United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C.
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.
Nicholas Clark is a prisoner of the Connecticut Department of
Correction. Clark has filed a lawsuit against three
correctional officials stemming from an alleged sexual
assault against him that took place in 2011. Because I
conclude that the statute of limitations clearly bars
Clark's claim for relief under federal law, I will
dismiss the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
complaint alleges Clark was imprisoned at MacDougall-Walker
Correctional Institution in 2011. At some point in the summer
of 2011, Clark was allegedly sexually assaulted by one of the
defendants in this action. The complaint names two other
defendants but does not describe what they did or did not do.
See Doc. #1.
Court has authority to dismiss an in forma pauperis
complaint if it plainly fails to state a claim for which
relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). As the Second Circuit has made clear, a
sua sponte dismissal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915 may be appropriate not only if a complaint fails to
state a valid claim but also if the complaint alleges a cause
of action that is indisputably time-barred by the statute of
limitations. See Pino v. Ryan, 49 F.3d 51, 53-54 (2d
has alleged a serious sexual assault, and the facts he
describes suggest a violation of his right under the Eighth
Amendment to be free from intentional harm or deliberate
indifference to his safety as a prison inmate. See,
e.g., Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 828
(1994). Federal law-42 U.S.C. § 1983-allows for a cause
of action for relief against a defendant who acts under color
of state law to violate a plaintiff's constitutional
rights. Nevertheless, a claim for relief under § 1983
must be filed within three years of the events that give rise
to the cause of action. See, e.g., Walker v.
Jastremski, 430 F.3d 560, 562 (2d Cir. 2005);
Lounsbury v. Jeffries, 25 F.3d 131, 134 (2d. Cir.
Clark alleges that he was sexually assaulted in the summer of
2011, the statute of limitations for his § 1983 claim
expired three years later in the summer of 2014. Clark did
not file his complaint until October 26, 2018, more than four
years after the statute of limitations had already expired to
file his claim.
true that a statute of limitations may be subject to
equitable tolling, but only in “rare and exceptional
circumstances, ” where there are “extraordinary
circumstances [that] prevented a party from timely performing
a required act, ” and only if “the party acted
with reasonable diligence throughout the period he sought to
toll.” Walker, 430 F.3d at 564. Clark alleges
that “the D.O.C. has violated my due process to the
courts by tampering with my legal mail outgoing and incoming
in the attempt to have me run past the statute of limitation
to file my complaint, ” and that “I've been
trying to get this complaint to the courts for years.”
Doc. #1 at 7.
these conclusory allegations, Clark alleges no facts to show
how anyone at the Department of Corrections obstructed his
ability to file a claim, much less does he allege any facts
to show that Clark acted diligently throughout the years he
seeks to be equitably tolled. The complaint alleges no facts
to suggest that Clark tried at any time prior to the summer
of 2014 to file an action under § 1983. Instead, the
complaint attaches documents to show that Clark did not begin
to inquire about filing a lawsuit until 2017, at least two
years after the statute of limitations had already
I conclude that Clark's § 1983 claim must be
dismissed on grounds that it is plainly barred by the statute
of limitations. See, e.g., Pino, 49 F.3d at
54 (noting that “a dismissal under section 1915(d) [now
codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)] based on the statute of
limitations is especially appropriate where, as in this case,
the injuries complained of occurred more than five years
before the filing of the complaint-well outside the
applicable three-year limitations period, there are no
applicable tolling provisions as a matter of law, and
plaintiff has alleged no facts indicating a continuous or
ongoing violation of his constitutional rights”).
any state law claims that Clark might pursue as a result of
the sexual assault, there is no basis to conclude that there
is diversity of citizenship as required to sustain federal
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. I will
otherwise decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
any state law claims. See 28 U.S.C. §
1367(c)(3); see, e.g., Lundy v. Catholic Health
Sys. of Long Island Inc., 711 F.3d 106, 117-18 (2d Cir.
reasons set forth above, the Court GRANTS plaintiff Nicholas
Clark's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
(Doc. #2) but DISMISSES the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) on the ground that Clark's federal
constitutional claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 are
barred by the statute of limitations and on the ground that
the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction ...