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DOMINGO M. RIVERA v. GLEN R. JEFFES (SUPT.) AND PENNSYLVANIA BOARD PROBATION AND PAROLE (06/08/79)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: June 8, 1979.

DOMINGO M. RIVERA, PETITIONER
v.
GLEN R. JEFFES (SUPT.) AND PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE, RESPONDENTS

Original jurisdiction in case of Domingo M. Rivera v. Glen R. Jeffes (Supt.) and Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.

COUNSEL

Domingo M. Rivera, petitioner, for himself.

Robert A. Greevy, Assistant Attorney General, with him J. Justin Blewitt, Jr., Acting Attorney General, for respondent.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Blatt, DiSalle, Craig and MacPhail. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 317]

Before us are cross motions for summary judgment filed by Domingo M. Rivera (Petitioner) and by Glen R. Jeffes and the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (Respondents) which seek our determination of whether the parole revocation hearing held five months after Rivera's conviction was timely and commensurate with due process.

Rivera, who had been sentenced on September 26, 1975, to three identical terms of one to three years, was released on parole on August 4, 1976. He was subsequently arrested by Lehigh County authorities on August 13, 1977, released on bail,*fn1 and pled guilty on October 12, 1977, to the charge of burglary.*fn2 He was detained

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 318]

    at Lehigh County Prison where a parole violation warrant was filed on October 13, 1977. Rivera was sentenced on November 21, 1977, for a term of two to eight years to be served in a state correctional institution and was later transferred to the State Diagnostic Center at Graterford from Lehigh County Prison on November 23, 1977. Rivera signed a waiver of representation by counsel and a waiver of a full board hearing on February 15, 1978. A parole revocation hearing was held on March 7, 1978, and on March 28, 1978, the Board ordered that Rivera be recommitted as a convicted parole violator when available and provided for review after he has served 12 months on backtime.

In his motion, Rivera argues that the five months' delay between his conviction and parole revocation hearing denied him his right to a timely hearing.

Our resolution of this issue is dictated by the clear language of the Board's regulations concerning the timeliness of revocation hearings which provide in pertinent part at 37 Pa. Code ยง 71.4, 7 Pa. B. 490, that where the parolee who has pled guilty to criminal charges is confined in a county correctional institution, the final revocation hearing shall be held within 120 days of official verification of the Board of the parolee's return to a state correctional facility.

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 319]

In the instant case, the 120-day period within which Rivera's parole revocation hearing was required to be held did not begin to run until November 23, 1977, the date of his transfer to a state correctional institution. The hearing was held on March 7, 1978, within the 120-day period which lapsed on March 23, 1978. Thus, we conclude the hearing was timely held. See Thomas v. Page 319} Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, 38 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 17, 391 A.2d 714 (1978).

In his supporting affidavit, Rivera apparently raises a further challenge to his hearing, objecting to the interpretive services afforded him at the hearing. Cognizant of the fact that Rivera is unlearned in the law, we will consider and dispose of this objection as well, though not properly included in his affidavit.*fn3

Rivera appears to be contesting the adequacy of the interpretive services solely because of the interpreter's status as an inmate.*fn4 However, Rivera has not alleged any facts that the interpreter was incompetent, or that he ever refused a request by Rivera to translate or explain, or any other objection that would indicate that the interpretive services were so inadequate as to amount to a denial of due process. See Commonwealth v. Pana, 469 Pa. 43, 364 A.2d 895 (1976).

Accordingly, we

Order

And Now, this 8th day of June, 1979, the motion of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole for summary judgment in the above captioned case is granted, and the motion of Domingo Rivera for summary judgment is denied.

Disposition

Motion of petitioner denied. Motion of respondent granted.


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