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White v. New Jersey State Parole Board

Decided: October 3, 1975.

WILLIE LEE WHITE, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD, RESPONDENT



Kolovsky, Bischoff and Botter. The opinion of the court was delivered by Kolovsky, P.J.A.D.

Kolovsky

[136 NJSuper Page 362] N.J.A.C. 10:70-6.3, a regulation adopted by the State Parole Board, establishes general conditions "upon which parole shall be granted and shall be incorporated

in each parole certificate." Among those conditions are the following in which the parolee is advised that:

3. As conditions of your being on parole, you are required to:

i. Conduct yourself in society in compliance with all laws and ordinances;

ix. Refrain from conduct while on parole which shall give reasonable cause to believe that you have resumed, or are about to resume, criminal conduct or associations."

Those conditions, the first designated as 3(a) and the second as 3(i), were embodied in the certificate granting parole as of January 22, 1974 to appellant White, who was serving a 10-12-year sentence on a conviction for robbery.

The critical question presented by this appeal from revocation of White's parole following a final revocation hearing is whether the State Parole Board, after determining that White's parole could not be revoked for violation of the first-quoted condition because it had not been established as a fact that he had committed a crime while on parole, could nevertheless revoke it for violation of the second-quoted condition because White had been indicted for allegedly committing that crime, thus giving cause to believe that he had resumed criminal conduct. We conclude, for the reasons hereinafter set forth, that the answer to the posed question is "no" and that the decision of the State Parole Board must be reversed.

On August 15, 1974, White was arrested in Burlington on charges stemming from his alleged attempt to negotiate a stolen check. Under date of August 23, 1974 he was given notice of a probable cause hearing on charges that by reason of circumstances leading up to his arrest, he had violated four conditions of probation, including the two above quoted.

The probable cause hearing, at which a parole officer testified, was held on August 30, 1974. In the decision rendered at the conclusion of the hearing, of which White was given due notice, the hearing officer summarized the evidence

adduced and concluded that there was reasonable cause to believe, for reasons stated, that White had violated the two quoted conditions; no probable cause to believe that he had violated a third; and that the alleged violation of the fourth was "covered" by the charged violation of the second quoted condition.

The final revocation hearing on charges that White had violated the two quoted conditions was held on November 1, 1974. White was represented by an assistant deputy public defender. The only witnesses who testified were a parole officer and White himself. It was initially conceded that White had ...


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