United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
CHARLOTTE SIMMONS, as Special Administratrix of the Estate of Rico Thomas, deceased, Plaintiff,
CORECIVIC, INC., JAMES YATES, DOES 1-10, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
P. Shreder United States Magistrate Judge
case arises of Rico Thomas’s incarceration and ultimate
death at the Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville,
Oklahoma. The Plaintiff Charlotte Simmons, as Special
Administratrix of the Estate of Rico Thomas, Deceased, has
sued CoreCivic, Inc. (“CoreCivic”), a foreign
for-profit business corporation, as well as James Yates in
his individual capacity as Warden of Davis Correctional
Facility, and Does 1-10, alleging he was subject to inhumane
conditions of confinement and a failure to protect under the
Eighth Amendment, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
Defendants CoreCivic and Warden Yates now seek dismissal of
the Plaintiff’s Complaint. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court finds that the Defendants’ Motion to
Dismiss and Brief in Support [Docket No. 9] should be DENIED.
Plaintiff states in her Complaint that this case arises out
of her grandson Rico Thomas’s death in the early
morning hours of July 20, 2017, while he was incarcerated at
Davis Correctional Facility. Plaintiff filed the Complaint on
July 22, 2019, and the sole cause of action arises out of the
Eighth Amendment pursuant to § 1983 as a conditions of
confinement/failure to protect claim, in which she alleges
municipal liability as to CoreCivic and supervisor liability
as to Warden Yates. See Docket No. 2. Defendants
CoreCivic and Warden Yates have moved to dismiss the claims
against them, arguing that this case was not timely filed.
Plaintiff asserts that because the two-year filing deadline
fell on a weekend, she had until the following business day
to file her Complaint, and that it is therefore timely. The
Court agrees with the Plaintiff.
statute of limitations is drawn from the personal-injury
statute of the state in which the federal district court
sits.” Mondragon v. Thompson, 519 F.3d 1078,
1082 (10th Cir. 2008), citing Wilson v. Garcia, 471
U.S. 261, 269 (1985). The limitations period for personal
injury actions under Oklahoma law is two years, see
Okla. Stat. tit. 12, § 95(A)(3), making
Plaintiff’s § 1983 claims subject to the same
two-year statute of limitations. “Federal law, however,
determines the date on which the claim accrues and the
limitations period starts to run.” Mondragon,
519 F.3d at 1082, citing Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S.
384, 388 (2007). “Claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
assert a violation of a federal right. Such claims accrue
when a plaintiff knows or should know his rights have been
violated.” Perry v. Geo Group, Inc., 2009 WL
3698473, at *7 (W.D. Okla. Nov. 4, 2009), quoting
Alexander v. Oklahoma, 382 F.3d 1206, 1216 (10th Cir.
2004). A civil rights action accrues “when facts that
would support a cause of action are or should be
apparent.” Fratus v. DeLand, 49 F.3d 673, 675
(10th Cir. 1995) (quotation omitted). Additionally,
“[u]nder this rule, when a statute of limitations is
measured in years, the last day for instituting the action is
the anniversary date of the relevant act.” United
States v. Hurst, 322 F.3d 1256, 1260 (10th Cir. 2003).
the “anniversary date of the relevant act” is
July 20, 2017, when Rico Thomas was murdered in his cell.
This means that the relevant two-year statute of limitations
date fell on July 20, 2019, and the Court takes judicial
notice that said date fell on a Saturday. Under Fed.R.Civ.P.
6(a)(1)(C), “When the period is stated in days or a
longer unit of time . . . include the last day of the period,
but if the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday,
the period continues to run until the end of the next day
that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.”
Because July 20, 2019 fell on a Saturday, the Court finds
that Plaintiff’s Complaint was timely filed on Monday,
July 22, 2019. See, e. g., Lewis v. McKinley
County Bd. of County Commissioners, 425 Fed.Appx. 723,
729 (10th Cir. 2011) (“The deadline fell on a Sunday,
however, so Ms. Lewis had until Monday, November 29, 2010, to
file her complaint.”); Williams v. Aragon,
2014 WL 4854979, at *9 (D. Colo. Sept. 29, 2014)
(“Because August 31, and September 1, 2013 fell on a
Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and September 2, 2013 was
a legal holiday (Labor Day), Plaintiff’s Complaint was
timely filed on September 3, 2013.”); Gentry v.
Steele, 2002 WL 35650020, at *2 (D. N.M. April 4, 2002)
(“The Court takes judicial notice that February 4, 2001
fell on a Sunday, however. Therefore, pursuant to Rule 6(a)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff had until
Monday the 5th to file.”).
the Court finds that the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss
and Brief in ...