WILLIAMSPORT, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has settled with a former inmate for keeping him captive TWO YEARS after his release date. The department has agreed to pay the inmate $20,000 instead of going to trial in the case. In the federal lawsuit filed by the former Michael Miller’s law firm, Miller alleges that the Dept. of Corrections kept him incarcerated more than two years beyond his maximum release date.
According to PennLive:
The department settled with Michael Miller without admitting liability and to avoid the expense of future litigation, according to the agreement obtained Monday by PennLive through a right-to-know request.
The report indicates that the settlement money will actually go to the law firm that represented Miller and is to cover damages along with court and attorney fees. There was no indication that Miller himself would receive any monetary compensation for being held hostage by the department.
Miller was suing the Dept. of Corrections, three officials at the Coal Twp. state prison and 10 unnamed corrections officers in U.S. Middle District Court in 2016. According to the suit, he was held 145 days longer than his sentence called for. He was supposed to be released March 28, 2013. Instead, the department finally granted Miller his freedom on Aug. 20, 2015.
Miller claims in the lawsuit that on multiple occasion he brought up this gross miscarriage of justice only to be ignored. He notified prison officials, parole board and the sentencing judge about his wrongful detention but no one took meaningful action to investigate or resolve it.
The defense response did not specifically address those claims but asked Judge John E. Jones III to dismiss the complaint, citing immunity and contending Miller failed to exhaust administrative and state court remedies.
Reports indicate the settlement was reached back in June but was not signed by the parties until August. The attorney general reportedly received the signed agreement last Friday.
Miller was originally sentenced to 3 to 6 years in state prison followed by four years’ probation on charges of aggravated assault and animal fighting on Jan. 27, 2010. He served his time, but officials did not keep up with the records and Miller was held past his release date. The sentence was to run concurrent with a term he was serving in a 2006 case and he was to be given credit for approximately a year and six months.