Board of Pardons and Paroles v. Williams, CR-04-0668.

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Writing for the CourtShaw
Citation935 So.2d 478
PartiesALABAMA BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLES v. Dennis E. WILLIAMS.
Docket NumberCR-04-0668.
Decision Date30 September 2005
935 So.2d 478
ALABAMA BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLES
v.
Dennis E. WILLIAMS.
CR-04-0668.
Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.
September 30, 2005.
Rehearing Denied November 18, 2005.
Certiorari Denied January 13, 2006 Alabama Supreme Court 1050288.

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COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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Gregory O. Griffin, Sr., chief counsel, Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, and Hugh Davis, asst. atty. gen., for appellant.

Dennis E. Williams, pro se.

SHAW, Judge.


The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles ("the Board") appeals an order of the Montgomery Circuit Court granting Dennis E. Williams's petition for a writ of certiorari and reinstating his parole.1 We reverse and remand.

Page 481

The record reflects the following material facts. On July 15, 1981, Williams was convicted in the Colbert Circuit Court of murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He was paroled on March 13, 1995, to Ohio, pursuant to an interstate compact between Alabama and Ohio,2 where he was to remain under the supervision of the Ohio Adult Parole Authority ("the OAPA"). On or about July 4, 1995, Williams was arrested in Ohio on a drug charge. Following a preliminary probable-cause hearing held on August 9, 1995, the OAPA found probable cause to believe that Williams had violated the conditions of his Alabama parole.3 The OAPA notified the Board of the alleged violation and, by correspondence dated August 25, 1995, requested that the Board issue a warrant for Williams's arrest and return to Alabama for a hearing on the alleged parole violation. On September 7, 1995, the Board authorized the issuance of the warrant and directed the Alabama Department of Corrections ("the DOC") to immediately issue the warrant pursuant to § 15-22-31(a), Ala.Code 1975.4 Shortly thereafter, on September 11, 1995, the Board declared Williams delinquent.

On September 15, 1995, Williams pleaded guilty in Ohio to the drug charge (attempted trafficking in heroin) and was sentenced to six months in an Ohio correctional facility. On October 6, 1995, the Board received notice from the OAPA that Williams had pleaded guilty not only to the drug charge but also to a charge of receiving stolen property.5 For reasons not apparent from the record, the DOC failed to issue the parole violator's warrant the Board had authorized. After serving his six-month sentence in Ohio, Williams was released from custody; he claims he notified Alabama authorities of his release and continued to report to the OAPA.6 Almost

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five years later, Williams was arrested in Washington, D.C., on new federal felony charges (conspiracy and theft).

On August 11, 2000, the DOC issued a parole violator's warrant ordering that Williams be returned to Alabama to face the parole-violation charge that arose out of the September 15, 1995, Ohio conviction. Shortly thereafter, that warrant was executed and Williams was returned to Alabama in September 2000, where he remained in the custody of the DOC for approximately four to six months. In February 2001, Williams was transferred by federal authorities from Alabama to Washington, D.C., to stand trial on the charges pending there. Williams was eventually convicted of those charges and received concurrent five-year sentences of imprisonment to be followed by three years on probation. Williams was returned to Alabama in December 2001. Approximately five or six months later, on June 6, 2002, Williams was notified that a parole hearing would be held at Kilby Correctional Facility on June 25, 2002, to consider whether his parole should be revoked. However, before that hearing could be held, Williams was transferred by the DOC to Staton Correctional Facility. On July 25, 2002, Williams was notified that a parole hearing had been rescheduled for August 14, 2002. That hearing was then continued at Williams's request to accommodate his lawyer.

On July 29, 2002, Williams filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Montgomery Circuit Court seeking to prevent the Board from proceeding with the revocation process. Specifically, Williams alleged 1) that the Board had lost jurisdiction over him pursuant to the interstate compact, by which Ohio agreed to supervise him while he was on parole from Alabama; 2) that the Board was barred by the doctrine of res judicata from proceeding with the revocation process because, he claimed, Ohio had already considered the matter and had not revoked his parole; 3) that the Board was barred by the doctrine of collateral estoppel from proceeding with the revocation process because, he claimed, Ohio had already considered the matter; and 4) that the DOC had failed to timely issue a warrant charging him with violating parole and that the delay caused by that failure on the DOC's part and by the Board's failure to follow up on its authorization to ensure the issuance of the warrant had divested the Board of jurisdiction over him.

