Ford v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, 021820 PACCA, 583 C.D. 2019

Docket Nº:583 C.D. 2019
Opinion Judge:MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, PRESIDENT JUDGE
Party Name:Hassan Ford, Jr., Petitioner v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, Respondent
Judge Panel:BEFORE: HONORABLE MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, President Judge HONORABLE ANNE E. COVEY, Judge HONORABLE CHRISTINE FIZZANO CANNON, Judge
Case Date:February 18, 2020
Court:Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
 
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Hassan Ford, Jr., Petitioner

v.

Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, Respondent

No. 583 C.D. 2019

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

February 18, 2020

Submitted: October 18, 2019

BEFORE: HONORABLE MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, President Judge HONORABLE ANNE E. COVEY, Judge HONORABLE CHRISTINE FIZZANO CANNON, Judge

OPINION

MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, PRESIDENT JUDGE

Hassan Ford, Jr., petitions for review of an adjudication of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (Parole Board) that recommitted him as a convicted parole violator and recalculated his maximum sentence date. In so doing, the Parole Board denied Ford credit for the time he spent at liberty on parole. Ford argues that the Parole Board erred by not deducting the time he spent incarcerated on his new criminal conviction from his maximum sentence date and not giving him credit for the time he spent at liberty on parole. Discerning no merit to Ford's arguments, we affirm.

On January 27, 2015, Ford was convicted of manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver, under Section 13(a)(30) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, 35 P.S. §780-113(a)(30).1 He was sentenced to incarcer8tion for a term of one year, seven months to five years, for a maximum sentence date of November 3, 2019.

On March 28, 2017, Ford was paroled. On December 20, 2017, he was arrested in Northampton County and charged with forgery, theft by deception and access device fraud.[2] When Ford did not post bail, he was held in the Northampton County Prison on the new charges.

On December 21, 2017, the Parole Board issued a Notice of Charges to Ford as a result of his arrest. Ford waived a hearing before the Parole Board and acknowledged that the Parole Board "may detain [him] pending disposition of [the new] criminal charges." Certified Record at 38-39 (C.R. __). On March 13, 2018, the Board lodged a warrant detaining Ford pending the disposition of the new criminal charges.

On June 8, 2018, Ford pled guilty to possession of a counterfeit access device to move funds in accounts or obtain goods in violation of Section 4106(a)(3) of the Crimes Code.3 The remaining charges were withdrawn. Ford was sentenced to three to six months in the Northampton County Prison.

On June 20, 2018, Ford's county sentence expired. On June 28, 2018, Ford was returned to state custody. That same day the Parole Board notified Ford of a parole revocation hearing. Ford waived his right to counsel and the revocation hearing.

On July 30, 2018, the Parole Board recommitted Ford to serve 12 months of backtime as a convicted parole violator. The Parole Board did not give Ford any credit for the time spent at liberty on parole for the stated reasons that Ford had been on parole for less than one year and that his new conviction was for a theft-related crime. The Parole Board recalculated his maximum sentence date on the original sentence as January 25, 2021.

Ford, pro se, filed an administrative appeal, arguing that the Parole Board erred in the calculation of his maximum sentence date. He asserted that the six months he spent in Northampton County Prison should have been deducted from his maximum sentence date. Alternatively, he claimed the Parole Board should treat both sentences as being served concurrently. Finally, he argued that he was entitled to credit for the time he spent at liberty on parole because he was not an absconder.

The Parole Board denied his appeal. It explained that when Ford...

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