of habeas corpus, Cyle Keith Kokot challenges his recent
parole denial from the Board of Pardons and Parole (Board).
We amend the caption to indicate the name of the current
warden at Montana State Prison (MSP). Section
2015, Kokot pleaded guilty to sexual assault in the
Eighteenth Judicial District Court, Gallatin County. The
District Court sentenced him to MSP for twenty-five years
with ten years suspended. He appealed, raising the issue of
"whether the District Court premised its sentencing
decision on materially false information[.]" State
v. Kokot, 2017 MT 198N, ¶ 2, 389 Mont. 542, 400
P.3d 243. We affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded
the case to the District Court to strike a probationary
condition based on the State's concession.
Kokot, ¶¶ 2, 9-10.
raises two issues about the parole hearing. He first
questions whether he has a "constitutional, due
process" right to rebut the statements from the Gallatin
County Attorney that the Board considered. Kokot contends
that confidential statements from the County Attorney were
the basis of his denial and that he was not given the
opportunity to rebut them at his hearing. He argues that this
hearing should have been "fair  and just" and his
due process right to rebut or defend himself was violated. He
next contends that he has a "reasonable
expectation" of parole because he met all of the
criteria in the administrative rules. Kokot requests a new
and unbiased parole hearing and that this Court direct the
Gallatin County Attorney "to cease and desist all its
malicious activities or at least allow [him] to rebut
parole hearing was fair and just. This Court has determined
before that the Board has broad authority and discretion to
consider all relevant information. In Montana, the Board is
specifically required to "consider all pertinent
information regarding each prisoner, including the
circumstances of his offense, his previous social history and
criminal record, his conduct, employment and attitude in
prison, and the reports of any physical and mental
examinations which have been made." McDermott v.
McDonald, 2001MT 89, ¶ 20, 305 Mont. 166, 24 P.3d
200, quoting § 46-23-202, MCA (1985). In that case, we
stated that "[p]arole ... is a discretionary grant of
freedom from incarceration." McDermott, ¶
Board may consider much more information such as statements
from various criminal justice authorities. Section
46-23-202(5), MCA (2013),  provides that "a hearing panel
shall consider all available and pertinent information
regarding the prisoner, including... written or oral
statements from criminal justice authorities or any other
interested person . . . regarding the effect of the crime on
the victim." Montana's administrative rules support
this. An interested person, such as a county attorney, may
make oral statements to the Board or provide written ones.
Admin. R. M. 20.25.401(3), (4) (2016).
is well established that a parole release determination is
not subject to all the due process protections required to
convict or confine." McDermott, ¶ 11. In
other words, a parole hearing is not a contested case or an
adversarial proceeding like a criminal trial. "As a
consequence, the United States Supreme Court has held that
due process is satisfied when the prisoner seeking parole is,
at a minimum, provided with an opportunity to be heard and a
written statement explaining why he was denied parole."
McDermott, ¶ 11 (citations omitted). Kokot was
given the opportunity to be heard, not to rebut necessarily.
Kokot appeared before the Board for his initial parole
hearing, and he received a written copy of the decision.
McDermott, ¶11. We conclude that his due
process rights were not violated.
does not have a reasonable expectation of parole because he
does not have a liberty interest in parole since he committed
his crimes in 2014, well after 1989. McDermott,
¶ 9, (citing Warden v. Board of Pardons and
Parole, 1998 MT 168, ¶42, 289 Mont. 459, 962 P.2d
Court does not have the authority to fulfill Kokot's
requests. The Board has the authority and discretion to
consider pertinent statements. This Court does not reschedule
parole hearings; the Board does. The Board has scheduled his
reappearance in two years, which does not change the length
of his net fifteen-year prison term.
has not demonstrated that he is illegally incarcerated for
this Court to grant a writ of habeas corpus. Section
46-22-101(1), MCA. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that
Kokot's Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is DENIED.
Clerk of the Supreme Court is directed to provide a copy of
this Order to counsel of record and to Cyle Keith Kokot
The 2013 version of Montana Code
Annotated applies because Kokot was arrested and charged in
August 2014. Kokot, ¶ 2. The language in §
46-23-202(5), MCA (2013), now appears in ...