United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ROBERT L. HOLLEMAN, Plaintiff,
GWENDOLYN M. HORTH individually and in her official capacity as the Chairwoman of the Indiana Parole Board, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS AND DIRECTING ENTRY
OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, United States District Court Judge
reasons explained below, Defendant Gwendolyn M. Horth's
motion to dismiss, Dkt. No. 19, is granted.
Standard of Review
Horth seeks dismissal of the claims against her pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). In
reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must
accept all well-pled facts as true and draw all permissible
inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Active
Disposal, Inc. v. City of Darien, 635 F.3d 883, 886 (7th
Cir. 2011). The Court will not accept legal conclusions or
conclusory allegations as sufficient to state a claim for
relief. See McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d
611, 617 (7th Cir. 2011). Factual allegations must plausibly
state an entitlement to relief “to a degree that rises
above the speculative level.” Munson v. Gaetz,
673 F.3d 630, 633 (7th Cir. 2012).
following facts are not necessarily objectively true, but as
required when reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court
accepts as true all well-pleaded facts alleged in the
Complaint, and draws all possible inferences in Mr.
Holleman's favor. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (“[W]hen ruling on a defendant's
motion to dismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the
factual allegations contained in the complaint.”).
Robert L. Holleman brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against members of the Indiana Parole Board. He
alleged that the Board violated his due process right to
present documentary evidence at his parole hearing on
November 12, 2017. Specifically, he alleges he brought a
psychiatric report to the video hearing that he wished to
have faxed to the Parole Board members for their
consideration, but it was not provided to them and thus they
did not consider it. He sought injunctive relief - namely, a
new parole board hearing under certain conditions.
Court screened Mr. Holleman's complaint on November 15,
2017 and allowed his due process claim for injunctive relief
to proceed against Gwendolyn Horth in her official capacity
as Chair of the Indiana Parole Board. Dkt. No. 4.
Horth argues that there is no due process right associated
with parole hearings. Because there is no due process right,
she argues that the action must be dismissed for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. She further
argues that the Court should decline supplemental
jurisdiction over any state law claim, and, in any case, any
state law claim is precluded by the Eleventh Amendment. Mr.
Holleman did not file a response and the time to do so has
prisoner has no federal constitutional right to be released
before the expiration of his sentence. Greenholtz v.
Inmates of the Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex,
442 U.S. 1, 7 (1979). Moreover, under Indiana statutes,
“a prisoner has neither a liberty nor a property
interest in his application for parole.” Huggins v.
Isenbarger, 798 F.2d 203, 206 (7th Cir. 1986);
Averhart v. Tutsie, 618 F.2d 479, 482 (7th Cir.
1980) (“we hold that Indiana state prisoners do not
have a protectible interest in being paroled”); see
also Hendrix v. Borkowski, 927 F.2d 607 (7th Cir. 1991)
(“This court has concluded that the Indiana parole
scheme creates neither a liberty nor property interest in an
application for parole.”) (citing Huggins).
When no recognized liberty or property interest has been
taken, the confining authority “is free to use any
procedures it chooses, or no procedures at all.”
Montgomery v. Anderson, 262 F.3d 641, 644 (7th Cir.
Holleman's sole federal claim is that the Board violated
his due process right to present documentary evidence at his
parole hearing. Because he has no due process right
associated with the parole hearing, his claim must be
dismissed for failure to state a claim.
Holleman also stated that the Indiana Parole Board violated
Indiana Code 11-13-3-3(i), which states that “[t]he
hearing prescribed by this section may be conducted in an
informal manner without regard to rules of evidence. In
connection with the hearing, however: … (3) the person
being considered may appear, speak in the person's own
behalf, and present documentary evidence.” To the
extent Mr. Holleman is alleging a state law claim in
connection to the Indiana Parole Board's alleged
violation of this statute, at this early stage of litigation,
the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
having already dismissed all claims over which it has
original jurisdiction. See Carlsbad Technology, Inc. v.
HIF Bio, Inc., 556 U.S. 635, 639 (2009); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1367(c); see also Wright v. Associated Ins.
Companies Inc., 29 F.3d 1244, 1251 (7th Cir. 1994)
(“In the usual case in which all federal claims are
dismissed before trial, the balance of these factors will
point to declining to exercise jurisdiction over any
remaining pendent state-law claims rather than resolving them
on the merits.”).
Mr. Holleman requested injunctive relief in the form of a new
parole board hearing at which Mr. Holleman is allowed to
present relevant documentary evidence and at which none of
his original ...