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Bonomo v. New Jersey State Parole Board

Decided: January 17, 1969.

DOMINICK BONOMO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



Conford, Kilkenny and Leonard. The opinion of the court was delivered by Conford, S.j.a.d.

Conford

Two principal questions are presented by this appeal: (1) Does a convict, paroled during service of his sentence, who commits a crime during parole, but whose parole is revoked for a cause other than commission of crime, forfeit his "street time" (i.e., between date of parole and date of apprehension for delinquency on parole), and (2) does time spent in service of a prison sentence under a federal conviction of crime committed while on parole from service of a State Prison term count toward the time owed the State by the convict consequent upon revocation of parole? We resolve both questions in the negative.

Bonomo was serving aggregated sentences with a minimum of 17 years and a maximum of 24 for various crimes when he was paroled therefrom on September 21, 1961. On July

15, 1964 the State Parole Board issued its warrant to detain Bonomo because of his arrest as a disorderly person. On July 20, 1964 he was convicted as a disorderly person in the Municipal Court of Jersey City and sentenced to 30 days in the Hudson County Jail. The same day he was declared delinquent on parole by the Board for "failure to obey all laws and public ordinances as evidenced by your conviction * * * on a charge of Disorderly Person (4A Condition of Parole)." On August 5, 1964 Bonomo's parole was revoked by the Parole Board, the "Reasons" for the revocation being stated in terms identical with those given in the declaration of delinquency. On August 18, 1964 Bonomo was surrendered to federal authorities; on September 16, 1964 he was indicted for possessing and passing counterfeit money and he was subsequently convicted of that charge and sentenced February 26, 1965 to a federal prison term of three years. It is undisputed that the federal offense was committed during the period of Bonomo's enlargement on parole.*fn1

Bonomo served his federal sentence in a federal prison in Pennsylvania until May 4, 1967, after which he was detained there pending proceedings to extradite him to this State, except for the period from May 11, 1967 to June 23, 1967, during which he was free on bail. He was returned to New Jersey January 17, 1968, and has remained incarcerated at the State Prison since.

Bonomo has been advised by the Prison authorities that he must serve the balance of time remaining on his original

sentence from September 21, 1961, without credit for any portion of the period between September 21, 1961 and May 4, 1967, unless sooner reparoled. He here appeals that determination. The Parole Board undertakes to defend the determination except for its concession that Bonomo will be credited, if he has not already been, with the time of detention between termination of his incarceration for disorderly conduct in Jersey City and the date of his being taken into custody by the federal authorities.

I As to the Forfeiture of "Street Time."

In respect of this subject we are controlled by the statute, N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.24, which reads:

"A prisoner, whose parole has been revoked because of a violation of a condition of parole or commission of an offense which subsequently results in conviction of a crime committed while on parole, even though such conviction be subsequent to the date of revocation of parole, shall be required, unless said revocation is rescinded, or unless sooner reparoled by the board, to serve the balance of time due on his sentence to be computed from the date of his original release on parole. If parole is revoked for reasons other than subsequent conviction for crime while on parole then the parolee, unless said revocation is rescinded, or unless sooner reparoled by the board, shall be required to serve the balance of time due on his sentence to be computed as of the date that he was declared delinquent on parole." (Emphasis added)

It is clear to us that the Legislature has by this language made the consequences of violation of parole, in terms of requirement of service of street time, expressly dependent on the "reasons" for the revocation of parole assigned by the Parole Board. If the parole is revoked "because" of conduct by the parolee during parole which subsequently results in conviction of crime, street time is forfeited. If parole is revoked for any other "reason," it is not, ...


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