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Papadakis v. Warden of Metropolitan Correctional Center

decided as amended.: June 15, 1987.

DEMETRIOS PAPADAKIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
WARDEN OF THE METROPOLITAN CORRECTIONAL CENTER, UNITED STATES PAROLE COMMISSION, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, AND UNITED STATES MARSHAL, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS



Appeal by the United States Parole Commission from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Lasker, J., granting Papadakis' petition for a writ of habeas corpus. We hold that Papadakis' first special parole term expired before the Parole Commission attempted to revoke his parole, that his second special parole term, which was illegally imposed, was properly vacated by the district court during the habeas corpus proceedings and that the Parole Commission therefore lacked jurisdiction to revoke Papadakis' parole. Affirmed.

Author: Meskill

Before: OAKES, MESKILL and MAHONEY, Circuit Judges.

MESKILL, Circuit Judge:

The United States Parole Commission (Commission) appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Lasker, J., granting Papadakis' petition for a writ of habeas corpus, Papadakis v. Warden, 631 F. Supp. 252 (S. D. N.Y. 1986). Because we agree with Judge Lasker's determination that the Commission lacked jurisdiction over Papadakis at the time it sought to reinstitute parole revocation proceedings against him, we affirm.

Demetrios Papadakis is no stranger to federal courts in the Southern District of New York. In 1971, he pled guilty to drug trafficking and conspiracy charges before Judge Gurfein and was sentenced to concurrent five year prison terms, with a three year special parole term to follow pursuant to 21 U.S.C. ยง 841 (1982).*fn1 The following year, Papadakis was convicted of conspiracy to violate the federal drug laws. For that offense, Judge Pollack imposed a five year prison term, consecutive with Papadakis' earlier sentence, plus a second three year special parole term. In 1974, a third conviction on drug charges was entered by Judge Wyatt, resulting in a further five year prison term to be served concurrently with the earlier sentences.

Papadakis entered prison in November 1971. On November 9, 1981, the first of his two three year special parole terms began to run. A month later, approximately $11 million was stolen from the Sentry Armored Car Courier Corporation. As a result, Papadakis and several associates were indicted for bank larceny in February 1983. See United States v. Potamitis, 739 F.2d 784 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, sub nom. Argitakos v. United States, 469 U.S. 918, 83 L. Ed. 2d 232, 105 S. Ct. 297 (1984).

Papadakis was arrested on the bank larceny charges and held pending the posting of bond. In the meantime, the Commission issued a parole violation warrant based on the conduct underlying the bank larceny indictment and lodged it as a detainer. Papadakis posted a bail bond, but the Commission executed its warrant to prevent his release. Papadakis petitioned the district court for a writ of habeas corpus, seeking to stay parole revocation proceedings during the pendency of his bank larceny trial. Judge Lasker's order granting the petition reads in pertinent part:

Ordered, that pending further proceedings herein, Petitioner shall be released from detention upon the Warrant of the United States Parole Commission issued and dated March 17, 1983 and said release shall take effect only at such time and upon such other terms and conditions as shall thereafter be fixed in connection with a criminal prosecution captioned United States v. Demetrios Papadakos [sic], 83 CR 68 (E.W.), now pending in this court, and

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that parole revocation proceedings now pending against the Petitioner shall be stayed until the conclusion of the trial of the aforesaid criminal prosecution or until the further order of this court or another United States District Judge.

Papadakis v. Warden, 83 Civ. 2734 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 13, 1983).

Eight months later, in December 1983, Papadakis was acquitted of the bank larceny charges. The Commission did not reinstate parole revocation proceedings at that time.

In December 1984, Papadakis was incarcerated on a civil contempt citation for refusing to testify before a grand jury, which was continuing to probe the Sentry robbery. In June 1985, upon his release from confinement on the civil contempt order, he was indicted for criminal contempt and fled to avoid arrest Papadakis remained at large until January 1986, when he was arrested on the criminal contempt charge. On March 6, 1986, as Papadakis was about to be freed on bond, the Commission executed a new parole violation warrant and Papadakis continued in confinement. The new warrant was based on the same bank larceny conduct as the 1983 warrant, plus two supplemental charges that had been issued in early 1985. On March 10, 1986, Papadakis was tried and convicted of criminal contempt and he is currently serving a sentence of five years on that conviction.

Papadakis again petitioned the district court for a writ of habeas corpus to prevent the Commission from revoking his parole. Judge Lasker ruled that he had jurisdiction to hear the petition because, even though Papadakis would remain imprisoned on the criminal contempt conviction, the Commission would be able to revoke Papadakis' parole as soon as he was released.*fn2 631 F. Supp. at 255.

Turning to the substance of Papadakis' petition, Judge Lasker held that the first three year special parole term had expired before the Commission renewed the revocation action. He further decided that the second term never took effect because it had been imposed pursuant to a conspiracy conviction and was, therefore, illegal under Bifulco v. United States, 447 U.S. 381, 65 L. Ed. 2d 205, 100 S. Ct. 2247 (1980). The court concluded that the Commission lacked jurisdiction over Papadakis because he was not on ...


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