AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Corrections Law for Jails, Prisons and Detention Facilities
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D.C. prisoners who
were convicted of criminal acts committed before March 3, 1985 sued parole
officials, claiming that they violated the Ex Post Facto Clause of the
Constitution by applying to their cases parole guidelines that were issued
in 2000, instead of the 1972 parole guidelines that were in effect at the
time of their offenses. A federal appeals court reversed the dismissal
of the lawsuit, finding that the plaintiffs had plausibly alleged that
the application of the later guidelines created a "significant risk"
that their incarceration would be prolonged. Daniel v. Fulwood, #12-5327,
766 F.3d 57 (D.C. Cir. 2014).
In a class action lawsuit by disabled state prisoners and parolees, the state of California challenged a 2012 order modifying an earlier injunction, ordering the state to take specified actions to make sure that disabled inmates were given needed accommodations. The appeals court rejected arguments that the injunction was issued without giving it adequate notice of opportunity to respond. While a state statute had altered the balance of power between the state and its counties somewhat, it did not absolve the state of all of its disability discrimination obligations as to disabled parolees placed in county jails to serve state-imposed sentences. The modified injunction also did not violate the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3626. Armstrong v. Brown, #12-17103, 732 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2014).
A $1.925 million settlement has been reached in a case in which an atheist parolee was jailed after he complained about being compelled to participate in a faith-based drug rehab program that violated his beliefs. He served a year in prison on a narcotics conviction and was initially released on parole, but had that parole revoked following his complaints to parole officials about having to participate in a drug recovery program that would require him to acknowledge the existence of a "higher power." His lawsuit, filed after serving an additional three months in prison, sought damages from both the California Department of Corrections and the private substance abuse firm the state contracted with to carry out drug treatment programs for parolees. The state will pay the plaintiff $1 million under the settlement, while the private firm will pay $925,000. The California Department of Corrections also issued a directive that parolees who object to faith-based treatment programs should be referred to nonreligious programs. Hazle v. Crofoot, #2:08-cv-02295, U.S. Dist. Court, (E.D. Calif. Oct. 14, 2014). In a federal appeals court case prior to the settlement, Hazle v. Crofoot, #11-15354, 727 F.3d 983 (9th Cir. 2013), the court held that the plaintiff was entitled to compensatory damages because his First Amendment rights to religious freedom were violated when his parole was revoked because he refused to participate in the residential drug treatment program. He should have been granted a new trial after a jury awarded him nothing, the court ruled.
A Michigan prisoner was sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole for drug offenses. At the time of his arrest, he was 17 years and 10 months old and he was 18 years and 7 months old when sentenced. A Michigan Supreme Court decision later held that life without parole for simple drug possession was unconstitutional. The prisoner was denied parole at his first opportunity, and in 2012, the Parole Board indicated that it had no interest in taking action on his case then, scheduling his next interview for 2017. A federal appeals court rejected a claim that the parole consideration process failed to provide him with a meaningful opportunity to obtain his release in violation of due process, but allowed him to proceed with his claim that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated, since the trial court had failed to take into account his youth at the time of his arrest. Wershe v. Combs, #13-1209, 763 F.3d 500 (6th Cir. 2014).
A former Iowa prisoner claimed that the Parole Board and State violated his constitutional rights based on a failure to conduct annual in-person interviews as to whether to grant parole. This claim was barred, a federal appeals court held, due to the plaintiff's failure to exhaust available administrative remedies before suing. Martin v. State of Iowa, #12-3714, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 9200 (8th Cir.).
A paroled sex offender filed a federal civil rights lawsuit challenging two conditions of his parole: a residency restriction and a requirement that he submit to aq type of electronic monitoring incorporating a GPS device. A federal appeals court held that the fact that his conviction or sentence had not been overturned or set aside did not bar his federal civil rights lawsuit because it was not a collateral attack on either the fact of his confinement as a parolee or on his underlying conviction or sentence. He only challenged two parole conditions, both of which were imposed through an exercise of discretion. His success in the lawsuit would not result in a speedier release from parole, nor would it imply the invalidity of his conviction. Thornton v. Brown, #11-56146, 724 F.3d 1255 (9th Cir. 2013).
The California Department of Corrections was statutorily immune under state law from a lawsuit for damages stemming from the alleged erroneous revocation of parole. The plaintiff could not pursue his false imprisonment claim on the basis of his detention on a supposed parole violation after his parole had already expired. Torres v. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, #B242586, 2013 Cal. App. Lexis 526.
A number of plaintiffs claimed that they had been the victims of a $60 million fraudulent Ponzi investment scheme masterminded by a Utah prisoner out on parole, causing them to lose $27 million. The conditions of his parole prohibited him from leaving the state, handling other people's money, or being self-employed. A lawsuit against the state of Utah claimed that inadequate supervision of the parolee had allowed him to travel extensively and operate a multi-state real estate investment Ponzi scheme. The Utah Supreme Court found that the state was immune from liability for injuries arising out of deceit and that the dismissal of the lawsuit on the basis of governmental immunity was timely. Van De Grift v. State Court, #20110994, 2013 UT 11, 2013 Utah Lexis 12, 729 Utah Adv.
