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Reading is difficult. As a writer, I help the reader every way I can think of. As a reader, I work hard not to miss the big things in the middle of the road.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Habeas Corpus Process Different for TDCJ-ID Inmates Starting Sentences as Juveniles

Even though Zahir Querishi is serving a 40-year sentence on the Ramsey Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division for capital murder and attempted capital murder, his habeas corpus rights don't arise under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 11.07, like the vast majority of other inmates. His rights are not statutory because he was not originally convicted in a Texas criminal court, but was instead adjudicated a juvenile delinquent, given his sentence, started serving it with the Texas Youth Commission and then, as a adult, was transferred to the prison system.
He can apply for habeas relief to the juvenile court, and if he is improperly denied it, he can appeal that denial to a higher court.
Querishi applied for relief in the juvenile court, was denied, and appealed, then he sought a writ of mandamus to force the Harris County District Clerk to transfer his notice of appeal to one of the appeals courts. While that mandamus was pending, the clerk went ahead and transferred the document to Houston's Fourteenth Court of Appeals and the appellate court dismissed the mandamus application as  moot.
Querishi got impatient with Harris County's District Clerk's office again and sought to mandamus them again, this time, to issue a citation in relation to his denied habeas writ application that was and is still pending in the Fourteenth.
Yesterday-- January 3, 2013-- the Fourteenth dismissed this second mandamus application on the ground that they could only mandamus a District Clerk to enforce their jurisdiction. They held that mandamus was not necessary to enforce their jurisdiction-- the matter was already pending before them-- so they didn't have the power to issue the mandamus whether they wanted to or not. So they dismissed the second mandamus application.
So far there have three proceedings as to this single appeal.
In re Z.Q., No. 14-12-01109-CV (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.], Jan. 3, 2013) (orig. proceeding) (mem. op.) (per curiam, Hedges, C.J., Brown and Busby, JJ.).

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