the 272nd District Court Brazos County, Texas Trial Court No.
Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Neill
GRAY, CHIEF JUSTICE
an original habeas corpus proceeding filed in an intermediate
appellate court in Texas. The initial question in this
proceeding is whether it is properly characterized as a
pretrial habeas corpus proceeding from a pending criminal
case or whether it is a habeas corpus proceeding challenging
a confinement for some reason other than due to a pending
criminal proceeding, specifically a civil proceeding.
is a pretrial petition for a writ of habeas corpus from
detention for a criminal proceeding, we do not have
jurisdiction of it. On the other hand, we do have
jurisdiction of some original habeas corpus proceedings if,
among other criteria, they are properly characterized as
detention clearly started as a criminal proceeding. His
competency to stand trial was raised. It was determined that
he was not, at that time, competent to stand trial.
had been detained for a substantial length of time before he
filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with this Court.
The Court was concerned that a pretrial detention to
determine competency had been, or should be, converted to a
civil commitment proceeding of some type rather than proceed
as a pretrial detention in a criminal proceeding that could
not be brought to a conclusion because the defendant was not
competent to stand trial and could thus potentially become
involuntary restraint without judicial review.
Court asked the parties to address our concerns. Responding
to our expressed concerns as it related to the question of
our jurisdiction the State filed a comprehensive
brief. The brief documents the extensive
factual and procedural history in the trial court and
commitment proceedings. The brief then reviews the applicable
law and again urged the State's motion to dismiss. The
motion to dismiss, as does the brief, argues that because
this is a pretrial petition for a writ of habeas corpus in a
pending criminal proceeding, this intermediate appellate
court has no jurisdiction. The motion thus seeks dismissal
for want of jurisdiction. We requested and received a
response to the motion to dismiss from Bhardwaj.
due consideration of the State's brief, the State's
motion to dismiss, Bhardwaj's response to the motion to
dismiss, the record before us, and conducting our own legal
research, we agree with the State that the petition for a
writ of habeas corpus, filed while a criminal
complaint/indictment is pending against the defendant but
after a determination of incompetency to stand trial during
the period of time prior to a jury trial on that issue,
nevertheless remains a criminal proceeding over which this
Court does not have jurisdiction.
we grant the State's motion and dismiss this proceeding
for want of jurisdiction.
RESPONSE TO APPLICATION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
COMES THE STATE OF TEXAS by and through her prosecuting
attorney and in opposition of the Application for Writ of
Habeas Corpus respectfully states the following to the Court
based on its information and belief:
procedural history of Bhardwaj's case is long and
complicated. This is mostly due to (a) the fact that Bhardwaj
has frequently changed attorneys throughout the proceedings,
(b) Bhardwaj has refused to cooperate with the district
court's inquiry into the matter of his competency to
stand trial, (c) Bhardwaj has taken the unusual position of
opposing any finding that he is incompetent to stand trial in
spite of the recommendations and ...