United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
K. CALDWELL, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Walker is a prisoner who was previously confined at the
United States Penitentiary (USP) - McCreary in Pine Knot,
Kentucky, and is now incarcerated at the Federal Correctional
Institution (FCI) in Jesup, Georgia. Proceeding without a
lawyer, Walker filed a civil rights complaint with this Court
in which he asserts multiple claims against several different
defendants. [R. 1]. For the reasons set forth below, the
Court will dismiss most of Walker's claims but will allow
his Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) claims against the United
States to proceed.
November 2017, Walker sent a letter to the Court along with
several attachments, including correspondence referencing a
potential tort claim that he may have against the United
States. See Walker v. FMC - Lexington, No.
5:17-cv-465-JMH at R. 1 (E.D. Ky. 2017). While the Court
docketed Walker's submission as a civil action for
administrative purposes, it determined that his brief filings
were insufficient to invoke the Court's jurisdiction.
See Id. at R. 4. That is because Walker simply asked
for legal advice regarding the deadline for filing a lawsuit;
he did not clearly name a defendant, assert factual
allegations, or request a specific form of relief.
Ultimately, the Court declined Walker's request for
guidance regarding the statute of limitations and dismissed
the matter without prejudice, though it noted that Walker
could still file a formal civil rights complaint with the
Court. See id.at R. 4.
weeks later, Walker did file his first formal civil rights
complaint. See Walker v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, No.
6:17-cv-347-GFVT at R. 1 (E.D. Ky. 2017). The Court, however,
determined that Walker's complaint did not comply with
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Id. at R.
7. As an initial matter, the Court noted that Walker's
complaint violated Rule 8 because it did not contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is
entitled to relief” and failed to include allegations
that were “simple, concise, and direct.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), (d)(1). After all, Walker's
complaint spanned dozens of hard-to-follow pages, including
nearly 100 paragraphs of factual allegations and almost 400
pages of attachments. Walker also appeared to list somewhere
between 23 and 28 different defendants, who he labeled as
defendants A through Z, A-1, and A-2, and he suggested that
each of those defendants ran afoul of various sources of law,
including but not limited to multiple constitutional
Court also indicated that Walker's complaint appeared to
violate Rule 20's limits on permissive joinder of
parties. That rule only allows a plaintiff to join one claim
against one defendant and a different claim against a
different defendant in one lawsuit if both claims arise out
of the same occurrence or series of occurrences. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2)(A). As best as the Court could tell,
Walker was alleging several different constitutional and
statutory claims against several different defendants. To be
sure, some of Walker's claims related to an allegation
that he was injured in November 2014, while prison officials
transported him in a van to or from a medical facility.
However, some of Walker's other claims appeared to relate
to a separate incident in December 2014, when he allegedly
fell out of bed, and still other claims related to an
incident in November 2015, when he allegedly fell in the
shower. Walker then asserted even more claims against
officials and medical care providers at two different federal
prisons-USP McCreary and FCI Jesup. In short, the Court
determined that Walker was attempting to bring all of his
grievances, against many different parties, in one case,
which is not permitted by the Federal Rules of Civil
light of the foregoing problems, the Court did not assess a
filing fee and, instead, dismissed Walker's first formal
complaint without prejudice. That said, the Court informed
Walker that he could complete and file a second formal
complaint, and it sent him the proper forms to do so. The
Court, however, noted that Walker could not assert numerous,
distinct claims against dozens of different defendants in one
lawsuit; rather, the Court informed Walker that he must file
a proper, streamlined complaint that complied with the rules
set forth in the Court's order. See Walker, No.
6:17-cv-347-GFVT at R. 7.
has now filed his second formal civil rights complaint,
see R. 1, and this matter is before the Court on
initial screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2) and 1915A. Walker's complaint is now limited
to events that allegedly occurred while he was incarcerated
here in the Eastern District of Kentucky at USP McCreary and
before he was transferred in late 2015 to the FCI in Jesup,
Georgia. See R. 1 at 2-4; see also R. 1-4
at 161 (indicating that the Bureau of Prisons transferred
Walker to FCI Jesup in December 2015).
alleges that, in November 2014, prison officials transported
him in a van from a medical appointment back to USP McCreary.
