How to Appeal the Parole Board’s Decision to Revoke Parole

A parolee has the right to appeal a decision to revoke parole by the Michigan Parole Board. If the decision to revoke parole violated the law, a Circuit Court judge could reverse the revocation and order that parole be reinstated.

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A Circuit Court Judge Can Reverse the Parole Board

In September of 2016, a Circuit Court judge reversed the Michigan Parole Board’s decision to revoke a man’s parole. In that case, the Parole Board found that a man possessed a firearm in violation of his parole. The evidence that the man possessed a firearm was weak and unreliable. The Parole Board revoked his parole and returned him to prison. The Michigan Parole Board appealed the decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals. After considering multiple arguments by the government, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the Circuit Court judge’s decision to reverse the Parole Board’s revocation of parole and order that the man’s parole be reinstated.

Revocation of Parole is Subject to Appeal and Judicial Oversight

The Michigan Parole Board is an administrative body governed by the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). APA rules govern parole revocation proceedings. A circuit court judge may review a decision made by an administrative agency if made according to the administrative rules. When considering an appeal, the Circuit Court judge must determine if the Parole Board’s decision was authorized by law. In other words, the judge can review whether the decision violated a statute or the constitution, in excess of its authority or jurisdiction, if made upon unlawful procedure resulting in prejudice, not supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence, or “arbitrary and capricious.”

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Parole Revocation Not Supported by Competent, Material, and Substantial Evidence

The overwhelming majority of people on parole and found to be in violation do not have sufficient financial resources to hire a top-rated, experienced criminal defense lawyer to file an appeal. The Parole Board counts on little oversight of its decisions and frequently makes revocation determinations based on unreliable or slight evidence. The assumption is that since there is little chance a court will review a decision, they can do whatever they want.

When is a decision arbitrary and capricious?

When a judge or administrative agency decides without reasonable grounds or adequate consideration of the circumstances, it is arbitrary and capricious. An appellate court can invalidate an arbitrary and capricious decision. There is, however, no set or objective standard for what constitutes an arbitrary and capricious decision; what appears arbitrary to one judge may seem perfectly reasonable to another.

Generally, a decision is considered arbitrary and capricious when there is an absence of a rational connection between the facts found and the choice made. In other words, an action is not based upon consideration of relevant factors.

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Does a person on parole have any right to disagree with a parole violation ruling by the Parole Board?

Yes! Once a prisoner is released on parole, the Board retains the discretion to revoke parole, but only for cause and only when done so following statutorily proscribed procedural guidelines. The parolee has the right to adequate notice and the right to be found not guilty of parole violation if there is not a preponderance of legitimate evidence that there was a violation.

Determining Whether to Appeal a Parole Revocation Decision

A person who agrees that the Parole Board had the right to revoke parole but feels the punishment imposed is too harsh, probably should not spend otherwise needed funds on a lawyer for an appeal. Trial courts will be extremely reluctant to second guess a parole board’s choice of penalty unless the decision is so outside the bounds of reason that it is not rationally justifiable. On the other hand, if the Parole Board’s decision to revoke parole was based on weak, false, or despite a lack of evidence, an appeal may be the right choice.

Why hire LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. to appeal a Parole Board’s decision to revoke parole?

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully defending clients in all areas of criminal defense. Most solo practice and bargain lawyers lack the experience and expertise to achieve extraordinary results consistently. Conversely, the team of attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience and collaborate on each client’s case to provide the highest caliber and quality of legal defense available. We will take the time to review the adequacy and legitimacy of the evidence, examine the procedures used, and confirm that proper notice was given of the violation. If there is a way to potentially help and possibly win on appeal, we will find it. We are not afraid to win!

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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