Submitted: February 23, 2018
BEFORE: HONORABLE MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, President Judge
HONORABLE MICHAEL H. WOJCIK, Judge HONORABLE DAN PELLEGRINI,
HANNAH LEAVITT, PRESIDENT JUDGE.
Dill, an inmate at SCI-Benner Township, petitions for review
of an adjudication of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and
Parole (Board) that denied his challenge to the Board's
recalculation of his maximum sentence date. Dill contends
that because the Board did not conduct a revocation hearing
within 120 days of receiving official verification of his
conviction on new criminal charges, its sentence
recalculation was a nullity. His counsel, David Crowley,
Esq., has petitioned for leave to withdraw from
representation of Dill. For the following reasons, we grant
Counsel's petition and affirm the Board's order.
December 11, 1984, Dill was sentenced to 12 years, 6 months
to 25 years upon his conviction for robbery and related
charges. When Dill was paroled on October 24, 1993, his
maximum sentence date was April 24, 2006.
December 5, 1996, Dill was charged criminally for possession
of a controlled substance and incarcerated in Delaware County
prison. That same day the Board issued a detainer against
Dill both for new charges and for several technical parole
violations. Dill requested a continuance of the parole
revocation hearing "[t]o await disposition of all
outstanding criminal charges." Certified Record at 30
(C.R. ___). While in Delaware County prison, Dill was charged
with the federal crime of interference with interstate
commerce by robbery and related firearms charges. After the
state charges against Dill were dismissed,  a federal bench
warrant for his arrest was issued. On June 25, 1997, Dill was
taken into federal custody. On July 2, 1997, Dill was
"detained without bail pending trial" by the
federal court. C.R. 40.
November 10, 1997, Dill was convicted of the federal robbery
charges and sentenced to incarceration for 262 months. On
November 12, 1997, the Board received official verification
of the conviction. On June 28, 1998, the Board lodged a
detainer against Dill on the federal criminal conviction.
March 2, 2016, Dill was released from federal prison to the
Board's detainer. On March 23, 2016, the Board conducted
a revocation hearing on Dill's outstanding technical
parole violations and the criminal parole violation. At that
hearing, the technical parole violations were dropped because
Dill's former parole agent could not be located to
testify. Evidence of Dill's federal conviction was
entered into evidence.
moved for a dismissal of the revocation proceeding for the
stated reason that the applicable statute required a parole
violator to serve backtime on a state sentence before serving
time on a new federal sentence. Dill contended that the Board
should have removed him from federal custody to complete his
backtime in state prison. Dill then testified about his
accomplishments in federal prison. After completing several
courses in health and wellness, Dill became an instructor in
the federal prison on physical fitness and physical therapy.
He is now 61 years old and would like to live outside prison
for the remainder of his life.
Board recommitted Dill to serve 12 months backtime for his
criminal parole violation and recalculated his maximum
sentence date to May 15, 2027. Dill filed an administrative
appeal, asserting that the revocation hearing was untimely.
The Board denied the appeal, explaining that at the time of
Dill's conviction on the federal charges, the applicable
statute required him to serve the federal sentence before
serving backtime on his state sentence. Accordingly, Dill did
not become available to the Board until his release from
federal custody in 2016, at which point the Board promptly
conducted a parole revocation hearing.
has petitioned for this Court's review, arguing that his
revocation hearing was untimely and, thus, the Board had no
authority to recalculate his maximum sentence
date. Counsel has filed an application to
withdraw from Dill's representation and a brief pursuant
to Anders v. State of California, 386 U.S. 738
(1967), that explains why Dill's appeal lacks merit.
evaluating a petition for leave to withdraw from
representation of a parolee, we must determine whether
counsel has satisfied the following requirements: (1)
notifying the inmate of the application to withdraw; (2)
providing the inmate with a copy of the Anders brief
or a no-merit letter in accordance with Commonwealth v.
Turner, 544 A.2d 927 (Pa. 1988); and (3) advising the
inmate of his right to retain new counsel or file a brief on
his own behalf. Miskovitch v. Pennsylvania Board of
Probation and Parole, 77 A.3d 66, 69 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2013).
If counsel has fully complied with the technical requirements
for withdraw, the Court will independently review the merits
of the inmate's claims.
the record reflects that Counsel has notified Dill of the
application to withdraw; has provided Dill with a copy of the
Anders brief that details Counsel's review of the issues
and the reasons why Counsel concluded those issues lack
merit; and has advised Dill of his right to retain new
counsel or raise any new points he might deem worthy of
consideration. Because Counsel has satisfied the procedural
requirements for withdrawal, the Court will review the
inmate's claims. Accordingly, we turn to the merits of
process requires that a parolee receive a timely hearing
after he is taken into custody for a parole violation.
See Taylor, 931 A.2d at 117 (citing Morrissey v.
Brewer, 408 U.S. 471 (1972)). In accordance with that
principle, the Board has obligated itself by regulation to
hold a parole revocation hearing within 120 days of receiving
official verification of the parolee's conviction. 37 Pa.
Code §71.4(1). Because the Board learned of Dill's
federal conviction almost 20 years before it held a
revocation hearing, he argues that his ...