New York state prisoners claimed that there was an unwritten policy of denying parole to all those convicted of violent felonies and that this violated their due process and equal protection rights. The court ruled that New York state law did not create any legitimate expectancy of parole, so the prisoners had no protected liberty interest in being granted parole. A policy of taking into account the severity of the crime committed when making parole decisions was neither arbitrary nor capricious. There was a "self-evident" rational basis for a distinction in parole determinations between violent and nonviolent offenders. Violent offenders may pose a greater danger to public safety. Graziano v. Pataki, #11–116, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 16147 (2nd Cir.).
Virginia state law created a limited protected interest in being considered for parole but not in release on parole. A federal appeals court rejected the claim of eleven inmates serving sentences for violent offenses that their due process and ex post facto rights were violated by a supposed unwritten policy of denying prisoners like them parole. The parole board could consistently decide to exercise its discretion to deny parole to prisoners convicted of violent offenses without violating their rights. Burnette v. Fahey, #11-1324, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 13925 (4th Cir.).
The U.S. Supreme Court held that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for juvenile murderers violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The ruling came in two consolidated cases of juveniles given such sentences after being convicted of murder at the age of 14. Miller v. Alabama, #10-9646, 2012 U.S. Lexis 4877.
A parole board voted to deny parole to a prisoner serving a sentence for the second-degree murder of a police officer. He sued the board members for violating his civil rights. The court found that the denial did not violate his procedural or substantive due process rights. There is no federal constitutionally protected liberty interest in receiving parole unless the language of a state statute creates an entitlement to parole once statutory conditions are satisfied. It was not arbitrary, shocking, or unreasonable for the board members to exercise their discretion to take into account the special interests of law enforcement. No violation of his right to equal protection of law was shown even if it were true, as he claimed, that his application for parole was given less favorable consideration because the victim of his crime was a police officer. He had not shown that the board had a policy of permanently barring parole to all prisoners whose victims were police officers. Jimenez v. Conrad, #11-1180, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 9051 (1st Cir.).
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal appeals court ruling ordering California officials to grant parole to an inmate convicted of attempted murder. The Court held that "there is no right under the federal Constitution to be conditionally released before the expiration of a valid sentence, and the states are under no duty to offer parole to their prisoners." The "responsibility for assuring that the constitutionally adequate procedures governing California's parole system are properly applied rests with California courts, and is no part of the Ninth Circuit’s business." Swarthout v. Cooke, #10–333, 2011 U.S. Lexis 486
A class action lawsuit brought by California life-term prisoners asserted that Proposition 9, the "Victims' Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy's Law," which modified the availability and frequency of parole hearings, violated their constitutional rights, specifically the Ex Post Facto Clause, which prohibits the retroactive enhancement of punishment. Overturning a trial court's injunction against the law's enforcement as an abuse of discretion, a federal appeals court found that the mechanism allowing prisoners to request advance hearings provided for by the statute was sufficient to reduce any risk that the prisoners would improperly be subjected to increased punishment. Gilman v. Schwarzenegger, #10-15471, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 24842 (9th Cir.).
The State of California has reached a $20 million settlement with Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped in 1991 at age 11 and found in August of 2009 living in a shed in the backyard of Phillip Garrido, a registered sex offender who had been on parole since January of 1988. Garrido allegedly fathered two children with her, and he and his wife have been charged with 29 felonies in connection with the woman's captivity. The state attorney general's office issued a report stating that the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation failed to properly keep tabs on Garrido or properly supervise the officers assigned to his case. "While it is true that Garrido's California parole was never officially violated, our review shows that Garrido committed numerous parole violations and that the department failed to properly supervise Garrido and missed numerous opportunities to discover his victims." The report also indicates that, at one point, parole officers visiting Garrido actually spoke to Dugard and one of her daughters, but failed to investigate their identities or their relationship to the parolee. The settlement will go to the woman, now 30, and her daughters.
Wisconsin's parole system is "completely discretionary," so that the plaintiff prisoner had no liberty interest concerning being eligible for parole, and could not pursue a procedural due process claim based on an alleged informal policy of not paroling sex offenders until they had completed a sex offender treatment program. The prisoner claimed that he had, in fact, finished such a program, but that the certificate of that completion was removed from his records after he angered the directors of the program, and therefore could not be granted a parole hearing. The appeals court also found that the conduct alleged, even if true, did not shock the conscience, as required for a substantive due process claim. Bartley v. Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections, No. 07-2059, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 28430 (7th Cir.).
An Arkansas prisoner had no constitutionally protected liberty interest in the possibility of parole after the parole board reviewed its prior favorable decision, and therefore was not entitled to due process. A federal appeals court rejected the prisoner's argument that the parole board violated his due process rights when they failed to give him notice or the opportunity to participate in a hearing before they rescinded their prior decision to grant him parole. Hamilton v. Brownlee, No. 06-2304, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 13567 (8th Cir.).
