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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. CLARENCE V. SAUNDERS v. J. SHANE CREAMER (10/03/75)

decided: October 3, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. CLARENCE V. SAUNDERS, APPELLANT,
v.
J. SHANE CREAMER, ATTORNEY GENERAL COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL.



COUNSEL

Michael D. Fioretti, Philadelphia, for appellant.

J. Andrew Smyser, Deputy Atty. Gen., Harrisburg, Allen C. Warshaw, Deputy Atty. Gen., Robert P. Kane, Atty. Gen., for appellees.

Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Mr. Chief Justices Jones, Mr. Justice Eagen and Mr. Justice O'Brien dissent and would affirm the order of the Commonwealth Court.

Author: Pomeroy

[ 464 Pa. Page 3]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant, Clarence Saunders, is an inmate in the State Correctional Institution at Graterford. The appellees are the former attorney general of Pennsylvania and the superintendent, deputy superintendent, and correctional counselor at Graterford. The proceedings from which this appeal arises began when appellant filed in the Commonwealth Court*fn1 a pro se complaint charging that the appellees had violated his constitutional rights by denying him admission to the community treatment services and temporary home furloughs programs*fn2 and

[ 464 Pa. Page 4]

    seeking relief under the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1871. See 17 Stat. 13, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985.*fn3 The appellees

[ 464 Pa. Page 5]

    responded with preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer and a motion for a more specific complaint. The Commonwealth Court sustained the demurrer and dismissed appellant's complaint. 11 Pa. Commw. 160, 312 A.2d 454 (1973). This appeal followed.*fn4

Appellant's complaint avers the following facts: Appellant has been incarcerated for seven years and has an excellent conduct record. Between May of 1971 and August of 1972 he repeatedly applied for admission to the community treatment services program, and during September and October of 1972 he made four requests for temporary home furloughs. All of these applications and requests were either ignored or denied without explanation. Between February 2, 1972, and September 28, 1972, eighty-one inmates, all of whom entered Graterford after appellant, were admitted to the community treatment services program. On October 3, 1972 appellant

[ 464 Pa. Page 6]

    filed a formal "complaint" requesting a hearing upon the denial of his applications for participation in prerelease programs. ...


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