United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
Stacy Jones, an inmate now incarcerated at the Milwaukee
County House of Correction, filed this lawsuit without the
help of a lawyer under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, while he was
incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC).
(Docket entry #2) Mr. Jones claims that ADC officials
violated his rights by preventing him from filing a request
for the prompt disposition of criminal charges lodged against
him in the State of Wisconsin. (#2, #9) Defendants have now
moved to dismiss based on failure to state a federal claim
for relief. (#11) Mr. Jones has not responded, and the time
for doing so has passed.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court may
dismiss a complaint that fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. In deciding whether a plaintiff has
stated a claim, the Court must determine whether the
plaintiff has pleaded facts with enough specificity “to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (citations omitted). A complaint cannot simply
“[leave] open the possibility that a plaintiff might
later establish some ‘set of undisclosed facts' to
support recovery.” Id. at 561 (citation
omitted). Rather, the facts set forth in the complaint must
be sufficient to “nudge [the] claims across the line
from conceivable to plausible.” Id. at 570.
to the complaint, in November of 2016, Mr. Jones was serving
a sentence in the ADC after his parole was revoked. The
Arkansas Parole Commission granted him parole again on
November 4, 2016, although he was not scheduled for immediate
he was still in ADC custody, Mr. Jones was served with a copy
of a detainer from the State of Wisconsin. (#2) Mr. Jones
alleges that he submitted a written request to Warden Page
and Ms. Polk to facilitate a Request for Disposition of
pending criminal charges in Wisconsin. (#2, #9)
According to Mr. Jones, “I wanted the Judge and
District Attorney [in Wisconsin] to receive and acknowledge
my request for final disposition so while I'm sitting
here [in ADC custody] my time could count toward a speedy
January of 2017, ADC staff informed Mr. Jones that, because
he had been granted parole, there was not enough time to
process the paper work required for a temporary return to
Wisconsin for a trial there. (#2 at 12) Mr. Jones was
returned to the State of Wisconsin on March 8, 2017, 124 days
after his initial request to Defendants for effecting the
Request for Disposition. (#9)
the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (“IAD”), if
a prisoner requests a speedy disposition of criminal charges
pending in another state, the jurisdiction filing the
detainer must transport the prisoner for trial within 180
days of receiving the request. Otherwise, the court will
dismiss the charges. 18 U.S.C. App, 2, § 2; see also
U.S. v. Daily, 488 F.3d 796, 800-01 (8th Cir. 2007).
Once a State has obtained a prisoner from the sister state,
the receiving State must try the prisoner within 120 days of
his or her arrival, and must not return the prisoner to his
original place of imprisonment prior to trial. Alabama v.
Bozeman, 533 U.S. 146, 151 (2001). This provision aims
to protect a prisoner with outstanding detainers and to
preserve a prisoner's ability to present an effective
defense, receive a speedy trial, and participate in treatment
and rehabilitation programs. Cuyler v. Adams, 449
U.S. 433, 449 (1981); Rhodes v. Schoen, 574 F.2d
968, 969 (8th Cir. 1978).
imposes obligations upon prison officials in the State
holding the prisoner to facilitate the prisoner's request
for disposition. The statute specifically requires the warden
or other custodian to “promptly” notify all
appropriate prosecuting officers and courts of the
prisoners' request for final disposition. 18 U.S.C. App,
2, § 2, Art. III (b & d). A Request for Disposition
cannot be effected without the assistance of the warden or
custodian in the State where the prisoner is incarcerated.
violations are cognizable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Cuyler, 449 U.S. at 449-50, but only in certain
situations. Rhodes, 574 F.2d 970 (requiring merely
general compliance with IAD). A delay in forwarding a
disposition request, however, does not give rise to a §
1983 cause of action as long as plaintiff was afforded his
procedural due process guarantees, such as a pre-transfer
hearing and a speedy trial. Rhodes, 574 F.2d at 970.
case, 124 days, at most, elapsed between Mr. Jones's
request for assistance in processing his Request for
Disposition and his return to Wisconsin. Even though the
Defendants did not promptly send the Request for Disposition
to Wisconsin officials, Mr. Jones was, in fact, returned to
Wisconsin within 180 days of the date he received notice of
the detainer. See Interstate Agreement on Detainers § 2,
Art. III (a), 18 U.S.C. App. 2; Bozeman, 533 U.S. at
the circumstances here, the Defendants' failure to abide
by their obligations under IAD did not result in an
abridgement of Mr. Jones's constitutional rights.
Rhodes, 574 F.2d at 970 (requiring mere general
compliance with IAD procedures); see also Cole v.
Winters, 2007 WL 433260 (E.D. Mo. 2007) (holding that a
78-day delay between request for disposition and return to
another state did not state a § 1983 claim).
Jones was returned to Wisconsin within a time period that
adequately protected his right to a speedy trial in that
State. Thus, Mr. Jones has failed to state a federal claim
for relief. Accordingly, the Defendants' motion to
dismiss (#11) is GRANTED.