United States District Court, C.D. California
PRESENT: THE HONORABLE JOHN D. EARLY
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(In Chambers) Order to Show Cause Why Case Should Not Be
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.
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).
“[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
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.
The Limitations Period
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.
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).