Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
All the Justices
consideration of the petition for a writ of habeas corpus
filed November 27, 2018, the respondent's motion to
dismiss, petitioner's reply to the motion to dismiss, the
April 3 and 24, 2019 rules to show cause, and
petitioner's and respondent's responses to the rules
to show cause, the Court is of the opinion the petition
should be dismissed.
2000, petitioner was indicted in the City of Alexandria for
capital murder and two counts of malicious
wounding. Shortly thereafter, petitioner was deemed
incompetent to stand trial, thus initiating almost fifteen
years of efforts to restore him to competency. In 2014, the
Circuit Court for the City of Alexandria ("circuit
court") found petitioner "is likely to remain
incompetent for the foreseeable future" under Code
§ 19.2-169.3(A). Accordingly, pursuant to Code §
19.2-169.3(F), the circuit court began ordering petitioner to
a series of six-month periods of confinement in a state
psychiatric hospital for "continued treatment." On
May 11, 2018, the circuit court entered one such order
("May 11 order").
now challenges the legality of his confinement under the May
11 order and, ultimately, requests dismissal of his capital
murder indictment. Starting from the premise that the May 11
order was not supported by sufficient evidence that (1)
petitioner's continued treatment is "medically
appropriate" or (2) he remains a danger to himself or
others, petitioner contends his detention under Code §
19.2-169.3(F) is no longer statutorily or constitutionally
permissible. In turn, petitioner appears to argue that,
absent valid confinement under Code § 19.2-169.3(F), his
pre-trial detention pursuant to only his remaining capital
indictment would be unconstitutional because there is no
possibility he will be restored to competency to stand trial.
Accordingly, as stated by petitioner, his claim to habeas
relief rises and falls on his establishing that, when issuing
the May 11 order, the circuit court incorrectly determined
the Commonwealth presented evidence satisfying the two
requirements of Code § 19.2-169.3(F) enumerated above.
the construction of petitioner's claim, we conclude the
petition must be dismissed because an "order entered in
the petitioner's favor will [not] result in a court order
that, on its face and standing alone, will directly impact
the duration of the petitioner's confinement."
Carrol v. Johnson, 278 Va. 683, 693 (2009).
Petitioner did not file his habeas petition until more than
six months after the circuit court issued the May 11 order.
On November 30, 2018, three days after petitioner filed his
petition, the circuit court held a hearing and entered a new
order confining him for an additional six-month period under
Code § 19.2-169.3(F) ("November 30 order").
The November 30 order continued petitioner's case to May
30, 2019. Although neither party has provided further updates
on petitioner's status, we presume petitioner is now
confined pursuant to another order under Code §
19.2-169.3(F) that will expire in late November or early
since petitioner filed his habeas petition, his confinement
pursuant to the May 11 order has ended and the circuit court
has twice received evidence and reexamined whether petitioner
satisfies the factual requirements of Code §
19.2-169.3(F), including that his continued treatment is
"medically appropriate" and that he presents a
danger to himself or others. In doing so, the circuit court
was required to review competency reports and hold hearings
prior to each new order of confinement. See Code
§ 19.2-169.1(D)-(E). Consequently, petitioner is not
currently detained pursuant to the May 11 order or the
evidence supporting it. Thus, a determination by this Court
that the May 11 order was incorrect or improper cannot,
"on its face and standing alone, . . . directly
impact" petitioner's present confinement.
Carrol, 278 Va. at 693.
therefore ordered that the petition be dismissed. This
dismissal is without prejudice to petitioner filing a habeas
petition challenging a current order of confinement under
Code § 19.2-169.3(F) or his seeking expedited review so
as to permit timely resolution of his claim. Further, by
virtue of this order, we offer no opinion on whether
petitioner's claim is otherwise properly before this
Court. Petitioner's present habeas petition is the latest
of several unsuccessful direct and collateral attacks on his
confinement under Code § 19.2-169.3(F), thus raising the
possibility his claim is procedurally barred because he has
raised or could have raised it in a previous proceeding. Upon
further consideration whereof, the rules are discharged.
 Petitioner's indictments for
malicious wounding were dismissed in 2006 pursuant to Code
§ 19.2-169.3(D), which requires the dismissal of
noncapital charges against an incompetent criminal defendant
after a certain amount of time has expired.
 It is unclear why petitioner has not
deemed it necessary to move to amend his petition or
otherwise address these seemingly material developments in
 Effective July 1, 2019, Code §
19.2-169.3(F) was amended in several respects, none of which
bear directly on our resolution of the ...