John Quas v. Utah Board of Pardons

2011 UT App 301
Filed September 1, 2011

Judicial review of a decision of the Utah Board of Pardons is granted only for an alleged violation of procedural due process, and not to challenge a substantive decision.

The Utah Board of Pardons made a decision rescinding Mr. Quas previous parole date of October 15, 2013, and granting him a new parole date of October 23, 2018. Mr. Quas appealed this decision to the Utah courts, arguing per se without a criminal defense attorney that the Board had changed the date solely in retaliation for his request for a rehearing, without basing it on any new information.
The Utah district court ruled that the Utah Board of Pardons’ decisions regarding parole are final and not subject to judicial review. Judicial review of a decision made by the Utah Board of Pardons is only granted when the petitioner claims that the Board denied him procedural due process. An inmate is denied procedural due process of he does not receive adequate notice to prepare for a parole hearing, is not granted an opportunity to be heard, or is not given copies of the information the Board will use to make its decision.

The Utah Court of Appeals agreed with the district court, holding that Mr. Quas did not allege a violation of procedural due process and instead sought to challenge the Utah Board of Pardons’ substantive decision.