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Name: In re Batie
Case #: D059794
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/20/2012
Subsequent History: Review granted 10/17/12: S205057

An unlawful denial of parole by a Governor’s reversal does not entitle the inmate to an award of credit to reduce the parole term. Batie was granted parole by the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) and that release order was reversed in 2010 by then Governor Swartzenegger. At the next hearing, while a habeas petition that challenged the reversal was pending, the BPH granted release and Governor Brown allowed the 2011 grant to become effective. Following his release, Batie argued in his habeas proceedings that he was entitled to credit against his parole period for the 366 days that elapsed between the Governor’s wrongful reversal in 2010 and his release date. The Court of Appeal dismissed the petition for lack of any pending controversy upon which relief may properly be granted. The court assumed, without deciding, that the Governor’s reversal was unsupported by the evidence in determining whether any judicial remedy can be created to control the administrative and discretionary processes in setting the term and conditions of parole. Batie did not show that the time between the Governor’s 2010 reversal and his eventual release was attributable to any “unlawfulness” in the proceedings. The Governor was entitled to independently review Batie’s case and did not do so in any unlawful procedural manner. The Governor’s reversal, even if erroneous, and the delay caused by procedural due process in the parole proceedings did not convert a portion of the life sentence into “unlawful” custody. Even if the Governor’s reversal was unsupported, the court cannot replace BPH as the decision maker on how long Batie’s parole period should be, when it should begin, or under what conditions. Based on principles of separation of powers and the appropriate scope of due process review, Batie is not entitled to any judicially determined award of additional credits. This court disagreed with the result and reasoning in In re Lira (June 29, 2012, H036162) __ Cal.App.4th __ [2012 Cal.App. LEXIS 768] [credits granted to reduce the parole term for the period after the erroneous reversal].