United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
to U.S. Magistrate Judge
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION
CARRILLO RAMIREZ JUDGE
on the relevant filings and applicable law, the
plaintiff's complaint should be
DISMISSED with prejudice.
Burns McCall (Plaintiff), an inmate in the Lamb County Jail,
sues the State of Texas, the state district judge, the
prosecutor, and his attorney (collectively Defendants) under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 for allegedly violating his civil
rights during his prosecution for sexual assault of a child
under 14. (See doc. 3 at 1, 3-4.) He claims that he
was falsely convicted of that offense on November 18, 1991,
after Defendants hid the evidence that would have proven his
innocence, sealed the proof, and blocked his attempts to
receive copies of that proof. (Id. at 4.) He alleges
that the judge “coerced, intimidated and illegally
sentenced [him] without evidence of guilt” to 25
years' imprisonment, after which Plaintiff was civilly
committed in the Texas Civil Commitment Center until he no
longer demonstrated a “behavior abnormality.”
(Id. at 3-4.) He seeks a copy of the evidence and
$250 million dollars. (Id.) No. process has issued.
is a prisoner who has been permitted to proceed in forma
pauperis. As a prisoner seeking redress from an officer
of a governmental entity, his complaint is subject to
preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir.
1998). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis,
his complaint is also subject to screening under §
1915(e)(2). Both § 1915(e)(2)(B) and § 1915A(b)
provide for sua sponte dismissal of the complaint,
or any portion thereof, if the Court finds it is frivolous or
malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.
complaint is frivolous when it “lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim lacks an
arguable basis in law when it is “based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory.” Id. at
327. A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted when it fails to plead “enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007); accord Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937,
seeks monetary damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. That
section “provides a federal cause of action for the
deprivation, under color of law, of a citizen's
‘rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws' of the United States” and
“afford[s] redress for violations of federal statutes,
as well as of constitutional norms.” Livadas v.
Bradshaw, 512 U.S. 107, 132 (1994). To state a claim
under § 1983, Plaintiff must allege facts that show (1)
he has been deprived of a right secured by the Constitution
and the laws of the United States; and (2) the deprivation
occurred under color of state law. See Flagg Bros., Inc.
v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 155 (1978); Cornish v.
Corr. Servs. Corp., 402 F.3d 545, 549 (5th Cir. 2005).
Statute of Limitations
“may raise the defense of limitations sua
sponte.” Harris v. Hegmann, 198 F.3d 153,
156 (5th Cir. 1999). “[W]here it is clear from the face
of a complaint filed in forma pauperis that the
claims asserted are barred by the applicable statute of
limitations, those claims are properly dismissed” under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Gartrell v. Gaylor,
981 F.2d 254, 256 (5th Cir. 1993); accord,
Stanley v. Foster, 464 F.3d 565, 568 (5th Cir.
courts look to the law of the forum state to determine the
length of the statute of limitations applicable in §
1983 cases. Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 387
(2007). The general statute of limitations governing personal
injuries in the forum state provides the applicable
limitations period. Piotrowski v. City of Houston,
237 F.3d 567, 576 (5th Cir. 2001). Texas has a two-year
statute of limitations for personal injury claims, so
Plaintiff had two years from the date his claims accrued to
file suit. Id.; accord Hatchet v. Nettles,
201 F.3d 651, 653 (5th Cir. 2000).
state law determines the length of the § 1983
limitations period, federal law determines the accrual date.
Wallace, 549 U.S. at 388; Walker v. Epps,
550 F.3d 407, 414 (5th Cir. 2008). Generally, a claim accrues
when the plaintiff has “a complete and present cause of
action”, or “when the plaintiff can file suit and