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Rich v. Moore

United States District Court, D. Maryland

September 13, 2018

DANA CARLTON RICH, #430-252, Plaintiff,
v.
KENYA MOORE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          George L. Russell, III United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Kenya Moore's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 14) and Plaintiff Dana Carlton Rich's Motion for Writ of Habeas Corpus (ECF No. 15). The Motions are ripe for disposition, and no hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For the reasons outlined below, the Court will grant Rich's Motion for Writ of Habeas Corpus, which it construes as a Supplement to the habeas claims contained in this hybrid Complaint, and will grant in part and deny without prejudice in part Moore's Motion.

         I.BACKGROUND[1]

         Rich is incarcerated at the Maryland Correctional Training Center in Hagerstown, Maryland. (Compl. at 1, ECF No. 1).[2] On August 19, 2014, Rich pleaded guilty to armed robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland. (Compl. Ex. A at 1, ECF No. 1-1; Id. Ex. B at 1, ECF No. 1-2); see also State v. Rich, No. 03-K-14-000967 (Cir.Ct.Balt.Cty.). The Court sentenced Rich to two concurrent twenty-year sentences, with all but five years suspended. (Compl. Ex. F at 1-2, ECF No. 1-6; Compl. at 3). Rich's commitment order, dated August 19, 2014, indicates that he was eligible for parole. (Compl. Ex. F at 2). Rich also earned good conduct or diminution credits in prison and, accounting for these credits, his release date was June 9, 2017. (Compl. Ex. G, ECF No. 1-7).

         Rich alleges that, applying his earned diminution credits, he was scheduled for mandatory supervision release in May 2017.[3] (Compl. at 2; Id. Ex. B ¶ 2). In anticipation of his release, Rich was placed on home detention on April 11, 2017. (Compl. Ex. G; Compl. at 3).

         On April 12, 2017, Rich was removed from home detention and the Division of Correction (“DOC”) notified him in writing that he was ineligible for mandatory supervision release based on his conviction for use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime. The notice states, in relevant part:

You are not eligible for release on mandatory supervision because you are not eligible for parole on your sentence for a violent crime. Diminution of confinement credits cannot be applied to reduce the length of your incarceration. Upon reaching the maximum expiration date, you will be released by expiration of sentence.

(Compl. Ex. A).

         The notice explained that Rich's firearms conviction was a violent crime as defined in Md. Code Ann., Corr. Servs. § 7-101(m), and the crime occurred after October 1, 2009, thereby making him ineligible for parole and mandatory release during his confinement under Md. Code Ann., Corr. Servs. § 7-501(b).[4] (Compl. Ex. A). Rich states that he was informed that he must serve his five-year term “day for day” without the benefit of diminution credits. (Compl. at 3; Id. Ex. A). Rich asserts that he is entitled to the benefit of the diminution credits that he earned. (Compl. at 3; Id. Ex. G). He pleads that he was “stripped of all his day[s], ” and his right to due process was violated. (Compl. at 3; Id. Ex. G at 1-2). Rich's superseding commitment record, dated October 12, 2017, shows that he must serve the first five years of his sentence without consideration for or release on parole. (Def.'s Mot. Dismiss [“Def.'s Mot.”] Ex. B at 9- 10, ECF No. 14-3).[5]

         On August 3, 2017, Rich, who is self-represented, filed his Complaint, bringing a hybrid civil rights and habeas action. (ECF No. 1). In his Complaint, Rich challenges the calculation of his term of confinement, requests $100, 000 damages for “unjust incarceration, ” and seeks immediate release from imprisonment. (Compl. at 4-6).

         On December 18, 2017, Moore, a Commitment Records Specialist Supervisor for the DOC, filed a Motion to Dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b). (ECF No. 14). Rich filed an Opposition on February 12, 2018. (ECF No. 16). To date, the Court has no record that Moore filed a Reply. On December 27, 2017, before filing his Opposition, Rich filed a “Motion for Writ of Habeas Corpus” seeking a hearing on his allegedly improper confinement.[6] (ECF No. 15). Rich's Motion is unopposed.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         “The purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is to test the sufficiency of a complaint, ” not to “resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses.” King v. Rubenstein, 825 F.3d 206, 214 (4th Cir. 2016) (quoting Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243-44 (4th Cir. 1999)). A complaint fails to state a claim if it does not contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), or does not “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Though the plaintiff is not required to forecast evidence to prove ...


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