Members of Missouri parole board were entitled to absolute immunity in lawsuit by former inmate claiming that they violated his due process and equal protection rights in imposing conditions of parole, including participation in a treatment program for sex offenders, despite his claim that he had been improperly classified as a sex offender. Mayorga v. Missouri, No. 05-2762, 442 F.3d 1128 (8th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
A prisoner serving a life sentence has no constitutionally protected liberty or property interest in a chance to be granted parole, so that a state does not violate his rights by failing to grant him a hearing on any of the factual issues involved in parole. Grennier v. Frank, No. 05-3964, 453 F.3d 442 (7th Cir. 2006) [N/R]
A parolee's right to confront witnesses against him in his parole revocation hearing was not violated by the admission into evidence of two urinalysis lab reports concerning possible drug use, when the reports were certified, which ensured that they were reliable. At the hearing, his parole was revoked and then restored upon the condition that he complete a mandatory drug treatment program. Nieblas v. New York State Bd. of Parole, 813 N.Y.S.2d 271 (A.D. 3rd Dept. 2006). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that officials violated his due process rights by requiring him to agree to take anti-psychotic medications specified by a program coordinator of a sex offender treatment program as a condition of parole was not frivolous, and should not have been dismissed on that basis. The prisoner stated a possible claim for infringement on his liberty interest in avoiding the unwanted administration of anti-psychotic medications. Bundy v. Stommel, No. 05-1099, 168 Fed. Appx. 870 (10th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
Parole Board members were entitled to absolute immunity on female prisoner's claim that she was unlawfully incarcerated on her previously suspended sentence after they revoked her parole. Warden of prison was also entitled to absolute immunity when her reincarceration was based on facially valid orders of the trial court and Parole Board. Figg v. Russell, No. 05-1249, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 131 (8th Cir.). [2006 JB Feb]
Prisoner could pursue constitutional due process claim that his rights were violated by parole officials conducting a parole hearing via "techno screen" rather than in person, if success on this claim would not necessarily require his speedier or immediate release. Yourdon v. Johnson, No 02-0003, 128 Fed. Appx. 833 (2nd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
A parole violator who was confined at a New York state drug treatment campus was a "prisoner" subject to the requirement in the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e, requiring him to exhaust available administrative remedies before pursuing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the county, sheriff, and correctional officers. Summary judgment was therefore properly granted to the defendants based on his failure to comply with this requirement before pursuing his lawsuit. Ruggiero v. County of Orange, No. 03 CIV. 1396, 386 F. Supp. 2d 434 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
D.C. prisoner denied parole by federal Parole Commission failed to establish a violation of his federal civil rights or unlawfully arbitrary action in denying him a representative at his parole hearing under rules which did not apply equally to federal prisoners seeking parole. Settles v. US Parole Comm'n, No. 03-5368, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 24018 (D.C. Cir.). [2005 JB Dec]
California parole agents and other defendants were immune from liability for detainee's incarceration in county jail for 25 days based on mistaken identity under state statute which provides immunity for both public agencies and employees for claims arising out of determinations as to whether to parole or release a prisoner. Perez-Torres v. State, No. B179327, 33 Cal. Rptr. 3d 227 (Cal. App. 2nd Dist. 2005). [N/R]
Pennsylvania prisoner's federal civil rights claim for damages from court officials for allegedly mishandling his appeal of the revocation of his parole could not be pursued under the rule established in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), until and unless his allegedly unconstitutional imprisonment for parole violation had been overturned. Thomas v. Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, No. CIV 1:CV050623, 375 F. Supp. 2d 406 (M.D. Pa. 2005). [N/R]
A Pennsylvania inmate could properly pursue his claim that his First Amendment rights were violated by a state parole procedure requiring him to attend a drug program based on religion and a belief in a higher power through a federal civil rights lawsuit. Should he succeed in proving his claim, this would not have shown the invalidity of either his confinement or its duration, but merely demonstrate that the parole board used unlawful factors in making a parole determination, and would have required merely a reconsideration of his parole rather than his immediate release. Accordingly, his claims were not barred under the principles set forth in Wilkinson v. Dotson, No. 03-287, 125 S. Ct. 1242 (2005), stating that a federal civil rights action concerning the unconstitutionality of state parole procedures may not be pursued under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 if "success in that action would necessarily demonstrate the invalidity of confinement or its duration." Nelson v. Horn, No. 03-2284, 138 Fed. Appx. 411 (3rd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
Parole officials were not entitled to absolute immunity for allegedly refusing to investigate a parolee's claim that the revocation of his probation had been overturned, and that therefore he should not be on parole. Dawson v. Newman, No. 04-2894, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 17487 (7th Cir.). [2005 JB Oct]
Michigan law allowing prosecutors and crime victims to file appeals from decisions granting prisoners parole did not violate an inmate's right to equal protection, despite the fact that prisoners were not granted any equivalent right to appeal from denials of parole. Jackson v. Jamrog, No. 02-2057 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 10035 (6th Cir.). [2005 JB Jul]
