Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
from the Criminal Court for Johnson County No. CC-16-CR-108
Lisa Rice, Judge
se petitioner, John Joseph Kratochvil, appeals as of right
from the Johnson County Criminal Court's order summarily
dismissing his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The State
has filed a motion to affirm the habeas corpus court's
order pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court
of Criminal Appeals. Following our review, we conclude that
the State's motion is well-taken and affirm the order of
the trial court.
R. App. P. 3; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed
Pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals
Joseph Kratochvil, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; and
Benjamin A. Ball, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of
Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which Norma McGee Ogle and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ.,
CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE.
March 31, 2010, the petitioner pleaded guilty to second
degree murder and was sentenced to serve 35 years'
incarceration. The petitioner filed an unsuccessful petition
for post-conviction relief, the denial of which was affirmed
by this court on direct appeal. John Joseph Kratochvil v.
State, No. M2012-00112-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn. Crim. App., at
Nashville, Feb. 15, 2013), perm. app. denied (Tenn.
June 13, 2013). The petitioner then filed an unsuccessful
petition for writ of error coram nobis, the denial of which
was affirmed on direct appeal. John Joseph Kratochvil v.
State, No. M2012-02716-CCA-R3-CO (Tenn. Crim. App., at
Nashville, Apr. 30, 2013), perm. app. denied (Tenn.
Sept. 10, 2013). Next, the petitioner filed an unsuccessful
petition for writ of habeas corpus, the denial of which was
affirmed on direct appeal. John Joseph Kratochvil v.
State, No. M2014-00600-CCA-R3-HC (Tenn. Crim. App., at
Nashville, Oct. 27, 2014), perm. app. denied (Tenn.
Feb. 13, 2015).
22, 2015, the petitioner filed the instant petition for writ
of habeas corpus alleging that his judgment is void because
he was arrested illegally without a warrant. The State filed
a response asserting that the petition should be denied for
failure to state a cognizable habeas corpus claim. On
September 8, 2016, the trial court summarily dismissed the
petition. The petitioner filed a timely notice of appeal.
determination of whether habeas corpus relief should be
granted is a question of law." Faulkner v.
State, 226 S.W.3d 358, 361 (Tenn. 2007) (citing Hart
v. State, 21 S.W.3d 901, 903 (Tenn. 2000)). Our review
of the habeas corpus court's decision is, therefore,
"de novo with no presumption of correctness afforded to
the [habeas corpus] court." Id. (citing
Killingsworth v. Ted Russell Ford, Inc., 205 S.W.3d
406, 408 (Tenn. 2006)). The writ of habeas corpus is
constitutionally guaranteed, see U.S. Const. art. 1,
§ 9, cl. 2; Tenn. Const. art. I, § 15, but has been
regulated by statute for more than a century, see Ussery
v. Avery, 432 S.W.2d 656, 657 (Tenn. 1968). Tennessee
Code Annotated section 29-21-101 provides that "[a]ny
person imprisoned or restrained of liberty, under any
pretense whatsoever, except in cases specified in §
29-21-102, may prosecute a writ of habeas corpus, to inquire
into the cause of such imprisonment and restraint."
T.C.A. § 29-21-101. Despite the broad wording of the
statute, a writ of habeas corpus may be granted only when the
petitioner has established a lack of jurisdiction for the
order of confinement or that he is otherwise entitled to
immediate release because of the expiration of his sentence.
See Ussery, 432 S.W.2d at 658; State v.
Galloway, 45 Tenn. (5 Cold.) 326 (1868). The purpose of
the state habeas corpus petition is to contest a void, not
merely a voidable, judgment. State ex rel. Newsom v.
Henderson, 424 S.W.2d 186, 189 (Tenn. 1968). A void
conviction is one which strikes at the jurisdictional
integrity of the trial court. Archer v. State, 851
S.W.2d 157, 164 (Tenn. 1993); see State ex rel. Anglin v.
Mitchell, 575 S.W.2d 284, 287 (Tenn. 1979);
Passarella v. State, 891 S.W.2d 619, 627 (Tenn.
Crim. App. 1994).
court has held, an "[a]rrest without a warrant does not
per se violate any constitutional right entitling the
defendant to post-conviction relief by habeas corpus where he
is subsequently convicted upon a valid indictment."
Nelson v. State, 470 S.W.2d 32, 33 (Tenn. Crim. App.
1971); see also Jason Martindill v. Dwight Barbee,
Warden, No. E2012-02624-CCA-R3-HC, slip op. at 4-5
(Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Nov. 13, 2013)
(petitioner's claim that his arrest was warrantless,
illegal, or unconstitutional is not cognizable in a habeas
corpus proceeding). Therefore, the trial court's summary
dismissal was proper.
we affirm the judgment of the Johnson County Criminal Court
pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the ...