IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
May 15, 2013
WILLIAM GREGORY COOK, #165816
DAVID BLUMBERG, CHAIRMAN OF THE PAROLE COMMISSION DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Peter J. Messitte United States District Judge
On April 24, 2013, the Court received for filing William Gregory Cook's ("Cook") civil rights Complaint for punitive and compensatory damages for each day that he is not afforded a revocation hearing. Cook, who is confined at the Maryland Reception Detention & Classification Center ("MRDCC"), states that he was arrested on January 16, 2013 on drug charges and posted bond two days later. He asserts, however, that he was re-arrested on February 12, 2013 on a parole retake warrant issued by defendant. Cook complains that that it has been more than two months and he has not been provided a parole revocation hearing in a timely manner (within 60 days of his apprehension) in violation of the Code of Maryland Regulations ("COMAR"). The allegations go to Cook's arrest and continued detention on the parole retake warrant. His Complaint is accompanied by a Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Because he appears indigent, his indigency motion shall be granted. Cook's Complaint may not, however, proceed.
This is not the first time Cook has sought to proceed against Parole Chairman Blumberg with regard to his claims. In Cook v. Blumberg, et al., Civil Action PJM-13-764 (D. Md.) and Cook v. Blumberg, et al., Civil Action PJM-13-1250 (D. Md.) he raised similar allegations, which were treated as 28 U.S.C. § 2241 habeas corpus grounds and dismissed without prejudice. These cases show that in February of 2012, Cook was ordered to submit to urinalysis drug testing by his parole agent. This condition was formally added to Cook's parole supervision on March 12, 2012.
On January 16, 2013, Cook was arrested in Baltimore City for drug possession. He was released on bail two days later. Defendant issued a parole retake warrant charging Cook with violating parole release rules. He was arrested on the retake warrant on February 12, 2013. As noted by the Court, the parole retake warrant was premised on Cook's arrest on drug possession charges.
Cook seeks damages for his continued confinement on the parole retake warrant in light of the failure to conduct the expeditious parole revocation hearing as he claims is required under Maryland law. An inmate is not entitled to a prompt hearing where the parole violation warrant is simply filed as a detainer at the institution of his confinement. See Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78, 86-89 (1976). Moreover, parole officials are entitled to absolute immunity from suits challenging conduct involving the preparation of parole revocation reports. See Demoran v. Witt, 781 F.2d 155, 157 (9th Cir. 1985); Evans v. Dillahunty, 711 F.2d 828, 831 (8th Cir. 1983).*fn1
Because Cook's prisoner civil rights case fails to state a claim and is premised on an "indisputably meritless legal theory," his case shall be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).*fn2
He is hereby notified that he may be barred from filing future suits in forma pauperis if he continues to file federal civil rights actions that are subject to dismissal under § 1915(e) or Rule 12(b)(6).*fn3
This constitutes the first § 1915(e) strike to be assessed against Cook. A separate order follows.