United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MARK A. MADDEN, Petitioner
VINCENT F. MOONEY, et al., Respondents
Christopher C. Conner, United States District Chief Judge
Mark Madden (“Madden”), an inmate formerly
confined at the State Correctional Institution, Coal
Township, Pennsylvania, initiated this action with the filing of
a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. (Doc. 1). Therein, he contends that the
Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole
(“PBPP”) violated his constitutional rights when
the PBPP revoked his parole and calculated his parole
violation maximum date as September 10, 2022. (Id.)
For the reasons that follow, the petition will be denied.
16, 2006, Madden was released on parole from three sentences
in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. (Doc. 10-1, pp. 2-5). At
that time, his maximum sentence expiration date was November
21, 2014. (Id. at p. 2).
December 17, 2008, Madden was arrested by the Federal Bureau
of Investigation and charged with new federal crimes of bank
fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
(Id. at p. 7). On October 22, 2009, Madden entered a
guilty plea and was sentenced to four, concurrent, six year
terms of imprisonment. (Id. at pp. 9-14; United
States v. Madden, No. 08-CR-1278 (S.D.N.Y)).
to his release by federal authorities, Madden was returned to
Pennsylvania and charged with violating his parole. (Doc.
10-1, p. 16). On May 9, 2014, Madden waived his right to a
parole revocation hearing and right to counsel, and admitted
that he was convicted of the new federal offenses in
violation of his parole. (Id. at p. 18). On July 30,
2014, the PBPP revoked Madden's parole based on the new
federal convictions and recommitted him as a convicted parole
violator to serve twenty-four months backtime. (Id.
at p. 20). The PBPP established his parole violation maximum
date as September 10, 2022. (Id.)
August 2014, Madden filed an administrative appeal
challenging the PBPP's July 30, 2014 decision.
(Id. at pp. 22-24). On October 30, 2014, the PBPP
denied the administrative appeal, and affirmed the July 30,
2014 decision. (Id. at pp. 28-29).
December 15, 2014, Madden initiated proceedings in the
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. (Id. at pp. 31-34).
On December 29, 2014, the Commonwealth Court quashed
Madden's petition for review as untimely filed.
(Id. at p. 38). On January 7, 2015, Madden filed a
motion for reconsideration. (Id. at pp. 40-42). The
Commonwealth Court denied the motion for reconsideration on
January 12, 2015. (Id. at p. 44). Madden did not
file an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
instant petition was filed on February 27, 2015. (Doc. 1).
petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenges the
PBPP's revocation of his parole and calculation of his
parole violation maximum date. Absent unusual circumstances,
federal courts will not consider the merits of a claim for
habeas corpus unless the petitioner has complied with the
exhaustion requirement set out at 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b)(1)(A). This provision requires that the petitioner
give the state courts a fair opportunity to review
allegations of constitutional error before seeking relief in
federal court. See Baldwin v. Reese, 541 U.S. 27, 29 (2004).
Pursuant to the habeas statute, a petitioner has not
exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the state
“if he has the right under the law of the State to
raise, by any available procedure, the question
presented.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(c). Petitioner bears
the burden of demonstrating that he has satisfied the
exhaustion requirement. See Lines v. Larkins, 208 F.3d 153,
159 (3d Cir. 2000).
properly exhaust a claim involving a determination by the
PBPP, the petitioner must first file a petition for
administrative review with the PBPP within thirty days of the
mailing date of the PBPP's decision. See 37 Pa.Code
§ 73.1(a). After an administrative appeal to the PBPP, a
petitioner must present his claims to the Pennsylvania
Commonwealth Court. See 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 763(a); Bronson
v. Pennsylvania Bd. of Prob. and Parole, 491 Pa. 549, 421
A.2d 1021 (1980). If dissatisfied with the result, petitioner
must then file a Petition for Allowance of Appeal with the
Pennsylvania Supreme Court. See 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 724;
McMahon v. Pennsylvania Bd. of Prob. and Parole, 504 Pa. 240,
470 A.2d 1337 (1983). See also Pagan v. Pennsylvania Bd. of
Prob. and Parole, No. 08-0150, 2009 WL 210488 *3 (E.D. Pa.
January 22, 2009). If petitioner fails to seek review from
the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, then the state claim is
unexhausted. See Williams v. Wynder, 232 F. App'x 177,
181 (3d Cir. 2007).
fails to demonstrate that he satisfied the exhaustion
requirement. Initially, he filed a petition for
administrative review of the revocation with the PBPP, which
affirmed the decision. (Doc. 10-1, pp. 22-24). A petition for
review was filed in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on
December 15, 2014, and, on December 29, 2014, the court
quashed the appeal as untimely. (Id. at pp. 31-38).
Madden failed to file an appeal in the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court. As such, he has not exhausted his state court remedies
and the time to do so has expired. See Pa. R.A.P. 1113(a)
(“a petition for allowance of appeal shall be filed
with the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court within 30 days
after the entry of the order of the Superior Court or the
Commonwealth Court sought to be reviewed”).
failure to timely present his claims at the state level
constitutes an independent and adequate state ground
sufficient to support a procedural default of his claims. See
Barnhart v. Kyler, 318 F.Supp.2d 250 (M.D. Pa. 2004). The
merits of his procedurally defaulted claims cannot be
reviewed unless he demonstrates either cause for the
procedural default and actual prejudice, or that a
fundamental miscarriage of justice will result if the court
does not review the claims. See McCandless v. Vaughn, 172
F.3d 255, 260 (3d Cir. 1999); Caswell v. Ryan, 953 F.2d 853,
861-62 (3d Cir. 1992). To demonstrate “cause” for
a procedural default, he must point to some objective
external factor which impeded his efforts to comply with the
state's procedural rule. See Murray v. Carrier, 477 U.S.
478, 488 (1986). “Prejudice” will be satisfied
only if he can demonstrate that the outcome of the state
proceeding was “unreliable or fundamentally
unfair” as a result of a violation of federal law. See
Lockhart v. Fretwell, 506 U.S. 364, 366 (1993). Madden has
not established ...