United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
FRANKLYN D. PRILLERMAN PLAINTIFF
JOHN HUGGINS, DEFENDANTS
ROY WILSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
are Plaintiff's Motion for Equitable Tolling (Doc. No. 3)
and Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (Doc. Nos. 11, 18).
Responses have been filed.
February 15, 2012, Plaintiff was sentenced to eight years
probation on drug convictions. On November 22, 2012, he was
arrested on a “fugitive warrant” in Pennsylvania,
and extradited to Arkansas. In late April 2013, Plaintiff was
convicted of a parole violation, and he appealed the
conviction on May 10, 2013. According to Plaintiff, he was
“granted parole from the Arkansas Department of
Corrections . . . on or about August 20,
2013.” The parole-violation conviction was
reversed on January 22, 2014.
filed his Complaint on June 5, 2017. He asserts that he
“remained illegally in custody on parole for . . . 18
or 19 months without any legal jurisdiction” -- from
January 14, 2014 until approximately July 20,
claims are subject to a three-year statute of
limitations. That time-period began when the Arkansas
Court of Appeals reversed the probation-violation conviction
on January 22, 2014, which means he had until January 22,
2017 to file his § 1983 complaint based on the
conviction reversal. Plaintiff acknowledges this fact, but
asserts that equitable tolling applies.
Plaintiff contends that he “had no recollection of said
appeal” until April 24, 2017, which is when he talked
to his lawyer from the state-court conviction and was
reminded that he “had agreed” to have his lawyer
appeal the conviction. Second, Plaintiff asserts that he had
forgotten about the appeal because, at the time of the
conviction, he was under an “unbearable amount of
stress” related to his father dying, his significant
other being diagnosed with cancer, and fall-out from the
probation-violation conviction. Finally, Plaintiff argues
that Defendants never provided him notice of the reversal,
which “aided in hiding the injury.”
of knowledge of a cause of action does not stop the statute
of limitations from running unless there has been fraud or
concealment by the person invoking the defense of limitations
or if the statute is otherwise tolled.” Based on this
standard, Plaintiff's first and second excuses for delay
fail. As for Plaintiff's third excuse, there are no
allegations of fraud or concealment. In fact, the Arkansas
Court of Appeals decision was filed in the public record.
Plaintiff's argument that Defendants did not provide him
notice is meritless because Plaintiff cannot establish that
Defendants had a duty to provide him notice of the ruling.
The undisputed facts are that Plaintiff was paroled on August
20, 2013 and was never again in Defendants' custody. The
conviction was reversed five months later.
diligence is essential in the context of equitable
tolling.” Plaintiff has failed to establish that
he exercised reasonable diligence in pursing this claim.
Simply claiming that he was distracted and had forgotten that
an appeal was filed falls far below the reasonable-diligence
the statute of limitations did not apply, it appears to me
that this case would be dismissed. While Plaintiff was
incarcerated, there was a valid conviction for a probation
violation -- he was paroled five months before that
conviction was invalidated. Additionally, if Plaintiff is
arguing that he spent excessive time on probation, the claim
is without merit. The undisputed facts are that, in February
2012, he was sentenced to eight years probation. He was
released from probation in July 2015, which was 4.5 years
reasons set out above, Plaintiff's Motion for Equitable
Tolling (Doc. No. 3) is DENIED and Defendants' Motions to
Dismiss (Doc. Nos. 11, 18) ...