United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. JONKER, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action brought by a former state prisoner
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is proceeding in
forma pauperis. Therefore, the Court is required to
dismiss this action if the complaint is frivolous, malicious,
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or
seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The Court must read
Plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently,
see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and
accept Plaintiff's allegations as true, unless they are
clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). Applying these
standards, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's complaint
for failure to state a claim.
is a former prisoner who was previously incarcerated with the
Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Oaks
Correctional Facility (ECF) in Manistee, Manistee County,
Michigan. The events about which he complains occurred at
that facility. Plaintiff sues Resident Unit Officer M.
Schmaker, Sergeant Unknown Shockley, Lieutenant K. Miller,
Resident Unit Manager B. Topping, Resident Unit Officer
Unknown Lynk, Resident Unit Officer Unknown Lee, Resident
Unit Officer Unknown Farnquist, Sergeant Unknown Hall,
Resident Unit Officer T. Holden, Resident Unit Officer J.
Sephamaki, Sergeant Susan Norton, Resident Unit Officer Glen
Smith, Resident Unit Officer Unknown Kartes, Resident Unit
Officer Unknown Hainstock, Resident Unit Officer D. Fournier,
Psychologist Ed Loftus, Captain B. Brennan, Nurse Anita
Young, and Unknown Party Jane Doe.
alleges that on June 17, 1998, Defendants Schmaker, Shockley,
Miller, Topping, Lynk, Lee, Farnquist, Hall, Holden, and
Sephamaki physically and sexually assaulted Plaintiff while
he was in restraints. On June 28, 1998, Defendants Norton,
Smith, Kartes, Hainstock, and Fournier placed poison in
Plaintiff's food in an attempt to murder him so they
could cover up the sexual and physical assaults that occurred
on June 17, 1998. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Loftus
violated his rights by having Plaintiff involuntarily placed
in a psych unit at the Huron Valley Center in order to cover
up the crimes committed by the other named Defendants.
Plaintiff also claims that Defendant Young lied in response
to his grievances in order to protect her coworkers.
seeks compensatory, punitive, and special damages, as well as
Failure to state a claim
complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it
fails “‘to give the defendant fair notice of what
the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). While a complaint need not contain
detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's allegations
must include more than labels and conclusions.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”). The
court must determine whether the complaint contains
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 679. Although the plausibility standard is not equivalent
to a “‘probability requirement,' . . . it
asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[W]here
the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more
than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-that the pleader
is entitled to relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)); see also Hill v.
Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding
that the Twombly/Iqbal plausibility standard applies
to dismissals of prisoner cases on initial review under 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege the violation of a right secured by the federal
Constitution or laws and must show that the deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Street
v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 102 F.3d 810, 814 (6th Cir.
1996). Because § 1983 is a method for vindicating
federal rights, not a source of substantive rights itself,
the first step in an action under § 1983 is to identify
the specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994).
statutes of limitations and tolling principles apply to
determine the timeliness of claims asserted under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 268-69
(1985). For civil rights suits filed in Michigan under §
1983, the statute of limitations is three years. See
Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(10); Carroll v.
Wilkerson, 782 F.2d 44, 44 (6th Cir. 1986) (per curiam);
Stafford v. Vaughn, No. 97-2239, 1999 WL 96990, at
*1 (6th Cir. Feb. 2, 1999). Accrual of the claim for relief,
however, is a question of federal law. Collyer v.
Darling, 98 F.3d 211, 220 (6th Cir. 1996); Sevier v.
Turner, 742 F.2d 262, 272 (6th Cir. 1984). The statute
of limitations begins to run when the aggrieved party knows
or has reason to know of the injury that is the basis of his
action. Collyer, 98 F.3d at 220.
complaint is untimely. He asserts claims arising in June and
July of 1998. Plaintiff had reason to know of the
“harms” done to him at the time they
occurred. Hence, his claims accrued in 1998.
However, he did not file his complaint until March of 2019,
well past Michigan's three-year limit. Moreover, Michigan
law no longer tolls the running of the statute of limitations
when a plaintiff is incarcerated. See Mich. Comp.
Laws § 600.5851(9). Further, it is well established that
ignorance of the law does not warrant equitable tolling of a
statute of limitations. See Rose v. Dole, 945 F.2d
1331, 1335 (6th Cir. 1991); Jones v. Gen. Motors
Corp., 939 F.2d 380, 385 (6th Cir. 1991); Mason v.
Dep't of Justice, No. 01-5701, 2002 WL 1334756, at
*2 (6th Cir. June 17, 2002). Because Plaintiff's claims
are barred by the applicable statute of limitations, his
complaint is subject to dismissal for failure to state a
claim. Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007).
conducted the review required by the Prison Litigation Reform
Act, the Court determines that Plaintiff's complaint will
be dismissed for failure to ...