Parole Board properly refused to credit a parole violator with the time he spent in an in-patient drug and alcohol treatment facility against the maximum term of his sentence. Although his participation in the program was a condition of parole, residents of the program were not kept there against their will and the program's policy was not to stop anyone from leaving. Accordingly, the time spent there was not "confinement." Willis v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, 842 A.2d 490 (Pa. Cmwlth 2004). [N/R] Inmate of halfway house had no due process right to a disciplinary hearing before a facility employee reported his alleged violations of the conditions of his parole to parole authorities. Malena v. Richard, No. 04-10663, 117 Fed. Appx. 355 (5th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
Kansas state regulation imposing a $25 monthly supervision fee on parolees and prison officials' deduction of that amount from prisoner's inmate account did not violate due process rights under the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendment. Taylor v. Sebelius, No. CIV.A. 04-3063, 350 F. Supp. 2d 888 (D. Kan. 2004).[N/R]
U.S. Supreme Court rules that prisoners could challenge state parole procedures through a federal civil rights lawsuit, and were not required to instead seek habeas corpus relief, when success in their challenge would not directly result in their release from custody. Wilkinson v. Dotson, 03-287, 2005 U.S. Lexis 2204. [2005 JB Apr]
Requirement that a prisoner participate in Narcotics Anonymous, a 12-step program requiring acknowledgment of a belief in a "higher power," or else not be eligible for parole, was an unconstitutional establishment of religion, in violation of the First Amendment. Turner v. Hickman, No. CIVS-99-1869, 342 F. Supp. 2d 887 (E.D. Cal. 2004). [2005 JB Mar]
The failure of the Parole Board to revoke an offender's parole after he pled guilty to burglary was not a violation of his civil rights or an abuse of discretion. The offender argued that the failure to revoke his parole resulted in him being free and subsequently committing another crime for which he was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment, and he argued that he would not have committed that crime or received that sentence if the Parole Board had previously revoked his parole. The appeals court noted that the prisoner "received a benefit" when his parole was not revoked, and did not complain about it at the time, so that he could not complain about it now. Marshall v. Ruth, No. 2003-CP-00084-COA, 882 So. 2d 252 (Miss. App. 2004). [N/R]
Psychologist was entitled to absolute immunity from liability for performing an evaluation of a prisoner for the purpose of assisting a parole board in making its parole determination. His assessment was an "adjudicative act." Williams v. Consovoy, No. 01-1809 (MLC), 333 F. Supp. 2d 297 (D.N.J. 2004). [N/R]
Oregon Parole Board's retroactive application of an amended parole statute to extend the release date of a prisoner convicted of raping and sodomizing his daughter violated his constitutional right against retroactive enhancement of his punishment. Brown v. Palmateer, No. 03-35618, 379 F.3d 1089 (9th Cir. 2004). [2004 JB Dec]
Federal appeals court rejects California inmates' claim that governor and Board of Prison Terms engaged in an unconstitutional conspiracy to enforce an "unwritten policy" of denying parole to prisoners serving life sentences. Prisoners' damage claims were barred and federal courts cannot enjoin state officials on the basis that their actions or policies allegedly conflict with other state law. McQuillion v. Schwarzenegger, No. 01-16037, 369 F.3d 1091 (9th Cir. 2004). [2004 JB Aug]
Parole Board official was entitled to absolute immunity in federal civil rights lawsuit over 65 day delay in scheduling parole revocation hearing (during which the plaintiff remained detained pending a hearing). Following the hearing, the hearing officer found no parole violation. Parole Board Chairman acted in a "quasi-judicial" capacity in determining when to schedule the hearing. Pate v. United States, 277 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2003). [N/R]
Pennsylvania prisoner was not entitled to a judicial order requiring the state Board of Probation and Parole to grant him parole. Despite his claim that a sentencing judge and prosecutor sent unfavorable recommendations to the Board in retaliation for his filing of a successful federal habeas petition, the Board followed established procedures in denying parole, and the denial was justified by the reasons given. Burkett v. Frank, 841 A.2d 646 (Pa. Cmwth. 2004). [N/R]
Parole officer was not entitled to absolute immunity on claim that he caused prisoner to be unlawfully jailed by charging him with the use of illegal drugs without first performing a drug test. McCammon v. Youngblood, #2010193, 853 So. 2d 249 (Ala. Civ. App. 2003). [N/R]
Federal appeals court panel rules that statute requiring federal parolees submit a DNA sample to be included in a database violates the Fourth Amendment as a "suspicionless search" for law enforcement purposes. United States of America v. Kincade, No. 02-50380, 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 20123 (9th Cir.). [2003 JB Nov]
African-American prisoner's claim that parole board chairman improperly made threats against him in violation of his First Amendment rights and constituting racial discrimination seven years before his parole was revoked was untimely and barred by the statute of limitations. Norwood v. Michigan Department of Corrections, No. 02-1779, 67 Fed. Appx. 286 (6th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Parole rule which absolutely prohibited parolee traveling internationally to the Philippines to marry a woman with whom he had been corresponding did not violate his constitutionally protected right to marry or to travel, and was justified by the state's desire to avoid losing all right to supervise the parolee once he was outside the country. The rule did not absolutely prohibit him from marrying, but merely affected the timing or place of his marriage plans. Williams v. Wisconsin, No. 02-4233, 336 F.3d 576 (7th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoner's claim that participation in parole decision by temporary Parole Board members appointed by Governor without state Senate confirmation violated state law did not establish a federal civil rights claim for violation of due process, in the absence of any evidence that their participation altered the result or denied him any procedural rights necessary to a fair decision. Sonntag v. Papparozzi, 256 F. Supp. 2d 320 (D.N.J. 2003). [N/R]
