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Inmate’s action for credit time moot after DOC grants request

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A Henry Circuit judge correctly dismissed an inmate’s action for educational credit time as moot after the Department of Correction determined he was entitled to the time and awarded him the credit, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.

Alvino Pizano was incarcerated for committing child molesting and neglect of a dependent in 2007. He was released on parole in 2010 but returned to the DOC in 2012 because of a parole violation. In November 2012, he filed an action arguing that the state had erroneously denied him credit time after he earned a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University. The trial court summarily denied his request, but the Court of Appeals remanded for a hearing on the matter.

In preparation for the hearing in February 2014, the DOC found that Pizano had in fact completed the requirements of the bachelor’s degree program and awarded him credit time. The state then filed a motion to dismiss the action as moot since the DOC awarded the time. The trial court agreed and granted the state’s motion.

Pizano appealed in Alvino Pizano v. Indiana Attorney General Gregory Zoeller, et al., 33A04-1402-MI-85, claiming the dismissal was an error.

Pizano is no longer incarcerated and he has not identified any potential negative collateral consequences of the action being dismissed, the COA held. Pizano argued that he should have had 496 days subtracted from his maximum parole release date because of the state’s initial denial of his request for credit time, but he does not cite to any relevant authority to support his claim.

“Furthermore, because the State has awarded Pizano credit time for earning his degree and Pizano has since been released from incarceration, the trial court properly determined that the matter was moot as Pizano had been granted all possible relief. The trial court did not err in vacating the scheduled hearing and dismissing the action as moot,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote.

 

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