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Doucette v. Massachusetts Parole Board (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-137-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   13-P-149                                        Appeals Court   CHARLES DOUCETTE  vs.  MASSACHUSETTS PAROLE BOARD. No. 13-P-149. Essex.     April 4, 2014. – October 29, 2014.   Present:  Berry, Katzmann, & Sullivan, JJ.   Parole.  Administrative Law, Adjudicatory proceeding, Decision, Evidence, Failure to raise issue before agency, Hearing, Regulations.  Constitutional Law, Delay in rendering decision, Impartial tribunal, Parole.  Due Process of Law, Administrative hearing, Delay in rendering decision, Hearing, Parole.  Practice, Civil, Action in nature of certiorari, Failure to raise issue, Hearsay, Motion to dismiss, Relief in the nature of certiorari, Review of administrative action, Waiver.  Waiver.  Evidence, Absence of witness, Administrative proceeding, Hearsay, Police report.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on May 18, 2012.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Richard E. Welch, III, J.     Eitan Goldberg for the plaintiff. Christopher Hurld, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendant.     SULLIVAN, J.  Charles Doucette appeals from the dismissal of his complaint challenging the decision of the Massachusetts Parole Board (board) revoking his parole.  Doucette proceeds on two fronts — a civil rights claim asserting that the board violated due process in the conduct of the revocation proceedings, and a claim in the nature of certiorari seeking review of the merits of the board’s decision.  See 42 U.S.C. § 1983; G. L. c. 249, § 4.  We conclude that the procedural irregularities in the revocation proceedings do not rise to the level of a due process violation, and that the revocation decision was not arbitrary or capricious.  Accordingly, we affirm. Background.  On February 20, 2007, Doucette was released on parole from a life sentence for murder in the second degree.  According to the conditions of parole, Doucette was required, among other things, to conduct himself responsibly and obey all laws, attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings three times per week, notify and seek permission from his parole officer regarding any change in residence or living situation, avoid persons known to have violated the law, comply with all special instructions given by his parole officer, and pay a monthly supervision fee. Four years later, Doucette was arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, intimidation of a witness, and threats, charges which arose from an incident with his then girlfriend.  A parole violation detainer issued, listing violations based on this incident, as well as other violations previously noted by his parole […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 29, 2014 at 11:53 pm

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