Hartwell v. Board of Parole

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Parole and Post-Prison Supervision
  • Date Filed: 07-22-2015
  • Case #: A150858
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Nakamoto, J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

According to OAR 255-30-025(4), a prisoner does not have to choose between an assistant and another person speaking on their behalf at an exit interview hearing if the prisoner needs assistance communicating to the Board.

Petitioner seeks review of a decision by the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision (Board) to postpone his release date for eight years. The Board made this decision because it believed that the petitioner, who was convicted of first-degree arson and murder thirty years ago, posed a danger to the health or safety of the community because he suffers from a severe emotional disturbance. Petitioner argues in pertinent part that the board erred in denying an inmate legal assistant the ability to speak on his behalf at the hearing. At his hearing, the petitioner was only permitted to have his mother speak on his behalf rather than both his mother and his legal assistant. The Court held that the Board’s interpretation of OAR 255-30-025 and subsequent determination to only allow one person to speak for the petitioner was incorrect because he needed the benefit of assistance in communicating with the Board and that assistance did not preclude an additional person from speaking on his behalf at the hearing. Reversed and remanded.

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