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Moten v. Lester

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division

April 5, 2016

ROBERT J. MOTEN, ADC #104692, Plaintiff,
v.
MIRIAM LESTER and WENDY KELLEY, Defendants.

RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

J. LEON HOLMES, Magistrate Judge.

I. Procedure for Filing Objections

This Recommended Disposition ("Recommendation") has been sent to Judge J. Leon Holmes. You may file written objections to this Recommendation. If you file objections, they must be specific and must include the factual or legal basis for your objection. Your objections must be received in the office of the United States District Court Clerk within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation.

If no objections are filed, Judge Holmes can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By not objecting, you may also waive any right to appeal questions of fact.

II. Background

Robert Moten, an Arkansas Department of Correction ("ADC") inmate, filed this lawsuit without the help of a lawyer under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. (Docket entry #2) In his complaint, Mr. Moten claims that his parole release date was improperly calculated. He names ADC Records Supervisor Miriam Lester and ADC Director Wendy Kelley as Defendants.

Defendants have filed motions for summary judgment, as has Mr. Moten. (#16, #30, #41) Based on the undisputed evidence presented by the parties, the Court concludes that Defendants' second motion for summary judgment (#41) should be GRANTED. Mr. Moten's motion should be DENIED and his claims DISMISSED, with prejudice.

III. Discussion

A. Standard

In a summary judgment, the court rules in favor of a party without the need for a trial. A party is entitled to summary judgment if the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the party on the other side of the lawsuit, shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any fact that is important to the outcome of the case. FED.R.CIV.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 246, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986).

B. History

In his complaint, Mr. Moten states that he was admitted to the ADC on March 24, 2010, to serve a 264-month term of imprisonment after his state-court criminal conviction for first-degree battery and a 30-month term for second-degree battery. After a criminal background check, the Pine Bluff Record Supervisor determined that Mr. Moten had been convicted in state court in 1995 of unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle. Applying the 2001 amended parole eligibility statute, the Record Supervisor determined that Mr. Moten was not eligible for parole.

Here, Mr. Moten complains that this calculation of his parole eligibility date violates the ex post facto clause of the Constitution, as well as his due process rights. Mr. Moten seeks an order requiring the Defendants to allow him to be parole-eligible after serving one-third of his sentence.

In their first motion for summary judgment, Defendants argue that Mr. Moten's claims should be dismissed because: he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies; his claims are time-barred; and he cannot recover money damages from Defendants in their official capacities. Defendants later abandoned their ...


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