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In re LaPlante

Supreme Court of Vermont

July 18, 2014

In re William LaPlante

Editorial Note:

This Opinion is subject to motion for reargument or formal revision before publication. See V.R.A.P. 40

On Appeal from Superior Court, Rutland Unit, Civil Division. Nancy Corsones, J.

The superior court's order granting petitioner's writ of habeas corpus is affirmed.

Matthew F. Valerio, Defender General, and Emily Tredeau, Prisoners' Rights Office, Montpelier, for Petitioner-Appellee.

Marc D. Brierre, Rutland County State's Attorney, Rutland, for Respondent-Appellant.

PRESENT: Reiber, C.J., Dooley, Skoglund, Robinson and Crawford, JJ.

OPINION

Page 174

SKOGLUND, J.

[¶1] The State of New Hampshire attempts to extradite petitioner William LaPlante, a Vermont resident, for failure to appear at a 2009 hearing allegedly related to a criminal conviction in New Hampshire in 1998. Following a Governor's warrant from the State of Vermont, petitioner requested a writ of habeas corpus from the Vermont superior court in Rutland, which the court granted on grounds that the warrant lacked information required by statute. The State of Vermont appeals this grant of habeas corpus relief, contesting the court's holding and its findings regarding the contents of the Governor's warrant. We affirm.

[¶2] New Hampshire's request for petitioner's extradition appears to stem from a 1998 forgery conviction in that state. The record contains no documentation of any New Hampshire court action involving petitioner after 1998 until nearly ten years later, in 2008. There the record picks up again with a " return from superior court" containing a sentence of six months, partially deferred, conditioned on good behavior and with an order to pay restitution in the amount of $5515. Over a year later, in 2009, the New Hampshire court held a " hearing on deferred sentence," at which petitioner failed to appear. As a result,

Page 175

the court ordered the issuance of a capias [1] authorizing petitioner's arrest and setting bail in the amount of $5150.[2]

[¶3] Although never referenced in the Governor's warrant, it seems that this current extradition proceeding is not the State's first attempt to return petitioner to New Hampshire. Following the capias, the State sought extradition of petitioner in 2012 after an encounter between petitioner and Vermont police revealed the outstanding capias for petitioner's arrest. The State filed a petition with the Superior Court, Bennington Unit, Civil Division for interstate rendition of a fugitive, which the Bennington court denied, finding that " [t]here is no evidence that [petitioner] has been charged with any actual criminal offense" and that the missed hearing " appears to be solely a restitution proceeding. Nothing ...


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