Prisoners challenging the procedures used to determine parole eligibility and suitability could pursue their claims as a federal civil rights lawsuit rather than a habeas corpus petition. Prisoners did not claim an immediate entitlement to parole, but rather that the parole board comply with what they claimed was the law in making parole determinations. Dotson v. Wilkinson, No. 00-4033, 329 F.3d 464 (6th Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Sep]
Attorneys' fee restrictions imposed by the Prison Litigation Reform Act apply to all lawsuits filed by a prisoner, not just those that challenge prison conditions. Federal appeals court rules that they also apply to a civil rights lawsuit challenging the denial of parole or otherwise challenging the length of confinement. Court also rejects equal protection challenge to the statute, and rules that it allows for the awarding of attorneys' fees on work done litigating attorneys' fees issues (so-called "fees on fees"). Jackson v. State Board of Pardons and Paroles, No. 02-15545, 331 F.3d 790 (11th Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Sep]
Parole Board's consideration of negative letters from prosecutors did not violate prisoner's due process rights, but further proceedings are ordered on whether prisoner's attorney was not notified of parole hearing. Parole Board's actions of delaying a hearing or assigning the prisoner to the highest parole offense category were not in retaliation for the prisoner's filing of federal litigation, but rather were in response to his lawyer's request and the application of appropriate legal factors respectively. Buhrman v. Wilkinson, 257 F. Supp. 2d 1110 (S.D. Ohio. 2003). [N/R]
Federal appeals court holds that limits on attorneys' fees awards established by the Prison Litigation Reform Act applied to prisoner's successful challenge to retroactive change in rules concerning the date of his eligibility for parole hearing. These limits apply to all lawsuits brought by prisoners, not just those concerning "prison conditions," but also those challenging the length of confinement. Jackson v. State Board of Pardons and Paroles, #02-15545, 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 9773 (11th Cir.). [2003 JB Jul]
Mississippi Department of Corrections was not liable for parolee's alleged rape of woman based on discretionary decision not to revoke his parole when he failed to report to parole officer within 72 hours of his release from his custody in Illinois. Evidence failed to show gross or reckless failure to supervise parolee or that there was any knowledge of the parolee's intent to harm a particular person. Connell v. State Ex Rel. Mississippi Department of Corrections, #2002-CA-00135-SCT, 841 So. 2d 1127 (Miss. 2003). [2003 JB Jul]
Claim that an amendment to a Delaware parole statute allegedly extending the time between parole reconsideration hearings violated prisoners' rights was frivolous since neither the parole statute nor the due process clause gave prisoners a protected liberty interest in a hearing at a particular time. Ross v. Snyder, 239 F. Supp. 2d 397 (D. Del. 2002). [N/R]
Parole Board's statement to prisoner that he could apply for parole again after a period of eighteen months did not create a new parole eligibility date at the end of that period, but merely served to notify him that the board would not consider him for parole during that period of time. Edmond v. Hancock, # 2001-CP-01165-COA, 830 So.2d 658 (Miss. App. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner's parole release date was properly rescinded when there was evidence sufficient to show that he engaged in "significant misbehavior" in violation of prison rules prohibiting prisoners from making harassing or intimidating phone calls. Bishop v. Smith, 751 N.Y.S.2d 82 (A.D. 2002). [N/R]
Amendment to Michigan state parole statute allowing the prosecutor or crime victim to appeal a parole decision, but not granting that right to a prisoner, M.C.L.A. Sec. 791.234, did not adversely impact on prisoner when the amendment had not taken effect at the time of his parole denial or denial of reconsideration, so he could not pursue his equal protection claim. Bickley v. Marscke, No. 01-1835, 44 Fed. Appx. 698 (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Nothing in a Wisconsin statute, W.S.A. 304.02, establishing an early release program for prisoners in order to address overcrowding required the Department of Corrections to extend eligibility to prisoners who had been convicted of assaultive crimes. Ghashiyah v. Bertrand, Nos. 01-4034, 01-4195, 44 Fed. Appx. 736 (7th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
Prisoner could pursue federal civil rights lawsuit challenging retroactive application of new state parole eligibility regulations when the state's parole system was "completely discretionary," since a successful challenge would only get the prisoner "in the door" to be considered for parole and would not necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction or challenge the duration of his confinement. Dotson v. Wilkinson, #00-4033, 300 F.3d 661 (6th Cir. 2002). [2002 JB Dec]
State of Massachusetts was not liable for released parolee's shooting of police officer eight years after his release. Parole decision was "too remote as a matter of law" from the incident in question to serve as a basis for liability. Kent v. Commonwealth, 437 Mass. 312, 771 N.E.2d 770 (2002). [N/R]
California prisoners could pursue claim against state parole authority that it violated federal disability discrimination law to have an "unwritten policy" of automatically denying parole to prisoners with a history of drug abuse problems. Thompson v. Davis, #01-15091, 282 F.3d 780 (9th Cir. 2002). [2002 JB Jun]
296:122 Parole officers' release of parolee's medical records to officers investigating serial rape case did not violate parolee's Fourth Amendment or Eighth Amendment rights or his right to privacy. Webb v. Goldstein, 117 F. Supp. 289 (E.D.N.Y. 2000).