The Board responded to the petition, arguing that Williams's claims were premature because the Board had not yet revoked his parole and, in the alternative, that his claims were without merit. On January 22, 2003, Williams was notified that a parole hearing would be held on January 28, 2003. At the January hearing Williams pleaded guilty to violating the conditions of his parole by committing another offense in Ohio. The Board revoked Williams's parole on March 3, 2003.

A final hearing was held on Williams's certiorari petition on November 12, 2003.7 At the hearing, Williams testified and, through counsel, introduced various exhibits and argued again that the DOC's delay

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in issuing and executing the parole violator's warrant had divested the Board of jurisdiction to revoke his parole. In addition, Williams argued that the Board had failed to hold a parole hearing within a reasonable time after he was taken into custody and returned to Alabama and that he had been so prejudiced by the delay that the Board should be required to reinstate his parole. On November 19, 2004, the circuit court entered an order reinstating Williams's parole on the ground that Williams's due-process rights (presumably both substantive and procedural) had been violated as a result of the Board's holding the revocation hearing "seven years and four months after declaring him delinquent." (C. 133.)

The Board argues on appeal that the circuit court erred in reinstating Williams's parole. The Board contends that, in assessing the reasonableness of any pre-custody delay in executing the warrant for the parole violation, the focus should be on Williams's actions after he finished serving his six-month sentence in Ohio on the drug conviction. The Board maintains that Williams knew that he was still on parole following his release from custody in Ohio and that he was under a legal obligation to report to Alabama authorities because, the Board asserts, the OAPA had advised him it had no further interest in supervising him. According to the Board, Williams absconded supervision for the approximate four-and-one-half-year period following his release from custody in Ohio and, under those circumstances, he should not be allowed to benefit from the DOC's delayed issuance and execution of the warrant. In the alternative, the Board contends, among other things, that it proceeded with reasonable diligence to authorize the DOC to issue a parole violator's warrant after Williams committed an offense in Ohio. The Board argues that, under the circumstances presented in this case, it did not lose jurisdiction over Williams by entrusting the DOC to perform a ministerial duty.

In addition, the Board argues that in assessing the reasonableness of any post-custody delay in holding a parole hearing, a court should use a test similar to the four-pronged test applied in cases involving the alleged denial of the right to a speedy trial. The record indicates that the total time elapsed between Williams's return to Alabama in September 2000 and the parole hearing on January 28, 2003, was approximately 28 to 29 months. Citing Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972), the Board argues 1) that for approximately 9 to 11 months of that period Williams was in Washington, D.C., in connection with federal charges he was facing there; 2) that the DOC's transfer of Williams from Kilby Correctional Facility to Staton Correctional Facility and the request by Williams's lawyer for a continuance of the August 14, 2002, parole hearing resulted in delays that were beyond the Board's control and that should not be counted against it; 3) that the actual delay that can be attributed to the Board was approximately 10 to 13 months (representing the period between September 2000, when Williams was returned to Alabama pursuant to the parole violator's warrant, and February 2001, when Williams was transferred to Washington, D.C., and the period between December 2001, when Williams was returned to Alabama from Washington, D.C., and June 25, 2002, when the first parole hearing was scheduled); 4) that Williams did not raise the issue of the delay until he filed his certiorari petition on July 29, 2002; and 5) that the record does not indicate that Williams suffered any prejudice as a result of the delay because he had already been convicted in Ohio on the charge that formed the basis for the revocation,

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leaving only the issue of mitigation for the Board's consideration.

