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Page v. Bower

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 29, 2018

Edward Joseph Page
v.
Deputy David Bower

          PRESENT: THE HONORABLE JOHN D. EARLY

          CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

         Proceedings: (In Chambers) Order to Show Cause Why Case Should Not Be Dismissed

         I.

         INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Edward Joseph Page (“Plaintiff”), an inmate at the Goose Creek Jail in Wasilla, Alaska, seeks leave to file a Prisoner's Complaint under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Dkt. 1 “Complaint”) without prepayment of fees against Deputy David Bower. The Complaint is based on Plaintiff's allegation that on September 23, 1992, in Lancaster, California, Deputy Bower shot Plaintiff without provocation or cause. Complaint at p. 3.

         Congress mandates that district courts perform an initial screening of complaints in civil actions where a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or employee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). This Court may dismiss such a complaint, or any portion thereof, before service of process if the complaint: (1) is frivolous or malicious, (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or (3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1-2); see also Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 & n.7 (9th Cir. 2000).

         Similarly, “[a] district court may deny leave to proceed IFP at the outset if it appears from the face of the proposed complaint that the action is frivolous or without merit.” Minetti v. Port of Seattle, 152 F.3d 1113, 1115 (9th Cir. 1998); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) (providing that court shall dismiss in forma pauperis case at any time it determines that action “is frivolous or malicious” or “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted”). A complaint may also be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it discloses some fact or complete defense that will necessarily defeat the claim. Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1228-30 (9th Cir. 1984) (affirming dismissal of action in part because it was barred by statute of limitations).

         For the reasons set forth below, it appears from the face of the Complaint that, barring tolling, Plaintiff's claims are barred by the applicable statute of limitations and are subject to dismissal.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. The Limitations Period

         Statutes of limitation prevent the assertion of stale legal claims by providing for a limited period of time (i.e., the “limitations period”) within which claims must be filed. See Daviton v. Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., 241 F.3d 1131, 1136 (9th Cir. 2001). In Section 1983 actions, federal courts “borrow” the limitations and tolling rules from the forum state. Hardin v. Straub, 490 U.S. 536 (1989); TwoRivers v. Lewis, 174 F.3d 987, 991 (9th Cir. 1999). Federal courts apply the personal injury limitations period for analogous Section 1983 claims allegedly arising in California. Pouncil v. Tilton, 704 F.3d 568, 573 (9th Cir. 2012). As of January 1, 2003, California's statute of limitations for personal injury actions was changed to two years, from one year. See Maldonado v. Harris, 370 F.3d 945, 954-55 (9th Cir. 2004); Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 335.1. Claims for which the statute of limitations had already run as of January 1, 2003 remained barred for all claims other than claims arising from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Maldonado, 370 F.3d at 955.

         B. Accrual

         A Section 1983 claim accrues, for the purposes of the starting of the running of the limitations period, when the plaintiff “knows or has reason to know of the injury that is the basis of the action.” Balanus v. Clark, 796 F.3d 1021, 1025 (9th Cir. 2015).

         C. Stat ...


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