Rivas v. Board of Parole

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Parole and Post-Prison Supervision
  • Date Filed: 07-08-2015
  • Case #: A154737
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A constitutionally adequate parole-exit interview conducted pursuant to ORS 144.125(3) does not include the right to call witnesses or cross-examine people who provided information to the board to be constitutionally adequate.

Rivas, a prisoner at a State Correctional Institution, challenged the constitutionality of a notice of rights form, Exhibit NOR-1, that must be provided to prisoners prior to a parole-exit interview, as required by OAR 255-030-0013(1). NOR-1 states prisoners may not call witnesses or cross-examine people who provide information to the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision in preparation for the parole-exit interview. ORS 144.120 and 144.125 create a liberty interest in early release that the State may not deny without due process, and Rivas argued his due process rights were violated because of the prohibition on calling or cross-examining witnesses. Relying on U.S. Supreme Court decisions Swarthout v. Cooke and Greenholtz v. Inmates of Neb. Penal and Correctional Complex, as relied on in the Oregon case Smith v. Board of Parole, the Court held that Oregon has not recognized a more significant liberty interest in early release that that identified in the aforementioned cases, and the ability to call witnesses or cross-examine people who provide information to the Board are not required by due process for a parole-exit interview to be constitutionally adequate. OAR 255-030-0013 and Exhibit NOR-1 held valid.

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