United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
K. CALDWELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se plaintiff Paul Wright seeks money damages from two
United States Penitentiary (“USP”)-McCreary
healthcare providers under the doctrine announced in
Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403
U.S. 388 (1971). Wright-who is now incarcerated at
USP-Lewisburg in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania-claims that he was
denied appropriate medical care for an ankle wound back in
2017 while he was housed at USP-McCreary in Pine Knot,
Kentucky. Because it is obvious from the face of Wright's
complaint and attachments that his claim is barred by the
applicable statute of limitations, Wright's complaint is
DISMISSED upon the Court's preliminary
screening. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
complaint, Wright contends he arrived at USP-McCreary on
April 12, 2017, with an ankle wound. Wright claims that
USP-McCreary healthcare providers Dr. Carrie Cunnagin and Ms.
R. Jones denied him appropriate wound care by, among other
things, failing to provide him with the proper materials to
clean and dress his wound and instead instructing him to
purchase his own bandages from the commissary. [R. 5.]
Wright's complaint alleges a violation of his Eighth
Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment
and, under Bivens, seeks one million five hundred
thousand dollars in damages. [Id.]
addition to the Bivens complaint, Wright has filed a
motion to supplement the record with fifty-seven pages of
administrative remedy documents. [R. 12.] This motion will be
granted and the attached documents added to the case record.
Wright has also filed a motion seeking injunctive
relief-specifically, a court order directing USP-Lewisburg to
make copies of Wright's administrative remedy documents
so that he may provide them to the Court. [R. 10.] However,
Wright cites no legal authority requiring USP-Lewisburg to
provide him with the documents he seeks, and to the extent
Wright believes he is required to obtain those documents to
proceed with the present action, he is mistaken. The motion
for an injunction against USP-Lewisburg is therefore denied.
Finally, Wright was previously granted pauper status in this
proceeding [see R. 9], and his complaint is now
before the Court for an initial screening.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court shall dismiss any
portion of Wright's complaint that is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Because Wright is
proceeding without an attorney, the Court evaluates his
complaint under a more lenient standard. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Burton v.
Jones, 321 F.3d 569, 573 (6th Cir. 2003). At this stage
of the proceedings, the Court accepts Wright's factual
allegations as true and liberally construes Wright's
legal claims in his favor. Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).
the leniency afforded to pro se plaintiffs, however,
Wright's Eighth Amendment claim is clearly time-barred
and therefore fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. While defendants often raise the applicable statute
of limitations as an affirmative defense, the Court is
permitted to dismiss a claim plainly barred by the applicable
limitations period upon initial screening. See, e.g.,
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.”);
Castillo v. Grogan, 52 Fed.Appx. 750, 751 (6th Cir.
2002) (“When a meritorious affirmative defense based
upon the applicable statute of limitations is obvious from
the face of the complaint, sua sponte dismissal of the
complaint as frivolous is appropriate.”).
Congress has not articulated a statute of limitations period
for Bivens claims, federal courts apply the most
analogous statute of limitations from the state where the
events occurred. Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261,
268-71 (1985). The conduct giving rise to Wright's Eighth
Amendment claim occurred in Kentucky, at USP-McCreary.
[See R. 5.] Therefore, Kentucky's one-year
statute of limitations for personal injury actions applies.
See Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(a);
Mitchell v. Chapman, 343 F.3d 811, 825 (6th Cir.
2003) (“Bivens claims have a one year statute
of limitations under Kentucky law.”). Wright, in turn,
was required to bring his Bivens claim within one
year of becoming aware of the injury forming the basis for
his claims. Estate of Abdullah ex rel. Carswell v.
Arena, 601 Fed.Appx. 389, 393-94 (6th Cir. 2015)
(“Once the plaintiff knows he has been hurt and who has
inflicted the injury, the claim accrues.”) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
complains of conduct that began in April 2017. [See
R. 5.] Nevertheless, he did not file this Bivens
action until April 2019. [R. 1.] Although the one-year
limitations period was tolled while Wright exhausted his
administrative remedies under the Bureau of Prison's
Inmate Grievance Program, see Brown v. Morgan, 209
F.3d 595, 596 (6th Cir. 2000), Wright has affirmatively
stated that he exhausted in 2017. [See R. 5 at 13
(listing “2017” as the date for all three levels
of Bureau of Prisons appeals); R. 10 at 1 (stating he began
the grievance process in May 2017 and also completed it in
2017).] And to the extent Wright alludes throughout his
filings to a delay in receiving his legal materials at
USP-Lewisburg [see, e.g., R. 1-1; R. 10-1 at 2], any
such delay does not excuse the untimely filing of his
complaint. Instead, the record indicates that Wright was more
than capable of filing an appropriate complaint without
access to his property. For instance, on April 25, 2019,
Wright filed a complaint replete with factual detail
regarding his Eighth Amendment claim. [See R. 5.] As
of that date, Wright had still not received his personal
property. [See R. 10 at 2 (indicating he had not
been provided his personal and/or legal property on April 25,
2019).] The property was therefore not a necessary
prerequisite to Wright bringing suit, and the claim is
foregoing reasons, the Court hereby ORDERS
Wright's motion to supplement the record [R. 12] is
Wright's motion for injunctive relief [R. 10] is
Wright's complaint is DISMISSED for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.