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LACHANCE v. BARR

February 11, 1993

DOUGLAS LACHANCE, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM P. BARR, in his capacity as Attorney General of the United States, the UNITED STATES PAROLE COMMISSION, and W. SCOTT, in his capacity as Warden, Metropolitan Correctional Center, Defendants.


STANTON


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LOUIS L. STANTON

Petitioner Douglas LaChance applies for bail pending a final decision in proceedings before the United States Parole Commission.

 BACKGROUND

 In 1981, LaChance commenced service of a 12-year term for extortion, racketeering and tax evasion. After serving nearly five years, on December 20, 1985 he was released to parole supervision.

 While on parole LaChance pleaded guilty in Cape May, New Jersey in 1988 to careless driving and refusing to take a breath test. Although he could have been jailed for 15 days, he was fined $ 300. His parole could have been revoked then for that violation, but instead the Parole Commission (the "Commission") sent him a letter of reprimand (see below).

 A little over four years later, in July 1992, LaChance tested positive for cocaine use. In October 1992, he was arrested and re-imprisoned for violating the conditions of his parole. At that time his maximum prison term would have expired on March 28, 1993, but because of his re-imprisonment, LaChance accrued additional good time credits of ten days per month, see 18 U.S.C. § 4161, thereby advancing his latest release date to February 18, 1993.

 On January 7, 1993, the Commission adopted a hearing officer's recommendations to revoke LaChance's parole, forfeit the entire time he had spent on parole, and thus extend his release date to the year 2000. If his term were so extended, he would not be eligible for re-parole until June 22, 1993. LaChance plans to file an administrative appeal. He seeks bail in the interim.

 At the time of that conviction, the Commission had not forfeited, nor threatened to forfeit, LaChance's parole time, whether already served or to be served in the future. It merely issued a letter of reprimand. *fn1"

 The issue is whether LaChance should be released on bail during the pendency of his administrative appeal. *fn2"

 DISCUSSION

 The court has the power to grant bail in a case such as this, but "only in 'most unusual circumstances,' or when 'extraordinary or exceptional circumstances make the grant of bail necessary to make the habeas remedy effective.'" Robin v. Thomas, 555 F. Supp. 849, 852 (S.D.N.Y. 1983), quoting Galante v. Warden, Metropolitan Correctional Center, 573 F.2d 707, 708 (2d Cir. 1977). Crucial to the petitioner's case is a showing of some special or exceptional circumstances that distinguish him from other parole violators. See Argro v. United States, 505 F.2d 1374, 1377 (2d Cir. 1974):

 While there is no constitutional right to bail in these circumstances, we think there may be adequate ground to support its grant in unusual cases, at least in a bona fide inquiry into whether a parole ...


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