See R. 1 at 24. However, Walker claims that the
officials did not properly secure his wheelchair, and when
the van driver accelerated aggressively, Walker “flew
backwards, hitting the back of his head very hard on the
steel wheelchair lift attached to the back doors of the
van.” Id. at 25. Walker claims that he was
seriously injured as a result of this incident. See,
e.g., Id. at 25, 29-30. Walker also alleges that
multiple officials at USP McCreary subsequently provided him
with legally inadequate medical care. See, e.g., Id.
on these allegations, Walker primarily puts forth federal
constitutional claims pursuant to the doctrine announced in
Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403
U.S. 388 (1971),  as well as state law negligence claims.
Walker brings those claims against nine different officials
at USP McCreary, including Officer McCoy, Officer G. Wilson,
Officer Dinkins, Officer John Doe, Lieutenant Leroy Chaney,
Warden J.C. Holland, Health Services Administrator Rhonda
Jones, Captain John Doe, and Unit Manager Pamela Poston.
See R. 1 at 1-2, 9-23 (listing the defendants and
discussing the claims against each one). Walker repeatedly
alleges that these officials ran afoul of his rights under
the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United
States Constitution. See, e.g., Id. at 10-23. Walker
also repeatedly claims that these officials were negligent
(or grossly negligent), in violation of state law. See,
e.g., Id. at 10-23, 50. Finally, Walker repeatedly
asserts claims against the federal government pursuant to the
FTCA. See, e.g., R. 1 at 1, 4, 26.
federal constitutional and state law negligence claims
against the nine named officials at USP McCreary are plainly
barred by the statute of limitations. That is because, in
Bivens actions, federal courts “apply the most
analogous statute of limitations from the state where the
events giving rise to the claims occurred.” Baker
v. Mukasey, 287 Fed.Appx. 422, 424 (6th Cir. 2008).
Walker's claims arose in Kentucky and, therefore,
Kentucky's one-year statute of limitations for asserting
personal injury claims applies to both his federal
constitutional claims and his state law negligence claims.
See id.; see also Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann.
§ 413.140(1)(a); Hornback v. Lexington-Fayette Urban
Co. Gov't., 543 Fed.Appx. 499, 501 (6th Cir. 2013);
Mitchell v. Chapman, 343 F.3d 811, 825 (6th Cir.
federal constitutional and state law negligence claims are
plainly barred by that one-year statute of limitations. After
all, the Bureau of Prisons transferred Walker out of USP
McCreary in December 2015 and, thus, his various claims
against the USP McCreary officials clearly began accruing by
no later than that point in time. However, Walker did not
file even his first submission with this Court until nearly
two years later, in November 2017. See Walker v. FMC -
Lexington, No. 5:17-cv-465-JMH at R. 1 (E.D. Ky. 2017).
sure, Walker did spend some time exhausting his
administrative remedies with respect to these federal
constitutional and state law negligence claims, and the
statute of limitations period would have been tolled while he
did so. See Brown v. Morgan, 209 F.3d 595, 596 (6th
Cir. 2000). But the documents that Walker attaches to his
complaint show that he finished the exhaustion process by no
later than October 2016, when he received a final response
from the BOP's Central Office. See R. 1-1 at 12;
see also R. 1 at 4, 51 (where Walker indicates he
fully exhausted his administrative remedies much earlier, in
2015); R. 1-1 at 1-12 and R. 1-2 at 1-20 (other exhaustion
documents that predate the October 2016 correspondence from
the BOP's Central Office). And, still, Walker did not
file even his first submission with this Court until more
than one year later, in November 2017. See Walker,
No. 5:17-cv-465-JMH at R. 1. Thus, even under the most
generous construction of the facts, Walker's federal
constitutional and state law negligence claims against the
nine USP McCreary officials are untimely, and the Court will
dismiss those claims for failure to state a claim. See
Jones v. ...