Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
KENNETH L. LANGLEY
STATE OF TENNESSEE
Assigned on Briefs December 20, 2016
from the Criminal Court for Cumberland County No. 12-0018A
David Patterson, Judge.
Petitioner, Kenneth Leroy Langley, appeals the summary
dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The
habeas corpus court found that it was without jurisdiction to
hear the petition because the Petitioner filed the writ in
the incorrect county. Although we hold that the habeas corpus
court had jurisdiction, we nevertheless affirm the dismissal
of the petition.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Kenneth L. Langley, Mountain City, Tennessee, pro se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; and Bryant C.
Dunaway, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and James Curwood Witt, Jr.,
EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE.
August 15, 2012, the Petitioner pled guilty to burglary and
theft of property valued at over $1, 000. The trial court
sentenced the Petitioner to four years at thirty percent for
the burglary conviction and four years at thirty percent for
the theft conviction. The trial court ran the sentences
concurrently and ordered the Petitioner to serve the
sentences on probation, with the first year to be supervised
by the community corrections program. In May of 2013, an
affidavit of violation of community corrections was sworn
against the Petitioner for multiple violations. He pled
guilty to the violation of community corrections and was
given a one-year extension of his community corrections
supervision on probation and sixty days in jail. On December
5, 2013, the Petitioner again violated the terms of his
community corrections supervision. Subsequently, he pled
guilty to the December 2013 violation. On April 3, 2014, the
trial court then revoked the Petitioner's probation and
ordered the Petitioner to "serve [the] balance" of
his sentence in prison "with credit for time
served" in the county jail.
27, 2016, the Petitioner, while incarcerated in Johnson
County, Tennessee, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus
in the Criminal Court for Cumberland County. He argued in his
petition that the trial court failed to properly award him
credit for the time he served on community corrections. The
habeas corpus court dismissed the petition, finding that the
court did not have jurisdiction to hear the petition for writ
of habeas corpus because the petition should have been filed
in Johnson County. See T.C.A. § 29-21-105
("The [petition for writ of habeas corpus] should be
made to the court or judge most convenient in point of
distance to the applicant, unless a sufficient reason be
given in the petition for not applying to such court or
judge."). After the habeas corpus court's dismissal
of the petition, the habeas corpus court did, in fact, issue
an amended judgment to award the Petitioner eleven days of
pretrial jail time credit for time served before his guilty
plea in 2012, which the Petitioner requested in a separate
claim in the petition. The Petitioner filed a timely notice
appeal, the Petitioner raises two issues. First, he contends
that the trial court erred by dismissing the petition for
failure to comply with Tennessee Code Annotated section
29-21-105, stating that he properly filed his petition in
Cumberland County because the Criminal Court for Cumberland
County had the necessary records to correct his illegal
sentence. He also contends that upon the trial court's
decision to revoke his community corrections sentence and
order him to serve his sentence in confinement, the trial
court did not properly award him credit for the time he
served on community corrections. The State concedes that the
Petitioner is "probably correct" regarding his
argument about proper venue. The State, however, argues that
the trial court properly sentenced the Petitioner and did, in
fact, award credit for time served on community corrections.
determination of whether habeas corpus relief should be
granted is a question of law." Summers v.
State, 212 S.W.3d 251, 255 (Tenn. 2007) (citing Hart
v. State, 21 S.W.3d 901, 903 (Tenn. 2000)). This court
reviews the dismissal of a habeas corpus petition de novo
with no presumption of correctness given to the conclusions
of the habeas corpus court. Id. (citing State v.
Livingston, 197 S.W.3d 710, 712 (Tenn. 2006).
I, section 15 of the Tennessee Constitution guarantees a
prisoner the right to seek habeas corpus relief. However, the
grounds for the writ are very narrow. Taylor v.
State, 995 S.W.2d 78, 83 (Tenn.1999). Habeas corpus
relief is available "only when 'it appears upon the
face of the judgment or the record upon which the judgment is
rendered' that a convicting court was without
jurisdiction or authority to sentence a defendant, or that a
defendant's sentence of imprisonment or other restraint
has expired." Archer v. State, 851 S.W.2d 157,
164 (Tenn. 1993) (quoting State v. Galloway, 45
Tenn. (5 Cold.) 326, 336-37 (Tenn. 1868)). "[T]he
purpose of a habeas corpus petition is to contest void and
not merely voidable judgments." Potts v. State,
833 S.W.2d 60, 62 (Tenn. 1992) (citing State ex rel.
Newsom v. Henderson, 424 S.W.2d 186, 189 (Tenn. 1968)).
A void judgment "is one in which the judgment is
facially invalid because the court lacked jurisdiction or
authority to render the judgment or because the
defendant's sentence has expired." T ...