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RAY v. CHILDS

February 10, 2004.

WILLIAM RAY
v.
TODD CHILDS and JOHN SMITH[fn1]



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.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

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.

 Facts

  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 Page 2 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 13-14).

  On October 29, 2001, Ray filed this action by writ of summons in the Court of Common Page 3 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 ...


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