeals an order dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas corpus for lack of jurisdiction. Mr. Garcia filed his petition in the circuit court of the county in which he was convicted rather than the circuit court of the county in which he was incarcerated. We affirm.

The circuit court correctly determined that it did not have jurisdiction to treat the petition as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. However, to the extent the claims in the petition sought to collaterally attack Mr. Valdez-Garcia's judgment, the petition should have been treated as a motion for postconviction relief pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. See Curtis v. State, 870 So.2d 186, 186 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004); Harris v. State, 789 So.2d 1114, 1115 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001). Nevertheless, we affirm because any such motion was untimely and procedurally barred. Further, the circuit court was not required to transfer this petition to a circuit court with jurisdiction over the habeas petition because it did not allege any entitlement to relief that could have been provided by such a court.

We write to emphasize that a defendant rarely, if ever, has a lawful basis to file a postconviction petition for habeas corpus in the circuit court of the county where he was convicted, unless it is also the circuit court of the county where the prisoner is detained. Since 1879, Florida's habeas corpus law has provided that petitions for habeas corpus shall be filed only in the circuit court of the county where a prisoner is detained. Ch. 3129, § 8, Laws of Fla. (1879). When an imprisoned defendant wishes to collaterally attack his judgment or sentence in the circuit court of the county where he was convicted, the proper procedure is to file a motion for postconviction relief under rule 3.850.

On May 24, 2001, Mr. Valdez-Garcia attacked his girlfriend with a knife in Tampa, Florida. As a result, he was convicted of attempted murder, armed burglary of a dwelling, aggravated assault, and battery in the circuit court of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in April 2002.

Mr. Valdez-Garcia appealed his judgments and sentences to this court. In that appeal, he argued that the trial court should have conducted a competency evaluation prior to trial and that he was absent without a valid waiver during critical stages of his trial. This court affirmed his judgments and sentences in 2003 without a written opinion and issued mandate on March 21, 2003. See Garcia-Valdez v. State, 840 So.2d 234 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003).

It does not appear that he filed any postconviction proceedings during the two-year period following the issuance of our mandate. Therefore, after March 21, 2005, any rule 3.850 motion attacking Mr. Valdez-Garcia's convictions would be untimely, unless the motion was based either on newly discovered evidence or on a recent decision of the United States Supreme Court or of the Florida Supreme Court given retroactive application. See Brown v. State, 827 So.2d 1054, 1055 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002).

965 So.2d 320

In March 2006, Mr. Valdez-Garcia filed this petition for habeas corpus in the circuit court of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. The petition did not challenge the conditions of his confinement, such as the right to immediate release, but it instead challenged the correctness of his convictions based on issues similar to those raised in his direct appeal. He claimed that his convictions were invalid because he was not competent to stand trial, his trial counsel was ineffective, and his limited ability to speak English prevented him from meaningful participation in the trial. Despite some of these being issues cognizable in a rule 3.850 motion, he did not allege any exception to the two-year timeliness requirement. See Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.850(b). The circuit court dismissed this petition for lack of jurisdiction because Mr. Valdez-Garcia was incarcerated in Zephyrhills, Florida, in a facility outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit.

The writ of habeas corpus is an ancient writ with its origins dating as early as the Magna Carta in 1215. See William Blackstone, 3 Commentaries on the Laws of England *133. The modern writ dates to the British Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 and has been consistently used as a method to obtain jurisdiction over a jailor or other person who is illegally detaining a person so that a court may order the release of the person illegally detained. See 28 Fla. Jur. Habeas Corpus and Postconviction Remedies § 1 (2007); Allison v. Baker, 152 Fla. 274, 11 So.2d 578, 579 (1943).

Some of Florida's oldest laws create the procedures for writs of habeas corpus. Before Florida's statehood, the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida enacted directions for the mode of suing and prosecuting the writ.1 See Act of September 16, 1822, § 1-11. The right is also secured by the United States Constitution and the State of Florida Constitution. U.S. Const. art. I, § 9; art. I, § 13, Fla. Const. In 1879, these statutes were amended to specify that in cases before the circuit court, the petition for writ of habeas corpus "shall be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the county in which the prisoner is detained." See ch. 3129, § 8. This provision remains unchanged today as section 79.09, Florida Statutes (2006).

