COA does not roll over for ‘turn over’ argument

August 31, 2017

A New Castle man unsuccessfully tried to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that since he had not signed the proper form for his release from prison, his parole had been “turned over” and it could not be revoked.

Samuel Hobbs was on probation for theft when he committed residential entry, battery, and criminal deviate conduct. He was paroled in March 2013 but remained in prison to serve his two-year sentence for the theft charge since he violated his probation by committing the other crimes.

He was released from the Indiana Department of Correction in December 2013 and was placed on parole for a previous sex offense. After violating his parole twice, he was sent back to prison.

Hobbs then filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, alleging his parole revocation occurred after his maximum release date and he was thus wrongfully imprisoned. The trial court denied his petition.

The Court of Appeals affirmed in Samuel L. Hobbs, Jr. v. Keith Butts, 33A01-1704-MI-734.

On appeal, Hobbs argued that since the state did not collect his signature on State Form 23R, he was “turned over” to begin serving his sentence on the theft charge, free of the parole obligation for residential entry, battery and criminal deviate conduct.

He supported his contention by citing to Meeker v. Ind. Parole Bd., 794 N.E.2d 1105 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003), trans. denied. In that case, the appellate panel held that when the parole board voted Meeker should be “turned over to another commitment,” it essentially discharged the offender from his sentence.

However, the Court of Appeals pointed out to Hobbs that in subsequent applications of Meeker, the focus has been on whether the parole board used the words “turned over.”  

“Hobbs has not directed us to any facts of record that indicate the Parole Board intended to discharge his sentence on the sex offense,” Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote for the court. “He does not point to any ‘turn over’ language used by the Parole Board. Instead, he baldly asserts that no vote by the Parole Board was required in his case. However, he fails to support this assertion with citation to relevant authority.”


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