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PAIGE ANDERSON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/14/84)

decided: February 14, 1984.

PAIGE ANDERSON, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole in case of Re: Paige Anderson, SCIH No. F-2350, Parole No. 2731-G.

COUNSEL

John W. Packel, Assistant Defender, Chief, Appeals Division, with him Benjamin Lerner, Defender for petitioner.

Arthur R. Thomas, Assistant Chief Counsel, with him Robert A. Greevy, Chief Counsel, Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr., and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 296]

This is an appeal by Paige Anderson (petitioner) from a denial by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (Board) of his request for administrative relief. His challenge is predicated upon the alleged failure of the Board to afford him timely preliminary hearings on two warrants resulting from charges of technical parole violations.

The chronology in this case is tangled and confusing, a condition which is hardly ameliorated by the

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 297]

    welter of conflicts and misstatements contained in the briefs of the parties. As best we can determine from the record, the petitioner was sentenced on November 15, 1972 to a prison term of six to twenty years for aggravated robbery. He was paroled on April 19, 1978 under intensive supervision with explicit conditions that he was to maintain employment and that possession or control of any weapon would constitute a violation of his parole. On October 14, 1979, petitioner was arrested by Philadelphia law enforcement authorities on charges of aggravated assault, possession of an offensive weapon, violation of the Uniform Firearms Act, and recklessly endangering another person. A bench warrant was issued for the petitioner's arrest after he failed to appear at the preliminary hearing on these charges. Then on December 24, 1979, the Petitioner was rearrested on new charges: possession of an instrument of crime, and possession of a controlled substance. Pursuant to Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole Regulation § 71.1, 37 Pa. Code § 71.1, the Board, on December 31, 1979, filed a detainer warrant against petitioner in connection with the October, 1979 arrest.*fn1 A preliminary and detention hearing was held on January 16, 1980 by the Board's hearing examiner, who determined that there was probable cause to believe that parole violations had occurred.

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 298]

With respect to the arrest of December 24, 1979, the Board issued a warrant on January 7, 1980.*fn2 On January 23, 1980, the Board forwarded to the petitioner and his counsel notice of the charges of parole violation and the date of the preliminary hearing on the charges. A preliminary and detention hearing was held on February 5, 1980, at which time the Board's hearing examiner found probable cause to detain the petitioner.

The petitioner was subsequently convicted of the crimes for which he was arrested in October and December of 1979. On January 16, 1981, there was a violation/revocation hearing with respect to both incidents. On April 14, 1981, the Board, in accordance with the recommendation of its hearing examiner, recommitted the petitioner as a technical parole violator for 12 months, and as a convicted parole violator for 36 months. In this appeal, the petitioner challenges only his recommitment on the technical violations.

The petitioner asserts that he was not afforded timely preliminary hearings in accordance with the standards contained in the Board's regulations for disposition of ...


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