United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
GREGORY A. CAUDILL, Plaintiff,
HAMBLEN COUNTY, ESCO JARNIGAN, ERIC RICE, and MEDICAL STAFF, Defendants.
A. VARLAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
pro se prisoner's complaint for violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 is before the Court for screening pursuant to the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) [Doc. 2].
the PLRA, district courts must screen prisoner complaints and
shall, at any time, sua sponte dismiss any claims
that are frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim for
relief, or seek monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B), 1915A;
Benson v. O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014, 1015-16 (6th
Cir. 1999). The dismissal standard articulated by the Supreme
Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and
in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544
(2007) “governs dismissals for failure state a claim
under [28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A]
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). Thus, to survive an initial
review under the PLRA, a complaint “must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570). Courts liberally construe pro se pleadings
filed in civil rights cases and hold them to a less stringent
standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
order to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must establish that he was deprived of a federal
right by a person acting under color of state law. Braley
v. City of Pontiac, 906 F.2d 220, 223 (6th Cir. 1990)
(“Section 1983 . . . creates a right of action for the
vindication of constitutional guarantees found
ALLEGATIONS OF COMPLAINT
January 21, 2018, while housed at the Hamblen County Jail,
Plaintiff was escorted to “med pass” by
Correctional Officer (“CO”) Eric Rice [Doc. 2 p.
4]. Once there, a nurse informed Plaintiff that she did not
have his medications, which prompted Plaintiff to tell the
nurse to “do her job” [Id.]. In
response, CO Rice choked and beat Plaintiff, tearing
Plaintiff's clothes and shoes in the process
[Id.]. Plaintiff called 911, and the Morristown
Police came to the jail, took a report, and obtained the
video footage from the jail [Id.]. Plaintiff
suspects that the assault may have been motivated by a racial
issue, because he and CO Rice are of different races and the
event occurred on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day
[Id.]. On October 15, 2019, Plaintiff signed the
instant complaint [Id. at 5], which seeks monetary
compensation from the Sheriff for not training his officers,
from CO Rice for the assault, and from medical staff
“for causing the incident” [Id. at 4].
district courts apply the State's statute of limitations
for personal injury actions in proceedings arising under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. See Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S.
384, 387 (2007). In Tennessee, that period is one year.
See Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104; Moore v.
Potter, 47 Fed.Appx. 318, 320 (6th Cir. 2002)
(“The appropriate statute of limitations for personal
injury actions arising in Tennessee and brought under the
federal civil rights statutes is one year.”);
Foster v. State, 150 S.W.3d 166, 168 (Tenn. Ct. App.
2004) (applying the one-year statute of limitations from
Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104 in a § 1983 claim). When
the statute begins to run, however, is an issue of federal
law. Eidson v. State of Tenn. Dep't of Children's
Servs., 510 F.3d 631, 635 (6th Cir. 2007) (citations
omitted). Under federal law, a cause of action accrues, and
the limitations period begins to run, when the injury forming
the basis of the claim is discoverable. See Friedman v.
Estate of Presser, 929 F.2d 1151, 1159 (6th Cir. 1991)
(citing Sevier v. Turner, 742 F.2d 262, 273 (6th
complains of events that occurred on January 21, 2018, and of
injuries that were known to him on that date. However, he
waited over twenty (20) months from that date to initiate the
instant action [Doc. 2 p. 5]. Accordingly, Plaintiff's
§ 1983 claims against all Defendants are barred by the
applicable statute of limitations.
claims are time-barred, and this action will be
DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. The Court
CERTIFIES that any appeal from this action
would not be taken in good faith and would be totally
frivolous. See Fed. R. App. P. 24.
APPROPRIATE JUDGMENT ...