United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
KRISTINE G. BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court has reviewed the Recommended Disposition filed by
United States Magistrate Judge Beth Deere (Dkt. No. 14). On
April 27, 2018, this Court granted plaintiff Harold Eugene
Rogers an additional 30 days to file his objections to the
Recommended Disposition (Dkt. No. 17). On May 29, 2018, Mr.
Rogers filed his objections (Dkt. No. 18). Also before the
Court are Mr. Rogers' motion for leave to supplement his
objections and his motion to appoint counsel (Dkt. Nos. 19,
20). After careful review of the Recommended Disposition, a
de novo review of the record, and a review of all of
Mr. Rogers' objections thereto, the Court adopts the
Recommended Disposition as its findings in all respects (Dkt.
No. 14). The Court denies Mr. Rogers' motion for leave to
supplement his objections and his motion to appoint counsel
(Dkt. Nos. 19, 20).
Rogers alleges that the Arkansas Department of Corrections
(“ADC”), via “Records Supervisor
Mrs. Gleenover Knight, ” incorrectly calculated the
date at which he becomes eligible for parole and that the
Circuit Court of Lincoln County, Arkansas, ignored state
procedural rules in deciding his claim (Dkt. No. 2, 5-7). The
Recommended Disposition recommends dismissal of Mr.
Rogers' petition for writ of habeas corpus on
the grounds that Mr. Rogers' has no protected liberty
interest in parole and because a violation of state
procedural rules is not cognizable via a petition
for writ of habeas corpus (Dkt. No. 14, at 4-5). Mr.
Rogers objects to the Recommended Disposition on the grounds
that his “minimum release date” should have been
calculated as occurring on November 5, 2003, rather than in
2021 (Id., at 2).
discussed in more depth in the Recommended Disposition, Mr.
Rogers' petition alleges that the ADC incorrectly
calculated when Mr. Rogers became eligible for parole.
Arkansas prisoners do not have an absolute right to parole,
Mason v. Hobbs, 453 S.W.3d 679, 682 (Ark. 2015), and
therefore Mr. Rogers' does not have a federally protected
liberty interest in parole. Jenner v. Nikolas, 828
F.3d 713, 716 (8th Cir. 2016) (noting that South Dakota's
discretionary parole process did not create a liberty
interest in parole). Furthermore, Mr. Rogers' argument
regarding the Lincoln County Circuit Court's application
of state procedural rules does not clearly implicate any
federal rights. To the extent that Mr. Rogers intends to
assert that he was denied federal procedural due process
while seeking parole, the Court denies this claim. See
Jenner, 828 F.3d at 716 (finding that the process for
obtaining parole does not create a federally protected
liberty interest if a prisoner has no protected liberty
interest in parole itself). Accordingly, the Court denies
without prejudice Mr. Rogers' petition for
the Court denies Mr. Rogers' motion for leave to
supplement objection to Magistrate's report (Dkt. No.
19). The Court notes that it granted Mr. Rogers an extension
of time to file his initial objections until May 27, 2018
(Dkt. No. 17). Mr. Rogers' filed this request for leave
to supplement his objections on June 4, 2018, eight days
after the initial extension expired (Dkt. No. 19). Mr. Rogers
contends that his objections are not complete “because
the inmate that had helped him prepare the objection failed
to adequately address all the issues pertinent to his
claims” and because he did not have time to amend his
objection in time (Id., at 1). In his request for a
further extension of time, Mr. Rogers does not summarize or
describe in any way what supplement to his objections he
contends he will make if granted leave. Moreover, the
Recommended Disposition rests on well-settled legal
principles that supplemental objections are unlikely to
change. As Mr. Rogers has already been granted one extension
to file his objections, the Court finds that he has failed to
demonstrate good cause as to why he should be entitled to
supplement his objections. Accordingly, the Court denies Mr.
Rogers' motion for leave to supplement objection to
Magistrate's report (Dkt. No. 19).
the Court also denies Mr. Rogers' motion to appoint
counsel (Dkt. No. 20). Mr. Rogers previously requested the
appointment of counsel (Dkt. No. 11), but the Court denied
that request on the grounds that Mr. Rogers is capable of
prosecuting his case since the facts and issues in this case
are not so complex as to warrant appointment of counsel (Dkt.
No. 12). For the same reasons, the Court denies Mr.
Rogers' present motion to appoint counsel (Dkt. No. 20).
Certificate Of Appealability
Court concludes that Mr. Rogers is not entitled to a
certificate of appealability because he has not made a
substantial showing of a denial of a constitutional right.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c); Slack v.
McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 483-84 (2000) (determining that
a substantial showing of the denial of a federal right
requires a demonstration that reasonable jurists could debate
whether, or for that matter agree that, the petition should
have been resolved in a different manner or that the issues
presented were adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed
therefore ordered that:
Court adopts the Recommended Disposition as its findings in
all respects (Dkt. No. 14).
Court dismisses without prejudice Mr. Rogers' petition
for habeas relief (Dkt. No. 2).
Court denies Mr. Rogers' motion for leave to supplement
objection to Magistrate's report and motion to ...