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Shelley v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

July 21, 2017

LEROY SHELLEY, Petitioner Below, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondent Below, Appellee.

          Submitted: July 7, 2017 [1]

         Court Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware C.A. No. N17M-04-251 (N)

          Before STRINE, Chief Justice; VALIHURA and VAUGHN, Justices.

          ORDER

          Karen L. Valihura Justice.

         This 21st day of July 2017, upon consideration of the appellant's opening brief, the appellee's motion to affirm, [2] and the record below, it appears to the Court that:

(1) The appellant, Leroy Shelley, filed this appeal from the Superior Court's denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The State of Delaware has filed a motion to affirm the judgment below on the ground that it is manifest on the face of Shelley's opening brief that his appeal is without merit. We agree and affirm.
(2) In November 2007, a Superior Court jury found Shelley guilty of two counts of Robbery in the First Degree, two counts of Kidnapping in the Second Degree, two counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, and one count of Conspiracy in the Second Degree for crimes that occurred in 1997. Shelley was originally indicted in 1998 while imprisoned in Pennsylvania for different crimes and then reindicted in 2007. Shelley was sentenced to non-suspended Level V time of eighteen and a half years. He did not file a direct appeal. Since his conviction, Shelley has filed three unsuccessful motions for postconviction relief under Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 and one unsuccessful motion for modification of sentence under Superior Court Criminal Rule 35.[3]
(3) On April 20, 2017, Shelley filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Superior Court. On April 24, 2017, the Superior Court denied the petition. The Superior Court held that Shelley was legally detained. This appeal followed. In his opening brief, Shelley argues that the Superior Court lacked jurisdiction to convict him because the statute of limitations expired before his reindictment, the original indictment was not dismissed, and he was tried more than 180 days after he signed his Interstate Agreement on Detainers compact in violation of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers.
(4) In Delaware, the writ of habeas corpus provides relief on a very limited basis.[4] Habeas corpus only "provides an opportunity for one illegally confined or incarcerated to obtain judicial review of the jurisdiction of the court ordering the commitment."[5] Where the commitment is regular on its face and the court clearly had jurisdiction over the subject matter, habeas corpus does not afford a remedy to the petitioner.[6]
(5) Shelley has not shown that the Superior Court lacked jurisdiction to sentence him for the crimes he committed.[7] In addition, Shelley did not file an appeal from his 2007 conviction. He may not use a petition for a writ of habeas corpus as a substitute for a timely-filed appeal.[8] The Superior Court did not err in denying Shelley's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. We warn Shelley that if he continues to file appeals from repetitive claims, he will be enjoined from filing future appeals without leave of the Court.

         NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the Motion to Affirm is GRANTED and the judgment of the Superior Court is AFFIRMED.

---------

Notes:

[1] The motion to affirm was filed on May 25, 2017, but the record was filed on ...


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