Original jurisdiction in case of Alexander Blackwell, Jr. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and Mr. Mahlon King, Records Officer and Joseph Bowers, K 3225 and Kenneth James Dixon, K 3031 and John M. Ratchford, K 2114.
Joseph P. Semasek, for petitioner.
Robert A. Greevy, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for respondents.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
By our Order of December 16, 1976, the petition for writ of mandamus of Alexander Blackwell, Jr. (petitioner) was treated and acted upon as a petition for review addressed to our original jurisdiction under Section 401 of the Appellate Court Jurisdiction Act of 1970, Act of July 31, 1970, P.L. 673, as amended, 17 P.S. § 211.401.
The record before us consists of the aforementioned petition for review, respondents' answer thereto with new matter, including a certificate of the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (Board), Section 8 of the Act of August 6, 1941, P.L. 861, as amended, 61 P.S. § 331.8, to which new matter no reply was filed. The Board then filed a motion for summary judgment.
An examination of the record reveals no "genuine issue as to any material fact" and as we are of the view that "the moving party [ i.e., the Board] is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law," Pa. R.C.P. No. 1035, we shall grant summary judgment in favor of respondents.
On June 8, 1976, petitioner was sentenced by the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County as follows: No. 757-1, November Term, 1975, one to two years to be served at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview (Rockview); No. 1, January Term, 1976, six months to one year, to be served at Rockview consecutively with No. 757-1; No. 2, January Term, 1976, six months to one year, to be served at Rockview consecutively with No. 1; No. 3, January Term, 1976, six months to one year to be served at Rockview concurrently with the above. With credit for time served, Pa. R. Crim. P. 1406(b), the effective date of said sentences was November 8, 1975.
The Clerk of Court of Schuylkill County, in an order of commitment, treated said sentences as an aggregated sentence of two to four years, i.e., the total of the minimum and maximum sentences, as did the Bureau of Correction, Department of Justice.
By this action, petitioner asserts that said aggregation was unlawful and argues that at the end of one year, i.e., the minimum sentence at No. 757-1, he became eligible for parole. The Board argues that petitioner's minimum sentence was two years*fn1 and that it could not consider petitioner for release on parole until said minimum was served.*fn2
A minimum sentence is significant for determining eligibility for parole and it serves to notify the Board as to when it may exercise its discretion to parole a prisoner. Commonwealth v. Butler, 458 Pa. 289, 328 A.2d 851 (1974); Commonwealth ex rel. Scasserra v. Baldi, 180 Pa. Superior Ct. 635, 121 A.2d 899 (1956).*fn3 Parole is not, of course, automatically ...