Derns v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, 022120 PACCA, 379 C.D. 2019

Docket Nº:379 C.D. 2019
Opinion Judge:P. KEVIN BROBSON, JUDGE
Party Name:Jerome Derns, Petitioner v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, Respondent
Judge Panel:BEFORE: HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, MICHAEL H. WOJCIK, BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Senior Judges.
Case Date:February 21, 2020
Court:Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
 
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Jerome Derns, Petitioner

v.

Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, Respondent

No. 379 C.D. 2019

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

February 21, 2020

OPINION NOT REPORTED

Submitted: October 4, 2019

BEFORE: HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, MICHAEL H. WOJCIK, BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Senior Judges.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

P. KEVIN BROBSON, JUDGE

Petitioner Jerome Derns (Derns) petitions for review of a final determination of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (Board), dated March 7, 2019. The Board granted Derns' request for administrative relief only to the extent that it recalculated his parole violation maximum date as July 11, 2024 (as opposed to August 30, 2024, as previously calculated by the Board). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

On June 12, 2008, Derns pled guilty to drug and firearm charges and received a sentence of 4 to 10 years. (Certified Record (C.R.) at 1-5.) Prior to pleading guilty to those charges, Derns had pled guilty to similar charges on March 14, 2007, and September 10, 2007, one of which resulted in a sentence of 5 to 15 years. (Id.) As a result of these various sentences, some of which resulted in underlapping maximum sentences and overlapping minimum sentences, Derns had a minimum sentence date of September 10, 2012, and a maximum sentence date of March 1, 2022. (Id.) By action recorded March 15, 2013, the Board granted Derns parole. (Id. at 8.) Derns was officially released from confinement on May 6, 2013. (Id. at 11.) At the time of his parole, his maximum sentence date was March 1, 2022. (Id. at 9.)

On June 25, 2013, following a tip regarding various parole violations, parole agents took Derns into custody and issued a warrant to commit and detain. (Id. at 15-19.) By Board decision recorded on December 20, 2013, the Board recommitted Derns as a technical parole violator to serve six months' backtime. (Id. at 55.) Within the same decision, the Board also automatically granted Derns re-parole on December 25, 2013. (Id.) Derns was released from confinement on January 12, 2014. (Id. at 58.) At the time of his re-parole, Derns had a parole violation maximum sentence date of March 1, 2022.1 (Id. at 55.)

On January 29, 2016, in connection with a search of Derns' residence following a tip, the Board issued a warrant to commit and detain Derns for violations of his parole. (Id. at 68, 85.) On January 30, 2016, police arrested Derns, and the Bucks County District Attorney charged Derns with various crimes under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (Drug Act), Act of April 14, 1972, P.L. 233, as amended, 35 P.S. §§ 780-101 to -144, and for possession of a firearm. The Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County (common pleas court) set Derns' monetary bail on January 30, 2016. (Id. at 106.) Derns remained detained at the Bucks County Jail until the common pleas court changed his bail to nonmonetary bail on February 2, 2016. (Id. at 105-06.) The Board issued a notice of charges on February 5, 2016. (Id. at 77.) By Board decision recorded March 30, 2016, the Board ordered Derns to be detained throughout the duration of the disposition of his new criminal charges. (Id. at 84.) The Board reconsidered the detention of Derns after six months had passed with his new criminal charges still pending. (Id. at 86.) By decision recorded September 22, 2016, the Board again ordered Derns to be detained throughout the duration of the disposition of his new criminal charges. (Id. at 86-87.)

On March 6, 2017, Derns was found guilty and sentenced for various crimes under the Drug Act and for possession of a firearm. (Id. at 111-12.) For the firearms conviction, the common pleas court sentenced Derns to a term of 5 to 10 years' incarceration. (Id. at 111.) For the crime of manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, the common pleas court sentenced Derns to a term of 30 months to 10 years, to be served concurrently with other (lesser) criminal sentences imposed by the common pleas court. (Id.) The Board received official verification of the convictions on March 23, 2017. (Id. at 91.)

On May 31, 2017, the Board issued a notice of charges and scheduled a parole revocation hearing for June 9, 2017, based on Derns' status as a convicted parole violator (CPV). (Id. at 93.) On that same date, Derns signed a Waiver of Revocation Hearing and Counsel/Admission Form, thereby waiving his right to a revocation hearing, the right to a panel hearing, and the right to have counsel present at that hearing. (Id. at 95-96.) By signing this form, Derns also admitted to his new criminal convictions. (Id. at 95.) By Board decision recorded July 3, 2017, the Board recommitted Derns as a CPV to serve 36 months' backtime. (Id. at 130.) The Board recalculated Derns' parole violation maximum sentence date to be August 30, 2024. (Id. at...

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