The opinion of the court was delivered by: JACOB HART, Magistrate Judge
*fn1 John Smith was added as an unrepresented party in June, 2003.
It does not appear from the docket that Mr. Smith was ever served with
the complaint or filed any response. For purposes of this Memorandum,
when the court refers to Defendant, we are referring to Mr. Childs.
It is undisputed in this civil rights action that Mr. Ray was
imprisoned after the expiration of his maximum sentence.*fn2
(Defendant's Motion, at 9). In his summary judgment motion, the Defendant
argues that Ray's constitutional claims are barred by the statute of
limitations, that Ray cannot establish a constitutional claim against the
Defendant, and the Defendant is entitled to qualified immunity. Because
we agree that the statute of limitations had run prior to Plaintiff's
filing suit, we will grant the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.
In June of 1978, Ray was sentenced on four counts of theft and related
charges in the Court of Common Pleas for Montgomery County. His aggregate
sentence was 3-15 years' imprisonment. His maximum date was July 26,
1997. He was paroled on the Montgomery County sentence in December of
1982, but violated and was arrested in York County on separate
charges involving bad checks. He was sentenced on these charges and
the parole violation. These sentences were to run concurrent with his
original sentence. His maximum date remained July 26, 1997. He was
paroled again in 1994.
When Ray was paroled, Todd Childs was assigned as his parole agent.
During Childs' supervision of Ray, there was some discussion concerning
Ray's maximum date, but Childs' concluded from reviewing the paperwork
that he had not reached his maximum date. (Ray Dep., at 17-19). In
December of 1998, Childs was replaced as Ray's parole officer and John
Smith began supervising Ray. In January, 1999, Smith picked up Ray for
parole violations and he was reincarcerated. (Ray Dep., at 12; Childs
Dep., at 29-31).
On July 29, 1999, while in prison, Ray wrote to the Parole Board,
advising them that he believed he had already reached his maximum date
and asking to be released. (Exhibit 1 to Ray Dep.). In August, 1999,
while in prison, Ray was arrested by the Glenolden Police Department for
conspiracy and credit card fraud. (Ray Dep., at 13).
On September 17, 1999, Ray again wrote to the Parole Board asking them
to look into his sentence because he had served his maximum. (Exhibit 2
to Ray Dep.). On September 30, 1999, an attorney contacted by Ray's wife
sent a letter to the Records Office at Graterford, informing them that
Ray had served his maximum sentence. Ray received a copy of that letter.
(Ray Dep., at 24; Exhibit 3 to Ray Dep.).
On October 25, 1999, Ray was informed that his sentence had been
incorrectly calculated and he was released from the state sentence. (Ray
Dep., at 13). He could not be released from custody, however, because of
the pending charges in Glenolden. Bail was subsequently posted on the
Glenolden charges and Ray was released on October 30, 1999. (Ray Dep., at
On October 29, 2001, Ray filed this action by writ of summons in the
Court of Common
Pleas. After Plaintiff amended the complaint filed in the state court,
adding Defendant Childs, one of his parole officers, Childs removed the
action to the federal court.
In his Motion for Summary Judgment, the Defendant argues that Ray's
constitutional claims are barred by the statute of limitations, that Ray
cannot establish a constitutional claim against the Defendant, and the
Defendant is entitled to qualified immunity.
Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment is warranted where the pleadings and discovery, as
well as any affidavits, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.Pr. 56. The moving party has the burden of
demonstrating the absence of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). When ruling on a summary
judgment motion, the court must construe the evidence and any ...