Assigned on Briefs August 5, 2014
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County Nos. 03-00143-44, W03-00325 James C. Beasley, Jr., Judge
Landreo Lurry, Atlanta, Georgia, Pro Se.
Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Reginald Henderson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Roger A. Page, J., joined.
ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE
According to the record, on May 19, 2003, the petitioner pled guilty in the Shelby County Criminal Court in case numbers 03-00143 and 03-00144 to two counts of aggravated burglary and was sentenced to concurrent terms of three years for each conviction. On June 30, 2003, he pled guilty in the Shelby County Criminal Court in case number W03-00325 to aggravated burglary and was sentenced to three years to be served consecutively to his sentences in the previous cases, for an effective six-year sentence.
In 2011, the petitioner pled guilty in the United States District Court to a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922 (g), felon in possession of a firearm, and was sentenced to 180 months in the United States Bureau of Prisons. According to the transcript the petitioner provided of his sentencing hearing in district court, his Tennessee burglary convictions were apparently used to enhance his sentence in his federal case.
On November 7, 2013, the petitioner filed in the Shelby County Criminal Court a pro se "Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Post Conviction Relief, and/or Writ of Error Coram Nobis." The petitioner alleged that he was entitled to habeas corpus relief because the trial court did not strictly comply with the statute for transferring his burglary cases from juvenile to criminal court, rendering the court without jurisdiction and the judgments void. Specifically, he asserted that two of his burglary cases were improperly transferred from juvenile court without a transfer hearing or the representation of counsel. He alleged that he was entitled to error coram nobis relief because he had only recently discovered the improper transfer of his cases during his criminal prosecution in his federal case. He additionally alleged that he was actually innocent of the crimes because he "lacked the intent required for criminal responsibility for the ultimate criminal act" committed by his companions. He alleged that he was entitled to post-conviction relief because he was denied the effective assistance of counsel in that his cases were improperly transferred to criminal court without a hearing and the representation of counsel. He further alleged that his guilty pleas were unknowing and involuntary due to the ineffective assistance of counsel and the improper transfer of his cases to criminal court. Finally, he argued that due process considerations should toll the applicable statutes of limitations in the case.
On November 14, 2013, the trial court entered an order summarily dismissing the petition on the basis that the petitioner, who was serving a sentence at a federal penitentiary for a federal firearms conviction, was not restrained of his liberty by the State of Tennessee and, thus, failed to state a claim for which habeas corpus relief could be granted. Thereafter, the petitioner filed a timely notice of appeal to this court.
On appeal, the petitioner argues that his judgments are void because the juvenile court failed to comply with the law when transferring cases 00143 and 00325 to the criminal court. The petitioner also raises, for the first time on appeal, the issue of whether his concurrent sentences in case numbers 00143 and 00144 are illegal because he was on escape status in case number 00143 when the burglary in case number 00144 was committed. The State argues that the petitioner is not entitled to relief under any of the theories he presented in the trial court, that he has waived his issue regarding his alleged illegal sentencing for failure to raise it in the trial court, and that, regardless of waiver, the petitioner has not shown that he was on escape status in case number 00143 when he committed the offense in case number 00144. We agree with the State.
It is well-established in Tennessee that the remedy provided by a writ of habeas corpus is limited in scope and may only be invoked where the judgment is void or the petitioner's term of imprisonment has expired. Faulkner v. State, 226 S.W.3d 358, 361 (Tenn. 2007); State v. Ritchie, 20 S.W.3d 624, 629 (Tenn. 2000); State v. Davenport, 980 S.W.2d 407, 409 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998). A void, as opposed to a voidable, judgment is "one that is facially invalid because the court did not have the statutory authority to ...