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JAMES H. BLAIR v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/17/86)

decided: December 17, 1986.

JAMES H. BLAIR, 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 James H. Blair, Parole No. 2629-K.

COUNSEL

Frederick I. Huganir, Assistant Public Defender of Cumberland County, for petitioner.

Robert B. Stewart, III, Chief Public Defender, for Amicus Curiae, Huntingdon County.

Scott F. Breidenbach, Assistant Public Defender, Chief of Parole Division, for Amicus Curiae, Montgomery County.

No appearance for respondent.

Judges MacPhail, Doyle and Barry, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 479]

James H. Blair (Petitioner) has filed a petition for allowance of review nunc pro tunc of a decision of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole denying him administrative relief from a parole revocation order. For the reasons which follow, we will grant the petition and allow the appeal to proceed.

The issue raised by this matter involves yet another dilemma regarding the respective responsibilities of county public defenders in representing indigent parolees who have been transferred between correctional facilities during the pendency of parole revocation proceedings and appeals. The petition now before us states that Petitioner, who was then represented by the Cumberland County Public Defender's Office (Cumberland Public Defender), was recommitted as a convicted and technical parole violator by Board order dated November 6, 1985. The Cumberland Public Defender subsequently sought administrative relief on behalf of

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 480]

Petitioner which was granted in part and denied in part by the Board on February 12, 1986.

On or about January 28, 1986, Petitioner was moved to the state correctional facility in Huntingdon County (SCI-Huntingdon). The Huntingdon County Public Defender's Office (Huntingdon Public Defender) was notified on or about February 20, 1986 of Petitioner's incarceration in Huntingdon County and was notified by the Cumberland Public Defender of appealable issues in Petitioner's parole case. Petitioner's file compiled by the Cumberland Public Defender was also forwarded to the Huntingdon Public Defender at that time.

By letter dated February 24, 1986, the Huntingdon Public Defender advised Petitioner that he should file a pro se appeal with this ...


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