17 Oct 2016

No hearing until 2017 for prison payout claim

1:08 pm on 17 October 2016

A man who was held in jail for longer than he should have been will have to wait until next year for his compensation claim to be heard in the High Court.

Prison bars, hands, generic

Corrections Minister Judith Collins said thousands of prisoners could be affected by release date errors. Photo: 123RF

Michael Marino was jailed for 22 months on domestic violence and other charges and should have been released in January.

When that did not happen, he took legal action that went all the way to the Supreme Court.

Last month, the court ruled the Corrections Department failed to factor in time spent in custody on remand when calculating Mr Marino's release date.

Mr Marino's lawyer said he hoped a compensation claim would be heard soon, because he believed the government might attempt to pass legislation to prevent any payment to his client.

But the case had its first call in the High Court this morning, and Justice Clark said the earliest it could be heard was next February.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins said last month that thousands of prisoners could potentially be affected by the release date error.

Prime Minister John Key said whether compensation would be considered for affected inmates was uncertain and Parliament could pass retrospective legislation to rule out payments.