283:105 New York prisoner serving a murder sentence based on his guilty plea was not entitled to an order that a mental health evaluation of him be conducted to be considered by the parole authorities in determining his eligibility for parole; state statute concerning evaluation of those found not guilty because of mental disease or defect did not apply. Moore v. New York State Office of Mental Health, 705 N.Y.S.2d 701 (A.D. 2000).
281:69 Arizona state department of juvenile corrections reaches $3.33 million in settlements with families of married couple and teenager allegedly killed and another teenager maimed by 16-year-old juvenile released from secure care; lawsuit asserted lack of adequate supervision and wrongful release. Blair v. State, Ariz., Maricopa County Super. Ct., No. CV 98-14890, May 24, 1999, reported in 43 ATLA Law Rptr. 19 (Feb. 2000).
278;25 Prison and parole officials were not liable for the death of a police officer shot and killed by a parolee; while there was evidence that the parolee was a "violent and depraved" individual, this did not make his assault on the officer during a traffic stop foreseeable. Gonzalez v. Angelilli, 40 F. Supp. 2d 615 (E.D. Pa. 1999).
282:87 New York prisoner was not entitled to early consideration for parole based on uncredited time served in jail years before on an unrelated charge; time served on one charge could not be "banked" to apply to a future charge. Harris v. City of New York, 44 F. Supp. 2d 510 (S.D.N.Y. 1999).
273:136 Parole Commissioner was entitled to absolute immunity from suit for presiding over hearing that resulted in revocation of parole; presiding over hearing was a "quasi-judicial" action. Montero v. Travis, 171 F.3d 757 (2nd Cir. 1999). » Editor's Note: Other federal appeals court have similarly held that parole board officials are entitled to absolute immunity from lawsuits for damages when they serve a quasi-adjudicative function in deciding whether to grant, deny or revoke parole. See Anton v. Getty, 78 F.3d 393 (8th Cir. 1996); Littles v. Board of Pardons & Paroles Div., 68 F.3d 122 (5th Cir. 1995); Walrath v. United States, 35 F.3d 277 (7th Cir. 1994); Russ v. Uppah, 972 F.2d 300 (10th Cir. 1992); Fuller v. Georgia State Bd. of Pardons & Paroles, 851 F.2d 1307 (11th Cir. 1988); Johnson v. Rhode Island Parole Bd. Members, 815 F.2d 5 (1st Cir. 1987); Anderson v. Boyd, 714 F.2d 906 (9th Cir. 1983).
273:136 State of Arizona reaches $725,000 wrongful death settlement with husband of woman killed during assault by their 17-year-old paroled son; lawsuit argued that parole was improper, that parole should have been revoked because of various misconduct, and that drug and anger counseling should have been conditions of parole. Janecke v. State, Ariz., Maricopa Co. Super. Ct., No. CV96-06697, Sept. 24, 1998, reported in 42 ATLA Law Rptr. 185 (June 1999).
275:168 Oregon Department of Corrections liable for $200,000 to estate of murder victim and $140,627 to rape victim, both attacked by parolee with a long history of violent crimes against women, based on allegation of inadequate supervision of parole. Washa v. Oregon Dept. of Corrections, 979 P.2d 273 (Or. App. 1999).
265:9 Parole board members were absolutely immune from liability in prisoner's lawsuit over their revocation of his parole; parole officer was entitled to qualified immunity; reasonable grounds existed for revocation of parole. Calvin v. Kansas Parole Board, 993 F.Supp. 1366 (D. Kan. 1998).
267:40 Parole officers entitled to qualified immunity for failing to disclose to parolee's girlfriend that parolee was HIV-positive; no liability for girlfriend's death after she allegedly contracted AIDS from the parolee, who was released into her home; Iowa's indemnification of officers was no basis for denial of qualified immunity. Greer v. Shoop, #97-1565, 141 F.3d 824 (8th Cir. 1998).
