505 F.2d 32 (5th Cir. 1974), 5, Cook v. Whiteside

Docket Nº:74-2457 *
Citation:505 F.2d 32
Party Name:George James COOK, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Clyde WHITESIDE et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:December 16, 1974
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 32

505 F.2d 32 (5th Cir. 1974)

George James COOK, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Clyde WHITESIDE et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 74-2457 *

*Rule 18, 5th Cir.; see Isbell Enterprises, Inc.

v.

Citizens Casualty Co. of New York et al., 431 F.2d 409, Part

I (5th Cir. 1970).

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

December 16, 1974

Page 33

George James Cook, pro se.

John L. Hill, Atty. Gen., Jack Boone, Asst. Atty. Gen., Austin, Tex., for defendants-appellees.

Before COLEMAN, DYER and RONEY, Circuit Judges.

RONEY, Circuit Judge:

In this action alleging use of unconstitutional procedures in the consideration of plaintiff inmate's eligibility for parole, the district court held that the complaint 'fails to satisfy the narrow standards for judicial challenges to parole denials as established by Scarpa v. United States Board of Parole, 477 F.2d 278 (5th Cir. 1973).'

The sole argument briefed to us by the Attorney General of Texas is that 'the District Court below was correct in dismissing Appellant's complaint based upon the authority of Scarpa.'

The district court order entered on April 25, 1974, and the attorney general's brief filed in this Court on July 18, 1974, completely overlook the fact that Scarpa has been questionable authority in this Court since October 9, 1973. On that date the Supreme Court vacated our judgment in Scarpa and remanded for determination of mootness. Scarpa v. United States Board of Parole, 414 U.S. 809, 94 S.Ct. 79, 38 L.Ed.2d 44 (1973). Thereafter this Court by order dated November 30, 1973, vacated the judgment of the district court with directions to dismiss the complaint as moot.

On June 26, 1974, a panel of this Court stated that 'Scarpa has no precedential value.' Ridley v. McCall, 496 F.2d 213 (5th Cir. 1974).

A review of this case reveals, however, that the judgment of the district court should be affirmed without regard to the authority of Scarpa.

George James Cook, an inmate of the Texas Department of Corrections, brought the instant 1983 civil rights action pro se against individual members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles seeking injunctive and declaratory

Page 34

relief. He alleged that the Board members had deprived him of rights protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States by (1) failing to appoint or provide counsel to represent him as an indigent prisoner at parole proceedings, (2) denying him access to his papers on file with the Board, (3) employing arbitrary and capricious procedures in considering prisoners for parole, thereby subjecting inmates to cruel and unusual punishment, (4) denying him a meaningful notification of the reasons for the denial of his parole, and (5) interfering with his right to rehabilitation. Without an evidentiary...

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