United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
K ELLISON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a state inmate proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this section 1983 lawsuit against
Houston Police Department Officer Robert Moss, the Houston
Police Department ("HPD"), the Internal Affairs
Division ("IAD"), and the City of Houston.
screened the complaint pursuant to sections 1915 and 1915A,
the Court DISMISSES this lawsuit for the
reasons discussed below.
BACKGROUND AND CLAIMS
states that, on October 8, 2014, he led HPD officers on a
high-speed chase through southeast Houston. His vehicle
eventually flipped over, and he fled the scene on foot.
Defendant HPD Officer Robert Moss caught up with plaintiff
and grabbed him by the shirt. Moss then struck plaintiff with
a police radio, breaking plaintiff s nose and cutting his
forehead. Moss arrested plaintiff, and plaintiff was
transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. After
receiving treatment, plaintiff was booked into j ail and
charged with evading arrest with a motor vehicle and
assaulting Moss, causing bodily injury.
bonded out of jail two weeks later and attempted to file a
complaint with the HPD IAD as to Moss's use of force.
According to plaintiff, the IAD denied his complaint without
undertaking an investigation. Plaintiffs bond was revoked a
few weeks later when he failed to appear for court in
November 2014. He was recaptured and returned to custody in
May 2015. He was convicted in March 2016 of evading arrest
with a motor vehicle and sentenced to thirty-five years'
seeks $2 million in damages from defendant Moss for breaking
his nose and $10 million from the IAD for failing to
investigate the incident. He seeks an additional $10 million
from HPD and the City of Houston under a theory of vicarious
plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis and is a
prisoner who has sued a government entity or employee of a
government entity, his complaint is subject to sua
sponte dismissal if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails
to state a claim on which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b)(1); 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i),
(ii). A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Brewster v. Dretke, 587 F.3d
764, 767 (5th Cir. 2009). As shown below, plaintiffs
complaint fails to state a viable claim for relief under
Defendants HPD and IAD
names as defendants the HPD and the IAD. These entities have
no legal capacity to be sued. The HPD is a subdivision of the
City of Houston, and is not subject to suit in its own name.
See FED. R. Civ. P. 17; Maxwell v. Henry,
815 F.Supp. 213, 215 (S.D. Tex. 1993); see also Darby v.
Pasadena Police Dep't, 939 F.2d 311, 313-14 (5th
Cir. 1991) (noting that, as an agency or subdivision of the
city, the police department could not be separately sued).
The IAD, being a division of the HPD, is likewise not subject
to suit in its own name.
claims against the IAD and the HPD are DISMISSED WITH
Defendants the City of Houston and Moss
U.S.C. § 1983 does not have its own statute of
limitations. With respect to claims brought pursuant to
section 1983, a federal court must borrow the forum
state's general personal injury limitations period.
See Owens v. Okure,488 U.S. 235, 249-50 (1989). In
Texas, the applicable period of limitations is two years.
Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003. See
King-White v. Humble Indep. School Dist.,803 F.3d 754,
759-61 (2015); Piotrowski v. City of ...