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MICHAEL THREATS v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/28/86)

decided: November 28, 1986.

MICHAEL THREATS, 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 Michael Threats, dated January 28, 1986.

COUNSEL

Robert B. Stewart, III, Chief Public Defender of Huntingdon County, for petitioner.

Arthur R. Thomas, Assistant Chief Counsel, with him, Robert A. Greevy, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 316]

Recommitted parolee Michael Threats appeals the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole's January 28, 1986 denial of his request for administrative relief from the board's order, recorded on May 30, 1985, recommitting him as a technical and convicted parole violator to serve a term of unexpired backtime.

Mr. Threats presently raises two issues through which he contends that the board erred in denying administrative

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 317]

    relief. However, this court notes that Mr. Threats did not request that relief until January 16, 1986, over seven months after the board's recommitment decision.

37 Pa. Code § 71.5(h) provides:

When any errors under this chapter are alleged subsequent to the board's order, the parolee, by his attorney unless he is unrepresented, may apply to the Board within 30 days of the entry of the order for appropriate review and relief. Such application shall set forth specifically the factual and legal basis for the allegations.

Despite that mandate, the board, upon receiving Mr. Threats' request for administrative relief, addressed Mr. Threats' single request "that the Board review the technical violation for carrying a weapon in the light of the recent Rivenbark ruling since the weapon was a part of the new charge." The board denied relief, and Mr. Threats, through counsel, then timely appealed to this court.

The first question we must address is whether the board possessed the jurisdiction to address the merits of Mr. Threats' request approximately 200 days after the expiration of the thirty-day period to request administrative relief under 37 Pa. Code § 71.5(h).

Although the board could not address a request for administrative relief after thirty days from the date of its original order, it may address a request for reconsideration beyond thirty days. We therefore construe Mr. Threats' January 16 letter as such a request. The decision to grant or deny a request for reconsideration is a matter of administrative discretion and this court is empowered to reverse only for an abuse of that discretion. Southwest ...


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