State v. Leach, 227 N.C. App. 399 (May. 21, 2013)

(1) When a trial judge conducts an initial review of an application for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, the issues are whether the application is in proper form and whether the applicant has established a valid basis for believing that he or she is being unlawfully detained and entitled to be discharged. In making this determination, the trial court is simply required to examine the face of the applicant’s application, including any supporting documentation, and decide whether the necessary preliminary showing has been made. Given the nature of the inquiry, there is no reason to require findings of fact and conclusions of law at this initial review stage. The decision whether an application should be summarily denied or whether additional proceedings should be conducted is a question of law and is reviewed de novo. (2) Where the trial court summarily denied the defendant’s application, it had no obligation to make findings of fact or conclusions of law and thus its failure to do so does not provide a valid basis for overturning its order on appeal. (3) The trial court did not err by summarily denying the defendant’s application where the defendant failed to establish that he had a colorable claim to be entitled to be discharged from custody based on an alleged deprivation of a constitutionally protected liberty interest established by a MAPP contract.