272:121 District of Columbia did not violate Spanish-speaking prisoners' rights by failing to provide official interpreters for all disciplinary, classification, housing, or other institutional hearings, or by failing to have bilingual medical personnel. Franklin v. District of Columbia, #97-7162, 163 F.3d 625 (D.C. Cir. 1998).
263:163 Despite the presence, in terminated correctional officer's suit, of several claims against the State of Wisconsin barred by the Eleventh Amendment, correctional defendants could still properly remove the entire lawsuit from state to federal court, and the federal trial court had jurisdiction to consider and rule on remaining claims not barred by Eleventh Amendment immunity. Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections v. Schacht, #97-461, 118 S.Ct. 2047 (1998).
263:163 Exclusionary rule does not apply to parole revocation hearings. The rule would apply to a subsequent criminal trial, for offenses committed while on parole, if police officers conduct an illegal search of a parolee's person or premises. Penn. Bd. of Probation & Parole v. Scott, #97-581, 118 S.Ct. 2014 (1998).
255:38 Parole officials can properly consider a prisoner's frivolous litigation activity in making parole decisions, as there is no protected right to engage in frivolous lawsuits; federal appeals court also upholds the consideration of crime victims' statements in opposition to parole for a particular prisoner. Johnson v. Rodriguez, 110 F.3d 299 (5th Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 118 S.Ct. 559 (1997).
259:103 Parents of woman killed by twice-convicted rapist on parole could sue correctional and mental health officials under Mass. state law for wrongful death based on claim that established procedures were not followed and that prisoner's dangerous proclivities were known; federal civil rights claim could not be pursued. Coughlin v. Dept. of Correction, 686 N.E.2d 1082 (Mass. App. 1997).
261:134 Parole officer entitled to absolute immunity in federal civil rights lawsuit alleging that she filed false reports against parolee. Taylor v. Sullivan, 980 F.Supp. 697 (S.D.N.Y. 1997). » Editor's Note: There have been some decisions reaching a contrary result. See Mecham v. Taylor, 117 F.3d 1428 (table) (10th Cir. 1997) (decisions of parole officers involving revocation of parole, including preparation of a warrant request and parole violation report, warrant only qualified, not absolute immunity); Wilson v. Kelkhoff, 86 F.3d 1438 (7th Cir. 1996) (parole officer's filing of parole violation report protected only by qualified immunity); Jones v. Moore, 986 F.2d 251 (8th Cir. 1993) (parole officer not entitled to absolute immunity). On the other hand, see MacNab v. Oregon Board of Parole, 105 F.3d 665 (table), (9th Cir. Dec. 16, 1996) (parole officers entitled to absolute immunity with respect to preparation of parole revocation reports); and Littles v. Board of Pardons and Paroles Division, 68 F.3d 122 (5th Cir. 1995) ("parole officers entitled to absolute immunity for their conduct in parole decisions).
263:168 Jury awards $6.28 million to family and estate of 17-year-old girl stabbed 56 times by man who had recently been released from parole; lawsuit claimed that parolee had been inadequately supervised while on parole, released from parole despite violation of conditions, and that officials failed to warn girl's mother of former prisoner's violent tendencies. McFarland v. State, Wash., Pierce Co. Super. Ct., #96-2-05934- 5, Nov. 26, 1997, reported in 41 ATLA L. Rptr. p. 209 (Aug. 1998).
[N/R] It was not clearly established in July 1996 that considering inaccurate information and intentionally delaying reparole review violated prisoner's due process rights; defendants were entitled to qualified immunity in federal civil rights lawsuit. Jubilee v. Horn, 975 F.Supp. 761 (E.D. Pa. 1997).
[N/R] Prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity for withholding parole, work release and less restrictive confinement from prisoner who refused to admit to his crime; it was not clearly established that this violated the prisoner's right against self-incrimination. McMorrow v. Little, 109 F.3d 432 (8th Cir. 1997).
[N/R] Virginia prisoners had no constitutionally protected liberty interest in being released on parole. Alley v. Angelone, 962 F.Supp. 827 (E.D. Va. 1997).
244:53 Parole officials were entitled to absolute immunity for delaying prisoner's release date, because their role in deciding whether his release plan was adequate was "quasi- judicial"; probation case manager, who made recommendations for delay, was not entitled to absolute immunity, but still acted reasonably in recommending delay in light of inadequacy of release plan submitted. Anton v. Getty, 78 F.3d 393 (8th Cir. 1996).
232:57 Georgia prisoner had no constitutionally protected liberty interest in parole; Parole Board was not liable for departing from its own guidelines in denying parole to prisoner; federal appeals court overturns award of attorneys' fees to plaintiff prisoner. O'Kelley v. Snow, 53 F.3d 319 (11th Cir. 1995). [Cross-reference: Attorneys' Fees].
