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UNITED STATES EX REL. HARRISON v. PACE

July 24, 1974

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. WILLIAM H. HARRISON, Plaintiff,
v.
JAMES R. PACE et al., Defendants


Fogel, District Judge.

FOGEL, District Judge.

Presently before the Court are cross-motions for summary judgment which raise the dual issues, first, of the duty of defendants to disclose the reasons for their denial of plaintiff's parole application in April, 1972, and, second, of their monetary liability in damages for that denial of parole in the first instance, and for their subsequent and continuing refusal to disclose the reasons for their actions. Our analysis of the facts and the controlling legal principles dictates entry of an order granting summary judgment in defendants' favor on both points.

 On October 2, 1972, plaintiff William H. Harrison, filed, pro se, an eloquent although untutored complaint entitled "Petition for Writ of Mandamus", alleging an unreasonable denial of his parole application and urging this Court to compel the United States Board of Parole to issue a statement of its reasons for said denial. Based upon a conclusion that "a prisoner's interest in the grant or denial of parole is entitled to constitutionally protected due process consideration, limited to a statement of reasons upon denial of such parole," and that this Court had jurisdiction of the cause by virtue of 28 U.S.C. § 1361, Judge Masterson, formerly of this Court, held that "petitioner's claim that the Board [had] withheld from him a statement of reasons for denial of parole is one upon which relief can be granted" and denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint against them. United States ex rel. Harrison v. Pace, 357 F. Supp. 354, 357 (E.D. Pa. 1973).

 Thereafter, on March 11, 1974, the parties agreed to the following stipulation of facts:

 1. The plaintiff, William H. Harrison, is a federal prisoner presently incarcerated in the federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

 2. The plaintiff is presently scheduled for mandatory release as if on parole on April 10, 1974, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 4163-64.

 3. On March 6, 1972, the plaintiff was given a hearing before members of the United States Board of Parole, for the purpose of determining whether the plaintiff's application to be released as if [sic] on parole should be granted.

 4. On or about April 12, 1972, plaintiff received a decision from the Board directing that he be continued to expiration of the sentence. No reasons for this decision were given.

 5. Plaintiff, in a letter to the Board sent on or about April 15, 1972, requested that he be informed of the reasons for the above denial of parole. On or about April 25, 1972, plaintiff received a letter from the Board refusing to provide this information.

 6. Plaintiff has never, as of the date of this stipulation, been informed of the reasons for the denial of parole in April of 1972.

 7. Unless ordered by this Court, the defendants do not intend to provide the plaintiff with the reasons for their denial of his parole application in April, 1972.

 8. At no time from April 12, 1972, until the present has the plaintiff been scheduled by the Board for a new parole hearing.

 9. Between April 12, 1972, and the present, the plaintiff has made several requests that his parole application be reconsidered. These requests have been denied. He has not appeared before the Board since March 6, 1972.

 10. It is not the present intention of the Board to reconsider plaintiff's parole application, or to afford him a new hearing, prior to his mandatory release, unless the Board receives new and ...


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