On appeal from the Superior Court, Law Division, Cumberland County.
Michels and Long and Muir, Jr. The opinion of the court was delivered by Long, J.A.D.
Defendant Lester Evans appeals from the denial of the petition he filed for a writ of habeas corpus. In April 1985, defendant, who was on parole in Pennsylvania, was arrested in Florida and returned to New Jersey to face charges of burglary and criminal mischief. While incarcerated in New Jersey, Pennsylvania placed a detainer on defendant. Thereafter, defendant was returned to Pennsylvania and sentenced to twelve months as a technical parole violator.
In July 1985, defendant filed for a disposition of the New Jersey charges under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers. Pursuant to this request, defendant was returned to New Jersey to stand trial on the outstanding charges. He was convicted of burglary and sentenced to a custodial term of seven years.
In January 1986, defendant was returned to Pennsylvania where, as a result of his New Jersey conviction, he was found to be a convicted parole violator and sentenced to an additional eighteen months. Thus, defendant's aggregate parole violation sentence in Pennsylvania was thirty months.
In March 1987, after completing about twenty-four months of his Pennsylvania sentence, defendant was released to the New Jersey authorities so that he could begin serving his New Jersey sentence. In May 1987, Pennsylvania filed a detainer with the New Jersey authorities seeking custody of defendant, after the completion of his New Jersey sentence, so that he
could complete the six months remaining on his Pennsylvania sentence. By way of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, defendant sought to have the Pennsylvania detainer quashed. The trial judge denied the petition.
On appeal, defendant contends that:
THE DETAINER LODGED BY PENNSYLVANIA DOES NOT COME WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE INTERSTATE DETAINER ACT AND THEREFORE MUST BE QUASHED.
There are two separate prongs to this argument. One is that the detainer at issue here does not fall within the scope of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (Agreement) and the other is that the action of Pennsylvania was invalid.
Defendant is correct in his analysis of the Agreement to which both New Jersey and Pennsylvania are signatories. See N.J.S.A. 2A:159A-1 et seq.; 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9101 et seq. The purpose of the Agreement is set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:159A-1, which provides:
The party States find that charges outstanding against a prisoner, detainers based on untried indictments, informations or complaints, and difficulties in securing speedy trial of persons already incarcerated in other jurisdictions, produce uncertainties which obstruct programs of prisoner treatment and rehabilitation. Accordingly, it is the policy of the party States and the purpose of this agreement to encourage the expeditious and orderly disposition of such charges and determination of the proper status of any and all detainers based on untried indictments, informations or complaints. The party States also find that proceedings with reference to such charges and detainers, when emanating from another ...