United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
SUZANNE MITCHELL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
August 7, 2017, Sergio Steven Coronado (Plaintiff), a
California prisoner appearing pro se and in forma pauperis, filed
this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking monetary
relief for alleged violations of his constitutional rights on
January 26, 2015, while he was housed at North Fork
Correctional Facility. Doc. 1.
screening of Plaintiff's complaint,  it appeared on
its face that the statute of limitations barred any stated
claim, so the undersigned notified Plaintiff that summary
dismissal of the complaint was warranted and gave him the
opportunity to address the issue by “order[ing] him to
show cause- that is, to fully detail any reason, including
possible tolling-why his complaint should not be promptly
dismissed on statute of limitations
grounds.” Doc. 12. Plaintiff filed a timely response
to the show cause order, Doc. 14, and the matter is at issue.
The accrual of Plaintiff's claims and the
applicable limitation period.
statutes of limitations applicable to general personal injury
claims supply the limitations periods for § 1983 claims,
but federal law governs the time of accrual of § 1983
claims.” Beck v. City of Muskogee Police
Dep't, 195 F.3d 553, 557 (10th Cir. 1999) (citations
omitted). Oklahoma's two-year statute applies to
Plaintiff's claims. See Meade v. Grubbs, 841
F.2d 1512, 1522 (10th Cir. 1988), abrogated on other
grounds by Schneider v. City of Grand Junction Police
Dep't, 717 F.3d 760 (10th Cir. 2013); Okla. Stat.
tit. 12, § 95(A)(3). And “[s]ince the injury in a
§ 1983 case is the violation of a constitutional right,
such claims accrue when the plaintiff knows or should know
that his or her constitutional rights have been
violated.” Beck, 195 F.3d at 557 (internal
quotation marks omitted).
to Plaintiff's complaint, his claims accrued on January
26, 2015, giving him until January 26, 2017-two years-to file
a timely action for relief under § 1983. See
Doc. 1, at 2-4. Because Plaintiff did not file his complaint
until August 7, 2017, the undersigned informed him it
appeared the statute of limitations barred his claims and
ordered him to explain why that was not the case. Doc. 12.
Tolling of the limitation period.
Response to why I filed late, ” Plaintiff advised:
After the incident on Jan 26, 2015, I submitted a grievance
and proceeded to exhaust administrative remedies. As a
result of this process, the statute of limitations was
tolled. Administrative remedies were exhausted Aug. 14,
2015 extending my date to file to Aug. 14, 2017.
I have attached copies of the process to exhaust
administrative remedies, to support my claims in this
Doc. 14, at 1.
then, does not deny that his claims accrued on January 26,
2015, or that a two-year period of limitation applies to
those claims. Id. Instead, he contends the two-year
period did not begin to run, that is, was tolled, until he
exhausted his administrative remedies on August 14, 2015, and
did not expire until August 14, 2017, making his complaint
filed on August 7, 2017, timely. Id.
provided no legal support for this contention, and he offered
no additional justification for his failure to file his
complaint within the two years following the accrual of his
claims on January 26, 2015. Id. But if his theory is
that the two-year limitation period was tolled under 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(a), “[n]othing in § 1997e(a)
refers to tolling.”Pemberton v.
Patton, 673 F. App'x 860, 866 (10th Cir. 2016).
“‘[I]n a § 1983 suit, state tolling rules,
not federal ones, apply . . . [to] both . . . determining
whether the filing of mandatory grievances requires tolling
at all, and, if so, how that tolling is to be
calculated.'” Id. ...