United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Jordan, United States District Judge
Shamsiddeen Hatcher, a former state prisoner, brings this pro
se civil rights complaint for declaratory relief and monetary
relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [Doc. 1]. The four
Defendants--Sullivan County, Tennessee Deputy Sheriffs
Clemens, Ramsey, MKamey and Gray-are sued only in their
official capacities [Id. at 3].
application to proceed in forma pauperis reflects
that he is penniless and that he thus lacks the financial
wherewithal to pay the civil filing fee of three hundred
fifty dollars ($350.00) [Doc. 3]. Therefore, his application
[Id.] is GRANTED. See McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 612 (6th Cir. 1997)
(explaining that, after an inmate is released from
confinement, his ability to pay is determined like any
non-prisoner), overruled on other grounds by Jones v.
Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007).
to the allegations in the complaint, in the late evening
hours on June 20, 2015, Defendants subjected him to
retaliatory, excessive force in a mop closet at the Sullivan
County Detention Center after he refused to remove his
clothing [Doc. 1]. Defendants also violated Plaintiff's
right of privacy by filming his genital area with a hand held
video camera. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants' alleged
conduct violated his rights under the First and Eighth
Amendments to the United States Constitution. For the alleged
violation of his rights, Plaintiff asks for nine-hundred,
ninety-nine thousand and ninety-nine dollars ($999, 999.00)
in damages, as well as a declaratory judgment [Id.
Court must screen complaints filed by non prisoners who are
proceeding in forma pauperis. McGore, 114
F.3d at 608 (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Dismissal is
required if complaints are frivolous or malicious, if they
fail to state a claim for relief, or if they ask for monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
performing this task, the Court recognizes that pro se
pleadings filed in civil rights cases are construed
charitably and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. McNeil v. United
States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993); Pilgrim v.
Littlefield, 92 F.3d 413, 416 (6th Cir. 1996). Even so,
the complaint must be sufficient “to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face, ” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007),
which simply means the factual content pled by a plaintiff
must permit a court “to draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The
standard articulated in Twombly and Iqbal
“governs dismissals for failure state a claim under
[§§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)] because the
relevant statutory language tracks the language in Rule
12(b)(6).” Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468,
470-71 (6th Cir. 2010).
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff
must establish that he was deprived of a federal right by a
person acting under color of state law. See Black v.
Barberton Citizens Hosp., 134 F.3d 1265, 1267
(6th Cir. 1998); see also Braley v. City of Pontiac,
906 F.2d 220, 223 (6th Cir. 1990) (“Section 1983 does
not itself create any constitutional rights; it creates a
right of action for the vindication of constitutional
guarantees found elsewhere.”). The Court examines the
complaint under these guidelines.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Timeliness of Claims
complains about the treatment to which he was subjected on
June 20, 2015. For the purposes of 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
state statutes of limitations apply to determine the
timeliness of claims. Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S.
261, 268-69 (1985), superseded by statute on other
grounds as recognized in Jones v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons
Co., 541 U.S. 369, 377-80 (2004). The one-year statute
of limitations period contained in Tenn. Code Ann. §
28-3-104(a) applies to civil rights claims arising in
Tennessee. See Berndt v. Tennessee, 796 F.2d 879,
883 (6th Cir. 1986); see also Porter v. Brown, 289
F. App'x. 114, 116, 2008 WL 3838227, at *2 (6th Cir.
2008) (“[O]ur precedent has long made clear that the
limitations period for § 1983 actions arising in
Tennessee is the one-year limitations provision found in
Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104(a).”). Ordinarily, the
statute begins to run when a plaintiff knows or has reason to
know of the injury upon which his action is based. See
Eidson v. State of Tenn. Dep't of Children's
Servs., 510 F.3d 631, 636 (6th Cir. 2007); Sevier v.
Turner, 742 F.2d 262, 273 (6th Cir. 1984).
would have known of any injury he incurred from the violation
of his constitutional rights on June 20, 2015. This means
that Plaintiff would have had one year from that date, i.e.,
June 20, 2016, to file this instant § 1983 action.
Plaintiff filed this case on April 19, 2017 [Doc. 1], some
ten months after the statute lapsed.
the applicable statute of limitations bars his claims, and
they are due to be dismissed for failure to state a claim.
See Jones, 549 U.S. at 215 (noting that “[i]f
the allegations, for example, show that relief is barred by
the applicable statute of limitations, the complaint is
subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim . . .
.”). Furthermore, claims that are time-barred under the