United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Rodgers seeks to pursue claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Corizon Medical Providers and numerous other
defendants. (Doc. No. 1.) For good cause shown,
Plaintiff's Application to Proceed in District Court
Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Doc. No. 2) is
GRANTED. However, for the reasons set forth
herein, the Complaint is DISMISSED.
Plaintiff proceeds in forma pauperis, the Court is required
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) to conduct an initial
review of the Complaint and to dismiss it if it is facially
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997),
overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199 (2007). The Sixth Circuit has confirmed that the
dismissal standard articulated by the Supreme Court in
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007),
“governs dismissals for failure to state a claim under
[§ 1915(e)(2)] 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).
se pleading must be liberally construed and “held to
less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
Factual Allegations and Claims for Relief
states that he brings a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against the Tennessee Department of Corrections
(“TDOC”) and a number of entities that provided
medical care to Tennessee inmates from 2008 through 2017,
while Plaintiff was in TDOC custody, based on their
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. (Doc.
No. 1 at 1.) More specifically, Plaintiff states that he was
diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, and he spent his
eight and one-half years of incarceration trying, without
success, to obtain necessary care to treat his condition.
brings suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to vindicate his
rights under the Eighth Amendment to be free from cruel and
§ 1983 claim against TDOC is barred by the Eleventh
Amendment and subject to dismissal on that basis. This
Amendment bars suit in federal court by a citizen against a
state or its agencies unless the state has expressly
consented to suit by waiving its sovereign immunity or
Congress has clearly overridden that immunity, regardless of
whether the plaintiff seeks damages or injunctive relief.
Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465
U.S. 89, 100-01 (1984); Ernst v. Rising, 427 F.3d
351, 365 (6th Cir. 2005). Section 1983 does not override the
States' immunity. Will v. Mich. St. Police, 491
U.S. 58, 70-71 (1989). And Tennessee has not consented to
suit under § 1983. Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-13-102;
Berndt v. Tennessee, 796 F.2d 879, 881 (6th Cir.
1986). Accordingly, the claim against TDOC will be dismissed
without prejudice based on sovereign immunity.
Ernst, 427 F.3d at 367.
the claims against the other defendants, the statute of
limitations that applies to § 1983 actions arising in
Tennessee is one year. Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104(a);
Roberson v. Tennessee, 399 F.3d 792, 794 (6th Cir.
2005). Although the statute of limitations is an affirmative
defense, the Sixth Circuit has confirmed that dismissal of
time-barred claims on initial review is appropriate where the
defense is obvious from the face of the complaint. See,
e.g., Franklin v. Fisher, No. 16-6464, 2017 WL
4404624, at *2 (6th Cir. May 15, 2017) (“The district
court properly dismissed Franklin's complaint for failure
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted because it
is obvious from the face of her complaint that . . . her
claims are barred by the applicable statute of
limitations.”); Widner v. Bracke, 229 F.3d
1155 (6th Cir. 2000) (“[W]e conclude that the dismissal
of this complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) should be affirmed, as it is apparent
from the face of the complaint that it is barred by the
statute of limitations.”).
Plaintiff's claims might have been tolled while he was
pursuing administrative remedies while he was incarcerated,
such tolling does not apply to the pursuit of remedies
outside the prison grievance system. Franklin, 2017
WL 4404624, at *3 (citing Howard v. Rea, 111
Fed.Appx. 419, 421 (6th Cir. 2004)). Thus, even assuming,
very generously, that that the statute of limitations was
tolled until Plaintiff was released from custody, and
assuming that he was released from custody on December 31,
2017, at the latest, then the statute of limitations for his
claims expired no later than December 31, 2018. Thus, because
it is clear from the face of the Complaint that
Plaintiff's claims are barred by the statute of
limitations, the claims against the remaining defendants must
be dismissed on that basis.