United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
RICHIE E. MAYES, Plaintiff,
LEXINGTON POLICE DEPT., et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
C. Reeves United States District Judge.
Richie Mayes is confined at the Fayette County Detention
Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Proceeding without an
attorney, Mayes has filed a civil rights Complaint pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. [Record No. 1]
Court conducts a preliminary review of Mayes's Complaint
because he has been granted permission to pay the filing fee
in installments and because he asserts claims against
government officials. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2),
1915A. Any claim that is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from relief
must be dismissed. Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468,
470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). When testing the sufficiency of
Mayes's Complaint, the Court affords it a forgiving
construction, accepting as true all non-conclusory factual
allegations and liberally construing its legal claims in the
plaintiff's favor. Davis v. Prison Health
Servs., 679 F.3d 433, 437-38 (6th Cir. 2012).
alleges that he was falsely detained, falsely arrested and
unlawfully imprisoned by Defendant Office Delimpo of the
Lexington Metro Police Department on October 29, 2014.
[Record No. 1 at p. 1-2] Mays claims that he was on his way
to work when Office Delimpo and five other unknown Lexington
Metro officers wrongfully arrested him at a bus stop down the
street from his home for possessing burglary tools. [Record
No. 1 at p. 2] He states that the tools were for his work at
Altec. [Id.] Mays further alleges that he was also
charged and arrested for “Burglary 2d” of his own
to Mays, the case was dismissed by a grand jury on December
15, 2014. [Record No. 1 at p. 1-2] Mays seeks damages for
pain and suffering, lost wages, mental anguish, the loss of
his job, and health issues that he claims were related to the
distress, as well as his detention. [Record No. 1 at p. 3]
Mays seeks $2, 000, 000 in damages, plus punitive damages of
$1, 000.00 per day for each day he was in custody.
has named the “Lexington Metro Police Department”
as a defendant. However, it is a municipal department and not
a legal entity capable of being sued. See Matthews v.
Jones, 35 F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994) (“Since
the Police Department is not an entity which may be sued,
Jefferson County is the proper party to address the
allegations of Matthews's complaint.”);
Hornback v. Lexington-Fayette Urban Co. Gov't.,
905 F.Supp.2d 747, 749 (E.D.Ky. 2012). But even construing
Mayes's claim as one against the Lexington-Fayette Urban
County Government, he makes no allegation that the practices
that are the subject of his claims are the product of a
municipal policy or custom. As a result, he fails to state a
claim for relief against the municipality. Thomas v. City
of Chattanooga, 398 F.3d 426, 429 (6th Cir. 2005). Thus,
the Court will dismiss the “Lexington Metro Police
Department” as a defendant in this action. Watson
v. Gill, 40 F. App'x 88, 90 (6th Cir. 2002).
§ 1983 claims must be dismissed against all defendants
because they are time barred. “The statute of
limitations applicable to a § 1983 action is the state
statute of limitations applicable to personal injury actions
under the law of the state in which the § 1983 claim
arises.” Eidson v. State of Tenn. Dept. of
Children's Servs., 510 F.3d 631, 634 (6th Cir. 2007)
(citing Kuhnle Bros., Inc. v. County of Geauga, 103
F.3d 516, 519 (6th Cir. 1997)). In Kentucky, an action for
injury to the person, malicious prosecution or arrest must be
brought within one year after the cause of action accrues.
KRS § 413.140(1)(a), (c). See also Bonner v.
Perry, 564 F.3d 424, 430-31 (6th Cir. 2009) (holding
that Kentucky's one year statute of limitations period
applies to § 1983 actions).
the applicable statute of limitations is determined by state
law, the “date on which the statute of limitations
begins to run in a § 1983 action is a question of
federal law.” Eidson, 510 F.3d at 635 (citing
Kuhnle Bros., Inc., 103 F.3d at 519). See also
Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 388 (2007) (“[T]he
accrual date of a § 1983 cause of action is a question
of federal law that is not resolved by reference to
state law.”) (emphasis in original). Generally, federal
law prescribes that accrual occurs “when the plaintiff
has ‘a complete and present cause of action, ' that
is, when ‘the plaintiff can file suit and obtain
relief.'” Id. (quoting Bay Area
Laundry & Dry Cleaning Pension Trust Fund v. Ferbar Corp.
of Cal., 522 U.S. 192, 201 (1997)).
law claims for false arrest and false imprisonment, which
constitutes a single cause of action in Kentucky when law
enforcement is involved, as well as assault and battery
arising out of an arrest, generally accrue at the time of the
arrest.” Fox v. DeSoto, 489 F.3d 227, 233 (6th
Cir. 2007). “[T]he statute of limitations upon a §
1983 claim seeking damages for a false arrest in violation of
the Fourth Amendment, where the arrest is followed by
criminal proceedings, begins to run at the time the claimant
becomes detained pursuant to legal process.”
Wallace, 594 U.S. at 397. Thus, the statute of
limitations for Mayes's claims that he was falsely
detained, falsely arrested and unlawfully imprisoned began to
run at the time of his arrest or, at the latest, when he was
detained. Fox, 489 F.3d at 233 (“A § 1983
claim for excessive force in effectuating an arrest accrues
at the time of arrest, ” and “a claim for
wrongful arrest under § 1983 accrues at the time of the
arrest or, at the latest, when detention without legal
alleges that he was detained on October 29, 2014. Thus, his
§ 1983 claims for false arrest, false detention, and
unlawful imprisonment all accrued on October 29, 2014. Mayes
did not file his Complaint in this case until September 22,
2016, well after the one-year statute of limitations
governing his claims expired in October 2015. [Record No. 1].
Accordingly, Mayes' claims are time-barred and are
subject to dismissal. Dellis v. Corr. Corp. of Am.,
257 F.3d 508, 511 (6th Cir. 2001).
the applicability of a statute of limitations bar is plain
from the face of the complaint, the claim is subject to
sua sponte dismissal. Cf. Jones v.
Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007) (“If the
allegations, for example, show that relief is barred by the
applicable statute of limitations, the complaint is subject
to dismissal for failure to state a claim.”); Baker
v. Mukaskey,287 Fed.Appx. 422, 424-25 (6th Cir. 2008);
Castillo v. Grogan,52 Fed.Appx. 750, 751 (6th Cir.
2002) (“When a meritorious affirmative defense based
upon the ...