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Commonwealth ex rel. Vanderpool v. Abrams

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

May 17, 2017

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ex rel. Patrick Vanderpool
v.
Mr. Abrams/Mr. Lemasters, John Does and Jane Does to be named Appeal of: Patrick Vanderpool

          Submitted February 3, 2017

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM

         Patrick Vanderpool (Vanderpool) appeals, pro se, from the Greene County Common Pleas Court's (trial court) August 6, 2015 order granting the motion of the Commonwealth's Office of General Counsel on behalf of Progress Community Corrections Center (PCCC) Director(s) M. Gary Abrams and/or David Lemasters, John Doe and Jane Doe (hereinafter, Commonwealth) to dismiss Vanderpool's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Petition). Essentially, the issues for this Court's review are: (1) whether Vanderpool's appeal was timely, and (2) whether the trial court violated Vanderpool's due process rights by denying the Petition without a hearing.[1] Upon review, we dismiss Vanderpool's appeal as untimely.

         Vanderpool is a sex-offender parolee housed at PCCC in Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania. PCCC is a secure community corrections facility located adjacent to the State Correctional Institution at Greene (SCI-Greene). On or about April 2, 2015, Vanderpool and 21 other similarly-situated parolees (Petitioners) filed nearly identical petitions, in which they claimed that, despite having been paroled from their respective correctional institutions, they are still effectively incarcerated at PCCC. On April 20, 2015, the Commonwealth filed a motion to consolidate the 22 cases, which Vanderpool opposed. The trial court granted the Commonwealth's motion and consolidated the cases on May 12, 2015. On May 18, 2015, the trial court ordered the Commonwealth to respond to the 22 petitions.

         By July 6, 2015 motion to dismiss the petitions without a hearing (Motion), the Commonwealth stated that "the writ [of habeas corpus] may be used only to extricate a petitioner from illegal confinement or to secure relief from conditions of confinement that constitute cruel and unusual punishment. [Commonwealth ex rel. Fortune v.] Dragovich[, 792 A.2d 1257 (Pa. Super. 2002)]."[2]Motion at 7. Specifically, the Commonwealth declared:

The . . . Petitioners were unable to secure an appropriate home plan prior to release from their respective state correctional institutions. However, the Petitioners were paroled . . . to [PCCC] in order to afford them an opportunity to maintain sexual offender counseling. This transition serves as an intermediate step prior to their release into the community, once a submitted home plan is approved.
. . . .
[T]he alternative to paroling the Petitioners . . . to [PCCC] would be to deny their parole until such time as they either obtain an approved home plan or their sentence expires.

Motion at 9-10. By July 28, 2015 order, docketed August 6, 2015, the trial court granted the Commonwealth's Motion.

         On September 10, 2015, Vanderpool appealed from the trial court's order.[3] Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure (Pa.R.A.P.) 903(a) requires that an appeal from a trial court's order "shall be filed within 30 days after the entry of the order from which the appeal is taken." Pa.R.A.P. 105(b) also prohibits this Court from "enlarg[ing] the time for filing a notice of appeal, a petition for allowance of appeal, a petition for permission to appeal, or a petition for review." See One Tree Condominium Ass'n v. Greene, 133 A.3d 113 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2016); In re Kemmerer, 405 A.2d 1108, 1109 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1979). Accordingly, Vanderpool was required to file his appeal from the trial court's order by September 8, 2015. Because he did not file his appeal until September 10, 2015, it was untimely and, thus, must be dismissed.[4]

         Based on the foregoing, Vanderpool's appeal is dismissed as untimely filed.[5]

          Judge Cosgrove concurs in the result only.

         ORDER

         AND NOW, this 17th day of May, 2017, we hereby dismiss as untimely Patrick Vanderpool's appeal from the Greene County ...


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