Because the writ is designed to obtain power over the jailor to order the release of the prisoner, it does not function well as a method to review the legal correctness of a criminal judgment. The court or the judge that issued the judgment is not a necessary party to the proceeding and is usually uninvolved in the case. In part because a petition for habeas corpus must be filed with the clerk of the circuit court of the county where the prisoner is detained, that court's scope of review over the criminal judgment is not a broad review of all collateral issues but a narrow review to determine "whether the court that entered the order was without jurisdiction to do so or whether the order is void or illegal." See Alachua Reg'l Juvenile Detention Ctr. v. T.O., 684 So.2d 814, 816 (Fla.1996).

These limitations help explain why the Florida Supreme Court promulgated rules to collaterally attack a conviction. In the wake of Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335, 83 S.Ct. 792, 9 L.Ed.2d 799 (1963), many...

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80 practice notes
  • Nida v. State, Case No. 2D19-2905
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 1 April 2020
    ...DCA 2013) ; Doby v. State, 25 So. 3d 598 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) ; Hughes v. State, 22 So. 3d 132 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) ; Valdez-Garcia v. State, 965 So. 2d 318 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007) ; Carlyle v. State, 945 So. 2d 540 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) ; Henry v. State, 933 So. 2d 28 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) ; Coughlin v. ......
  • Alday v. State, Case No. 2D19-3013
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 5 February 2020
    ...; McDonald v. State, 133 So. 3d 530 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013) ; Hughes v. State, 22 So. 3d 132 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) ; Valdez-Garcia v. State, 965 So. 2d 318 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007) ; Daniel v. State, 935 So. 2d 1240 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) ; Shortridge v. State, 884 So. 2d 321 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004) ; Campbell v.......
  • Walton v. State, 2D21-2479
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 19 November 2021
    ...2014); McDonald v. State, 133 So.3d 530 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013); 1 Hughes v. State, 22 So.3d 132 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009); Valdez-Garcia v. State, 965 So.2d 318 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007); Steward v. State, 931 So.2d 133 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006); Shortridge v. State, 884 So.2d 321 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004); Brown v. State......
  • Dillard v. State, Case No. 2D18-4689
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 19 June 2019
    ...DCA 2013) ; Doby v. State, 25 So. 3d 598 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) ; Hughes v. State, 22 So. 3d 132 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) ; Valdez-Garcia v. State, 965 So. 2d 318 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007) ; Henry v. State, 933 So. 2d 28 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) ; Shortridge v. State, 884 So. 2d 321 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004) ; Brown v. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
80 cases
  • Nida v. State, Case No. 2D19-2905
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 1 April 2020
    ...DCA 2013) ; Doby v. State, 25 So. 3d 598 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) ; Hughes v. State, 22 So. 3d 132 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) ; Valdez-Garcia v. State, 965 So. 2d 318 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007) ; Carlyle v. State, 945 So. 2d 540 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) ; Henry v. State, 933 So. 2d 28 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) ; Coughlin v. ......
  • Alday v. State, Case No. 2D19-3013
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 5 February 2020
    ...; McDonald v. State, 133 So. 3d 530 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013) ; Hughes v. State, 22 So. 3d 132 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) ; Valdez-Garcia v. State, 965 So. 2d 318 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007) ; Daniel v. State, 935 So. 2d 1240 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) ; Shortridge v. State, 884 So. 2d 321 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004) ; Campbell v.......
  • Walton v. State, 2D21-2479
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 19 November 2021
    ...2014); McDonald v. State, 133 So.3d 530 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013); 1 Hughes v. State, 22 So.3d 132 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009); Valdez-Garcia v. State, 965 So.2d 318 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007); Steward v. State, 931 So.2d 133 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006); Shortridge v. State, 884 So.2d 321 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004); Brown v. State......
  • Dillard v. State, Case No. 2D18-4689
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 19 June 2019
    ...DCA 2013) ; Doby v. State, 25 So. 3d 598 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) ; Hughes v. State, 22 So. 3d 132 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) ; Valdez-Garcia v. State, 965 So. 2d 318 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007) ; Henry v. State, 933 So. 2d 28 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) ; Shortridge v. State, 884 So. 2d 321 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004) ; Brown v. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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