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Shaw v. Metzger
Superior Court of Delaware
September 14, 2018
GEORGE B. SHAW, Petitioner,
DANA METZGER, Respondent.
Submitted: September 7, 2018
Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment GRANTED
HONORABLE ANDREA L. ROCANELLI JUDGE.
consideration of Respondent's motion for summary judgment
of the petition for a writ of mandamus; the Superior Court
Rules of Civil Procedure; the facts, arguments, and legal
authorities set forth by the parties; and the entire record
in this case, the Court hereby finds as follows:
1. Petitioner George Shaw ("Petitioner") pled
guilty to Aggravated Acts of Intimidation and Stalking. By
order dated March 15, 2013, effective November 21, 2012,
Petitioner was sentenced as follows: for Aggravated Acts of
Intimidation, 8 years at Level 5, suspended after 6 years for
2 years at Level 4 Halfway House, suspended after 6 months
for 18 months at Level 3; and for Stalking, 3 years at Level
5, suspended after 2 years for 1 year at Level 3.
Petitioner's maximum expiration date is November 21,
2. Petitioner has received several sanctions while
incarcerated that have resulted in the forfeiture of 180 days
of good time credits.
3. Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of mandamus on May
31, 2018, alleging that the Department of Correction
("DOC") unlawfully deducted 156 statutory good time
credits, and seeking an order that DOC restore his statutory
good time credits.
4. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss Petitioner's
petition for a writ of mandamus on the grounds that
Petitioner's good time credits were properly forfeited
after Petitioner failed to comply with DOC rules and
5. On August 6, 2018, the Court informed the parties that,
because Respondent attached various materials to the motion
to dismiss, Respondent's motion would be converted to a
motion for summary judgment.
6. Respondent supplemented the record on August 20, 2018,
with a letter memorandum providing the Court with requested
sentencing information and an affidavit verifying all
information and supporting documentation submitted in support
of the motion.
7. Petitioner contends in his August 29, 2018, response that
the forfeiture of his good-time credits resulted from a
procedural due process violation. Specifically, Petitioner
alleges that DOC failed to comply with its policy requiring
the hearing officer to conduct a mental health evaluation
before any sanction is imposed.
8. In response to Petitioner's contention, Respondent
further supplemented the record with Disciplinary Mental
Health Assessment Forms completed before each of
Petitioner's disciplinary hearings by qualified mental
health professionals. In addition, Respondent submitted the
corresponding disciplinary reports, decisions, and appeal
forms for each of the seven infractions.
9. The Superior Court has jurisdiction to issue writs of
mandamus under 10 Del. C. § 564. The Court may
issue a writ of mandamus to "a State officer, tribunal,
board, or agency to compel the performance of an official
duty." A writ of mandamus is an
"extraordinary remedy." Therefore, the Court will
only issue a writ of mandamus where "the complainant has
a clear right to the performance of the duty[, ] … no
other adequate remedy is available[, ] and … the
officer, tribunal, board, or agency arbitrarily has failed or
refused to perform its duty."
10. Under 11 Del. C. § 4381, an incarcerated
person may earn good time credits "for good behavior
while in the custody of [DOC] when the person has not been
guilty of any violation of discipline, rules of the
Department or any criminal activity and has labored with
diligence toward rehabilitation..." However,
"Any person subject to the custody of [DOC] … who
is determined to have violated the rules of [DOC] shall under
the rules and procedures of the Department forfeit all or
part of the good time ...
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