No. 434 Philadelphia 1982, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, Northampton County, at No. 1982 - C - 608.
Gary Neil Asteak, Easton, for appellant.
James J. Narlesky, Assistant District Attorney, Easton, for appellee.
Rowley, Beck and Montemuro, JJ.
[ 321 Pa. Super. Page 538]
In this appeal denying habeas corpus relief to the appellant, Marion Jacobs, a/k/a Frank Davis, we are called upon to determine whether the substantive and procedural safeguards afforded by the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act*fn1 [hereinafter Extradition Act] apply to persons held under out-of-state parole violation detainers. We can determine no valid rationale to except parole violation detainers from the purview of the Extradition Act, and consequently reverse the order of the lower court.
The relevant facts of this case are as follows: On October 9, 1981, the appellant was arrested on multiple charges stemming from an incident in Northampton County. He was unable to post bail and was therefore incarcerated in Northampton County Prison to await trial.
On October 22, 1981, New Jersey authorities lodged a detainer against the appellant based on a violation of his New Jersey parole.*fn2 On November 13, 1981, the Commonwealth petitioned for, and received, an additional sixty days in which to process the appellant's extradition to New
[ 321 Pa. Super. Page 539]
Jersey. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9138. On January 22, 1982, the appellant, through counsel, filed a petition for writ of Habeas Corpus, alleging that more than ninety days had elapsed since the detainer had been lodged during which no action had been taken, and that, as such, the detainer should be lifted. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9131.
A hearing on the petition was held on January 29, 1982. On February 2, 1982, the lower court issued an order denying appellant's petition. In an opinion filed along with the order, the trial court found that the Agreement on Detainers*fn3 was inapplicable because the appellant was awaiting trial on charges in Pennsylvania, and was not under an imposed sentence of imprisonment following a conviction. The court further found that the Extradition Act did not require that the detainer be lifted because it was premised on a parole violation, not a pending criminal proceeding. The court distinguished between the two situations on various policy grounds and held that the safeguards of the Extradition Act do not apply to parole violation detainers until the detainer becomes the sole basis for custody. Because the appellant was being held on criminal charges in addition to the detainer, the provisions of the Extradition Act were found inapplicable, and relief was denied.
Our courts have often held that the lodging of a detainer against one already in custody on other charges is an "arrest." Commonwealth ex rel. Knowles v. Lester, 456 Pa. 423, 426, 321 A.2d 637, 639-40 (1974); Commonwealth v. Jacobs, supra; Commonwealth ex rel. Coffman v. Aytch, 238 Pa. Super. 584, 361 A.2d 652 (1976). We do not find any basis for distinguishing detainers based on parole violations, from those based on criminal prosecutions. The Extradition Act itself makes no ...