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Razzoli v. FCI Allenwood

January 11, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Kosik



Kevin Razzoli filed this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on November 8, 2004. At the time, he was confined at the Federal Correctional Institution at Allenwood, Pennsylvania.*fn1 He has paid the required filing fee in this matter. Named as Respondents are FCI-Allenwood, the United States Parole Commission, the District Attorney's Office located in Bronx, New York, and the United States Navy. In the petition, Razzoli challenges the denial of his release on parole. Specifically, he contends that Respondents continue to delay his release on parole through tactics which include the falsification of an incident report and the rejection of his proposed release plans. Since the filing of the petition, there has also been a development where Razzoli was found guilty of possession of a weapon within the prison. While this will be more fully discussed during the factual recitation of the case, Razzoli maintains that he was "set up" by Respondents to further thwart his parole release efforts.


The court will now set forth the tortured procedural and factual history of this case. Following the filing of the petition, an Order to Show Cause was issued directing Respondents to answer the allegations raised in the petition. (Doc. 14.) The answer was supplemented with additional information. Razzoli has filed a traverse in addition to a flurry of other filings which include motions for counsel, as well as requests for hearings, investigations and discovery.*fn2

Razzoli was sentenced by the Naval Court Martial on December 1, 1987, to 25 years imprisonment for attempted murder and other offenses. (Doc. 34, Ex. 1.) He was paroled from this sentence on April 9, 2001. (Id., Ex. 2.) He thereafter violated the conditions of parole. After accepting an expedited revocation proposal pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 2.66, the Parole Commission ordered Razzoli's parole revoked, and that he serve 8 months -- until August 17, 2002. (Id., Ex. 3.)

Razzoli was re-paroled September 16, 2002, to remain under parole supervision until November 14, 2012. (Id., Ex. 4.) This parole was revoked in October of 2003, on a charge of use of dangerous and habit-forming drugs. Razzoli was again re-paroled on December 19, 2003, with a full-term date of November 14, 2012. (Id., Ex. 6.)

On January 30, 2004, the Parole Commission issued a warrant charging Razzoli with violating his conditions of parole.*fn3 He was later arrested on the warrant on February 9, 2004. The warrant was supplemented by the Parole Commission on March 13, 2004, with a charge of possession of a controlled substance, based on Petitioner's criminal conviction on said offense. Petitioner was offered eligibility for an expedited revocation procedure which he ultimately accepted on April 22, 2004. Pursuant to the proposal, Petitioner accepted responsibility for his violation behavior, waived his right to a revocation hearing and appeal, and accepted the sanction proposed by the Commission - - the revocation of his parole, no credit for time spent on parole and re-parole effective September 28, 2004. (Doc. 34, Ex. 12.)

In his petition, Razzoli claims that he appended a page to the expedited revocation proposal adding a requirement that he be placed in a halfway house, in return for his dropping a pending court action. Razzoli also proposed that he be given a certificate of expiration after service of two-thirds of his sentence.*fn4

By Notice of Action dated September 29, 2004, the Parole Commission reopened Razzoli's case and retarded his effective parole date by 60 days for violating the rules of the institution. Specifically, he had been found guilty of interfering with a staff member in the performance of duties.*fn5 The new effective parole date became November 27, 2004. (Id., Ex. 13.)

As the new release date approached, Razzoli was informed by the Bureau of Prisons that his submitted release plans were not acceptable to the supervising Probation Office, and that he was ineligible to be released to a halfway house due to the existence of a pending detainer. (Id., Ex. 14.) However, in the petition Razzoli claims that the District Attorney's Office in Bronx, New York, had instructed the BOP to lift all warrants on him and further informed them that New York would not be extraditing him. Respondents claimed, however, that an active warrant on Razzoli was still in place. The BOP requested that the release date be retarded to allow additional time for release planning. (Id.) The Parole Commission retarded Razzoli's date by 60 days to January 26, 2005. (Id. at 15.)

Razzoli filed an administrative appeal contending that the terms of the expedited revocation agreement prohibited the Commission from retarding his release date, and alleged retaliatory motives on the part of the Commission. The National Appeals Board decided to consider an appeal filed by Razzoli, and affirmed the decision of the Commission, citing to the expedited revocation agreement wherein Razzoli had acknowledged his understanding that his reparole date was contingent upon maintaining a record of good conduct at the institution and submitting an acceptable release plan. (Id., Ex. 16.)

Thereafter, in a Memorandum dated January 25, 2005, the BOP informed the Commission that Razzoli requested relocation to supervision in New Jersey. The U.S. Probation Office for the District of New Jersey denied Razzoli's request to relocate there. (Id., Ex. 17.) In noting this along with the fact that Razzoli continued to be subject to a pending detainer, the BOP reopened Razzoli's case and retarded his release date for an additional 60 days to a new parole effective date of March 27, 2005. (Doc. 34, Ex. 18, Notice of Action.)

As the March 27, 2005 date approached, the Parole Commission was informed by Razzoli's case manager at FCI-Allenwood that a viable release plan had not yet been established. (Doc. 62, Ex. 22, Memorandum.) The Commission thereafter reopened Razzoli's case, retarded his parole effective date of March 27, 2005, and scheduled a special hearing on the next docket to consider a release plan. (Id., Ex. 23.)

In early June 2005, the Commission received a letter from the United States Probation Office for the Northern District of Illinois stating the Razzoli's proposed release plan was denied. Although a residence proposed by Razzoli had been verified by the Probation Office, relocation to the Northern District of Illinois was denied based upon the fact that Razzoli had an active warrant for his arrest pending out of the Bronx, New York, for failure to pay a $300.00 fine and had no ties to the Chicago, Illinois area other than business ties with his attorney, Louis Buffardi, and he had no firm employment established. While the Probation Office acknowledged that Razzoli claimed to be in the process of establishing a produce business in Chicago to be sold locally, it was noted that it would be better to have an established business or firm job offer in place. (Id., Ex. 24, Letter.)

A special reconsideration hearing was conducted by the Commission on June 8, 2005. At the hearing, Razzoli was represented by Attorney Buffardi. It was noted by the hearing examiner that the fine which served as the basis of the Bronx, New York detainer had been paid by Razzoli on June 7, 2005. (Doc. 62, Ex. 25, Hearing Summary.)

The hearing examiner proceeded to review Razzoli's release plans with him. Razzoli expressed his desire to relocate to Chicago. The hearing examiner recommended that the Commission retard Razzoli's parole effective date until an acceptable release plan was developed. This recommendation was adopted and Razzoli informed of such via a Notice of Action dated June 27, 2005. He was further advised that his case would be reviewed every 30 days. (Id., Ex. 26.)

On June 28, 2005, the Chief Probation Officer for this district informed the court that he had advised prison officials at FCI-Allenwood that the Probation Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania would be willing to accept Razzoli under parole supervision provided that there was a suitable release plan. (Id., Ex. 27.)

On July 22, 2005, the Commission was informed by Razzoli's case manager at FCI- Allenwood that a release plan had been sent to the Southern District of New York on July 6, 2005, but it was not yet known whether it had been approved. (Id., Ex. 28.) On July 25, 2005, there was still no approved plan. The Commission conducted a 30 ...

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