Williams argues that the Board was negligent in failing to follow up on its request for the DOC to issue a warrant for a parole violation and that that failure resulted in an unreasonable delay in the issuance and execution of the warrant and constituted a waiver of jurisdiction by the Board. Williams maintains that the Board's subsequent revocation of his parole, which it was, he argues, without jurisdiction to do, violated his right to substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Williams also appears to...

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7 practice notes
  • Doucette v. Mass. Parole Bd., No. 13–P–149.
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • October 29, 2014
    ...decision, the standard of review has been articulated in various but similar ways. See Alabama Bd. of Pardons & Paroles v. Williams, 935 So.2d 478, 484 (Ala.Crim.App.2005), cert. denied, 547 U.S. 1181, 126 S.Ct. 2357, 165 L.Ed.2d 283 (2006) (“The limited function of [certiorari] review is t......
  • Dykes v. Redington, CA 19-0274-CG-MU
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Southern District of Alabama
    • April 23, 2020
    ...arrest warrant on Dykes and Alabama having Dykes in custody under that warrant. See Alabama Bd. of Pardons & Paroles v. Williams, 935 So.2d 478, 483 (Ala.Crim.App. 2005) (appellate court decision rendered only after Williams was taken into custody for violation of his parole and a parole he......
  • Tucker v. Ala. Bd. of Pardons & Paroles, CR–14–0720.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • August 14, 2015
    ...Inc. v. Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Bd., 386 So.2d 224 (Ala.Civ.App.1979).’ "Alabama Bd. of Pardons & Paroles v. Williams, 935 So.2d 478, 484 (Ala.Crim.App.2005) (quoting Ellard v. State, 474 So.2d 743, 750 (Ala.Crim.App.1984) ). "A court may not set aside an order of a fact-finding ......
  • Austin v. Alabama Dept. of Corrections, CR-06-0505.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 27, 2007
    ...743, 750 (Ala. Crim.App.1984), aff'd, 474 So.2d 758 (Ala. 1985). See also Alabama Board of Pardons 975 So.2d 404 & Paroles v. Williams, 935 So.2d 478 (Ala.Crim.App.2005); Henley v. Alabama Board of Pardons & Paroles, 849 So.2d 255 (Ala.Crim.App.2002); Stokley v. State, 709 So.2d 84 (Ala.Cri......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Doucette v. Mass. Parole Bd., No. 13–P–149.
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • October 29, 2014
    ...decision, the standard of review has been articulated in various but similar ways. See Alabama Bd. of Pardons & Paroles v. Williams, 935 So.2d 478, 484 (Ala.Crim.App.2005), cert. denied, 547 U.S. 1181, 126 S.Ct. 2357, 165 L.Ed.2d 283 (2006) (“The limited function of [certiorari] review is t......
  • Dykes v. Redington, CA 19-0274-CG-MU
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Southern District of Alabama
    • April 23, 2020
    ...arrest warrant on Dykes and Alabama having Dykes in custody under that warrant. See Alabama Bd. of Pardons & Paroles v. Williams, 935 So.2d 478, 483 (Ala.Crim.App. 2005) (appellate court decision rendered only after Williams was taken into custody for violation of his parole and a parole he......
  • Tucker v. Ala. Bd. of Pardons & Paroles, CR–14–0720.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • August 14, 2015
    ...Inc. v. Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Bd., 386 So.2d 224 (Ala.Civ.App.1979).’ "Alabama Bd. of Pardons & Paroles v. Williams, 935 So.2d 478, 484 (Ala.Crim.App.2005) (quoting Ellard v. State, 474 So.2d 743, 750 (Ala.Crim.App.1984) ). "A court may not set aside an order of a fact-finding ......
  • Austin v. Alabama Dept. of Corrections, CR-06-0505.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 27, 2007
    ...743, 750 (Ala. Crim.App.1984), aff'd, 474 So.2d 758 (Ala. 1985). See also Alabama Board of Pardons 975 So.2d 404 & Paroles v. Williams, 935 So.2d 478 (Ala.Crim.App.2005); Henley v. Alabama Board of Pardons & Paroles, 849 So.2d 255 (Ala.Crim.App.2002); Stokley v. State, 709 So.2d 84 (Ala.Cri......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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