Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs June 27, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Johnson County No. CC-16-CR-178
Lisa N. Rice, Judge
Petitioner, Anzar McFarland, appeals as of right from the
Johnson County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his
petition for writ of habeas corpus. He claims entitlement to
habeas corpus relief, alleging that his judgment of
conviction for class A felony rape of a child was void
because he was not granted pretrial jail credit. Following
our review, we affirm the habeas corpus court's summary
dismissal of the petition.
McFarland, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, and
Sophia Lee, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of
Kelly Thomas, Jr, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Camille R. McMullen and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ.,
KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE
December 9, 2005, the Petitioner pled guilty in the Hamblen
County Circuit Court to one count of rape of a child, a Class
A felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-522. He
received a fifteen-year sentence to be served with the
Tennessee Department of Correction. From the record on
appeal, it appears that the Petitioner began serving his
effective fifteen-year sentence on December 9, 2005, and a
note on the judgment form says, "credit time
Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus on
November 21, 2016. Therein, he alleged that his judgment of
conviction was void because the judgment failed to reflect
his pretrial jail credit. On January 13, 2017, the habeas
corpus court summarily dismissed his petition for failure to
raise a colorable claim for relief. The Petitioner filed a
timely notice of appeal, arguing that the habeas corpus court
"erred in summarily dismissing [the Petitioner's]
petition . . . without holding an evidentiary hearing and
rendering findings of fact and conclusions of law." The
case is now properly before us.
Tennessee law, the "grounds upon which habeas corpus
relief may be granted are very narrow." Taylor v.
State, 995 S.W.2d 78, 83 (Tenn. 1999). The writ will
issue only where the petitioner has established: (1) a lack
of jurisdiction for the order of confinement on the face of
the judgment or in the record on which the judgment was
rendered; or (2) that he is otherwise entitled to immediate
release because of the expiration of his sentence. See
State v. Ritchie, 20 S.W.3d 624, 630 (Tenn. 2000);
Archer v. State, 851 S.W.2d 157, 164 (Tenn. 1993).
purpose of the 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, as
opposed to a voidable, judgment is "one that is facially
invalid because the court did not have the statutory
authority to render such judgment." See Summers v.
State, 212 S.W.3d 251, 256 (Tenn. 2007). In contrast,
"[a] voidable conviction or sentence is one which is
facially valid and requires the introduction of proof beyond
the face of the record or judgment to establish its
invalidity." Taylor, 995 S.W.2d at 83.
petitioner bears the burden of establishing a void judgment
or illegal confinement by a preponderance of the evidence.
See Wyatt v. State, 24 S.W.3d 319, 322 (Tenn. 2000).
A habeas corpus court may summarily dismiss a petition
without a hearing when the petition "fails to
demonstrate that the judgment is void." Hickman v.
State, 153 S.W.3d 16, 20 (Tenn. 2004); see
Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-21-109. We note that the
determination of whether to grant habeas corpus relief is a
matter of law; therefore, we will review the ...