NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION
Petitioner-Appellant, Melvin Duret, Jr., an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC), filed a petition for judicial review
We find the commissioner's report, attached herein as "Appendix A," provides a correct analysis of the applicable law regarding Mr. Duret's parole ineligibility. Further, Mr. Duret is not eligible for good time credits under La. R.S. 15:571.3(C)(2) & (3)(b).
The Petitioner, an inmate in the custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, filed this suit for judicial review of Administrative Remedy Procedure No. AVC-2013-14, seeking review in accordance with R.S. 15:1171 et seq. The Department filed the administrative record and both parties were notified of their right to file briefs. Any briefs filed have been considered and are in the record for the court's convenience. This report is issued administrative record alone in accordance with law for the Court's de novo consideration and adjudication on the merits of the Petitioner's claim.
ANALYSIS OF THE FACTS AND LAW
The scope of this Court's review is limited by R.S. 15:1177(A) (5) & (9), which states, in pertinent part, as follows:
In this case, according to the Petitioner, he was originally sentenced by the trial court as a second habitual offender for a felony drug crime, and the district attorney gave that offer as opposed to seeking to prosecute the petitioner as a fourth felony offender.
The Petitioner was then sent to the Department's custody, whereupon a review of his Master Prison sheet showed that he had convictions prior to the instant felony conviction. Therefore, pursuant to R.S. 15:574.4, which prohibits parole to anyone with three or more felony convictions, the Department classified the Petitioner as parole ineligible on his current drug conviction. The Petitioner complains that the Department has, without authority, classified him as parole ineligible because his habitual offender adjudication by the trial court pursuant to R.S. 15:529.1 specifically did not prohibit parole eligibility.
The Petitioner is correct that the habitual offender statute does not prohibit parole eligibility, but other laws may, and in this case, R.S. 15:574.4 appears to be applicable, based on the evidence in the administrative record, which includes a copy of his Master Prison sheet.
As noted by the Department, that Master Prison Record bears the Petitioner's name (Melvin Duret), his social security number, other personal identifying information and his DOC number (which does not change). In addition, R.S. 15:574.4 prohibits parole eligibility to anyone with three or more felony convictions, regardless of whether he was adjudicated an habitual offender or not. The Petitioner's claim that the Department is bound by the trial court's adjudication of him as a second felony offender, and his alleged parole eligibility argument is without any legal basis.
The Department is bound by the statutory law applicable herein, and that law prohibits parole eligibility for any person convicted three or more times of a felony. The fact that the sentence imposed did not prohibit parole is irrelevant for the purpose of parole eligibility classifications by the Department. A similar issue was decided by the Supreme Court in Townley v. Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
In this case, the administrative record shows, without contradiction by the Petitioner, that he has four felony convictions on his record. Even if he only has three—which he does not contend — statutory law makes him parole ineligible. The Petitioner completely ignores the clear language of R.S. 15:574.4 (A)(1) which states in pertinent part the following:
Thus, unless the Petitioner can allege (and show), in a traversal of this Report, that he has only been convicted of two felonies, he does not state a cause of action for any relief from this Court and this appeal is frivolous and without any legal merit.
COMMISSIONER'S SCREENING RECOMMENDATION
Therefore, after careful consideration of the entire administrative record, together with the facts and applicable law, for reasons hereinabove stated, I find that the Petitioner does not state a claim for which any relief is due under the law, and that the Department's decision is correct and must be affirmed. Therefore, I recommend dismissal of this appeal with prejudice at the Petitioner's costs.
Respectfully recommended this 1