237:136 Parole Board director and attorney were entitled to absolute immunity from prisoner's lawsuit for damages over alleged irregularities in parole revocation. Hulsey v. Owens, 63 F.3d 354 (5th Cir. 1995).
239:168 Deferral of parole eligibility reviews for up to three years for certain categories of prisoners did not violate prisoners' constitutional rights; it did not constitute additional punishment or change the criteria for determining eligibility for parole. Hill v. Jackson, 64 F.3d 163 (4th Cir. 1995).
[N/R] Apply a current law on the timing of parole reviews was not violative of prisoner's rights or increase his punishment retroactively; court also upholds law requiring that notice of parole review be sent to prisoner's crime victim. Creel v. Kyle, 42 F.3d 955 (5th Cir. 1995).
[N/R] D.C. statutes did not give prisoner a constitutionally protected interest in parole. Price v. Barry, 53 F.3d 369 (D.C.Cir. 1995).
[N/R] Prisoner who asserted that he was wrongfully denied parole while participating in state's sexual offender program after program requirements were retroactively change would not be able to assert a claim for damages unless he first was successful in challenging the legality of his continued imprisonment. Schafer v. Moore, 46 F.3d 43 (8th Cir. 1995).
220:53 Louisiana statute providing for parole work release did not create a constitutionally protected liberty interest in receiving such parole. Merit v. Lynn, 848 F.Supp. 1266 (W.D.La. 1994).
226:154 Utah state parole statute did not create a liberty interest limiting the discretion of parole board in granting or denying parole; prisoner's federal civil rights lawsuit against parole board members was therefore frivolous. Malek v. Haun, 26 F.3d 1013 (10th Cir. 1994).
Federal appeals court holds that parolee had a due process liberty interest in not being required to take anti-psychotic drugs as a condition of parole, absent an "overriding" justification for their use. Felce v. Fiedler, 974 F.2d 1484 (7th Cir. 1992).
Parole Board and Department of Corrections was not liable for granting parole to prisoner who subsequently brutally assaulted sleeping woman in her home. Plotkin v. State Dept. of Corrections, 826 P.2d 221 (Wash. App. 1992).
Denial of annual parole reconsideration hearings to inmates who were entitled to such annual hearings when their crimes were committed violated their constitutional rights; ex post facto clause of constitution prohibits a retrospective change in parole eligibility. Akins v. Snow, 922 F.2d 1558 (11th Cir. 1991).
Policy prohibiting correctional employees from making parole recommendations directly to parole board could be challenged by inmate asserting correctional employee's First Amendment rights; such communications were not "purely personal," but rather involved matters of "public concern." Harris v. Evans, 920 F.2d 864 (11th cir. 1991).
Requiring sexual offender prisoners to complete rehabilitative program before becoming eligible for parole did not violate their right to equal protection. Russell v. Eaves, 722 F.Supp. 558 (E.D. Mo. 1989).
Parole officer and state not liable to police officer for his shooting by parolee. Fitzpatrick v. State, 439 N.W.2d 663 (Iowa 1989).
State not liable for paroled prisoner's fatal stabbing of co-worker; no duty to warn public of possible danger from parolee. Sheerin v. State, 434 N.W.2d 633 (Iowa 1989).
Alleged gross neglect of parole board members in granting parole can be basis of lawsuit by woman attacked by parolee. Gratham v. Mississippi Dept. of Corrections, 522 So.2d 219 (Miss. 1988).
Statistical evidence that white rapists were granted parole more often than black rapists does not establish prima facie case of racial discrimination. Fuller v. Georgia State Board of Pardons & Parole, 534 A.2d 150 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987).
Parole board not liable for parolee's sexual assault on woman after release. K.L. v. Hinkle, 423 N.W.2d 528 (Wis. 1988).
Co. not liable when inmate released prematurely injures motorist by driving under the influence. Baumgart v. Co. of Grant, 750 P.2d 271 (Wash. App. 1988).
Prisoner had no right to be considered for parole when he did not apply for it; not entitled to review of whether refusal was retaliatory. King v. Bd. of Probation & Parole, 534 A.2d 150 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987).
Prisoner entitled to jail-time credit for involuntary detention in mental hospital. Tal-Mason v. State, 515 So.2d 738 (Fla. 1987).
Members of Kansas adult authority not liable under state or federal law for release of prisoner who killed two persons. Beck v. Kansas Univ. Psychiatric Foundation, 671 F.Supp. 1552, 1563 (D. Kansas 1987).
Parole board members and parole officers not liable for murder and sexual assault by parolee. Doe v. United Social and Welfare Health Services, 670 F.Supp. 1121 (D. Conn. 1987).
Members of prisoner review board absolutely immune from federal civil rights liability for parole decision; court would consider granting injunction, however, if parole was denied because of inmate's "african heritage". Davis-El v. O'Leary, 668 F.Supp. 1189 (N.D. Ill. 1987).
Requirement that prisoner pay for psychiatric evaluations as prerequisite to parole might constitute violation of equal protection. Matter of Earl, 740 P.2d 853 (Wash. App. 1986).
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