United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
Lee Miller, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
Felt, Defendant, represented by Gary L. Sullivan, Arkansas
Attorney General's Office.
Vail, Defendant, represented by Gary L. Sullivan, Arkansas
Attorney General's Office.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE
A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.
Melton Lee Miller originally submitted this pro se
action for filing on September 8, 2015. ECF No. 1. Pursuant
to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. Â§ 636(b)(1) and (3)(2014), the
Honorable Susan O. Hickey, United States District Judge,
referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose of
making a Report and Recommendation.
case is before me on a Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 16) filed
by Defendants John Felts and Ashley Vailes. Plaintiff
has filed a Response and a Supplement to Response (ECF Nos.
is currently an inmate of the Arkansas Department of
Correction - Wrightsville Unit in Wrightsville, Arkansas. ECF
No. 18. Defendant John Felts is the Chairman of the Arkansas
Board of Parole. Defendant Ashley Vailes is an Administrative
Law Judge at the Arkansas Board of Parole. Plaintiff alleges
his constitutional rights were violated because the documents
relating to his parole revocation had his first name
misspelled by one letter ("Milton" instead of
"Melton") and he was denied the right to confront
the witnesses against him at his parole hearing. ECF No. 1.
Pre-service, this Court dismissed Plaintiff's claim
regarding the spelling of his name for failure to state a
claim, leaving only his claim he was denied the right to
confront witnesses for resolution. ECF No. 10.
Felts and Vailes have moved to dismiss the case against them
on the following grounds: (1) Plaintiff has failed to state a
constitutional claim for which relief can be granted under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12 (b)(6); (2) Defendants are entitled to
absolute immunity from suit; (3) Defendants are entitled to
qualified immunity; and (4) Plaintiff's claims are barred
by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Defendants
also assert that a dismissal in this matter should be counted
as a "strike" for purposes of 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915 (g).
Civ. P. 12 (b)(6) provides that a motion to dismiss should be
granted on a plaintiff's claim if he "fail[s] to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted." A
complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim if
it appears beyond a doubt the plaintiff's complaint can
prove no set of facts to support the plaintiff's
purported cause of action. Schaller Tel. Co. v. Golden
Sky Sys., Inc., 298 F.3d 736, 740 (8th Cir. 2001). In
determining whether to dismiss this action under Rule 12
(b)(6), the Court will assume the facts alleged in
Plaintiff's Complaint are correct and will draw
reasonable inferences from the facts in favor of the
allegations in the Complaint. Turner v. Holbrook,
278 F.3d 754, 757 (8th Cir. 2002); In re Navarre Corp.
Sec. Litig., 299 F.3d 735, 738 (8th Cir. 2002).
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983, a plaintiff
must allege that the defendant acted under color of state law
and that he violated a right secured by the Constitution.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42 (1988); Dunham v.
Wadley, 195 F.3d 1007, 1009 (8th Cir.1999). The
deprivation must be intentional; mere negligence will not
suffice to state a claim for deprivation of a constitutional
right under Â§ 1983. Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S.
327 (1986); Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344 (1986).
facts set forth in Plaintiff's Complaint do not support
any plausible cause of action for relief under 42 U.S.C. Â§
1983. According to Plaintiff, his parole was revoked on July
9, 2015 and Defendant Vailes was the presiding judge during
the hearing. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff's only remaining claim
- that he was not permitted to confront witnesses against him
- is directly related to his parole hearing and decision. It
is well settled that inmates do not have a constitutionally