United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
C. SMITH, JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Terence P. Kemp United States Magistrate Judge
Howard Boddie, Jr., a former state prisoner proceeding
pro se, filed this action under 42 U.S.C. §1983
against Scott J. Van Steyn. He has moved for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. The Court will grant the motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. For the
following reasons, it will be recommended that the complaint
be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e).
U.S.C. §1915(e)(2) provides that in proceedings in
forma pauperis, “[t]he court shall dismiss the
case if... (B) the action... is frivolous or malicious [or]
fails to state a claim on which relief can be
granted...” The purpose of this section is to prevent
suits which are a waste of judicial resources and which a
paying litigant would not initiate because of the costs
involved. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319
(1989). A complaint may be dismissed as frivolous only when
the plaintiff fails to present a claim with an arguable or
rational basis in law or fact. See id. at 325.
Claims which lack such a basis include those for which the
defendants are clearly entitled to immunity and claims of
infringement of a legal interest which does not exist,
see id. at 327-28, and “claims describing
fantastic or delusional scenarios, claims with which federal
district judges are all too familiar.” Id. at
328; see also Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25
(1992). A complaint may not be dismissed for failure to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted if the complaint
contains “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Pro se
complaints are to be construed liberally in favor of the
pro se party. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519 (1972). The complaint will be evaluated under these
of background, Mr. Boddie, while incarcerated in the
Chillicothe Correctional Institution, filed a virtually
identical action against Dr. Van Steyn raising the same
claims he raises here and sought leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. His motion to proceed in forma
pauperis was denied pursuant to the “three strikes
rule” set forth in 28 U.S.C. §1915(g), which
requires assessment of the full filing fee in a case brought
by a prisoner who has had three or more prior cases dismissed
as frivolous, malicious, or for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. That case was ultimately
dismissed for Mr. Boddie's failure to pay the filing fee
in full as ordered. See Boddie v. Van Steyn, Case
No. 2:15-cv-06 (S.D. Ohio Apr. 20, 2016).
current complaint, Mr. Boddie alleges that Dr. Van Steyn
“violated the physician patient relationship and
disclosed confidential medical information to” three
separate third parties on three separate occasions (Doc. 1 at
3). According to the complaint, Dr. Van Steyn's alleged
unauthorized disclosures to state officials constituted
“violations of his First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth,
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights [that] subjected
Plaintiff to wrongful detention...racial discrimination,
denial of due process and access to the courts, and other
related damages” (Id. at 9). He further
alleges that Dr. Van Steyn conspired with state officials,
therefore making him subject to liability under 42 U.S.C.
to the complaint, in April, 2009, Mr. Boddie consulted Dr.
Van Steyn about the possibility of reconstructive surgery on
his left knee. According to the complaint, this surgery was
completed on April 23, 2009. At that time, Mr. Boddie also
was facing criminal charges, which required Dr. Van Steyn to
communicate with state prosecutors and other officials
regarding Mr. Boddie's surgical recovery. Mr. Boddie
alleges that Dr. Van Steyn breached his duty of
confidentiality by failing to respond to a state subpoena for
medical records, and instead interacting with state
prosecutors and divulging “half-lies” about Mr.
Boddie's “race, physical dependency, drug and
mental state” without consent (Id. at 15). Mr.
Boddie alleges that these events caused him to miss his court
date and ultimately resulted in his conviction and
imprisonment. The three separate disclosures at issue in Mr.
Boddie's complaint occurred in May and June, 2009.
Consequently, these disclosures occurred on a date more than
two years before Mr. Boddie filed his current complaint.
another Judge of this Court has explained:
Although the statute of limitations is normally an
affirmative defense raised by defendants in an answer,
“if a statute of limitations defense clearly appears on
the face of a pleading, the district court can raise the
issue sua sponte.” Watson v. Wayne County, 90
Fed.Appx. 814, 815 (6th Cir. 2004)(citing Pino
v. Ryan, 49 F.3d 51, 53-54 (2d Cir. 1995)); see also
Alston v. Tenn. Dep't of Corr., 28 Fed.Appx.475, 476
(6th Cir. 2002)(“Because the statute of
limitations defect was obvious from the face of the
complaint, sua sponte dismissal of the complaint was
appropriate.”). Moreover, “[w]here a particular
claim is barred by the applicable statute of limitations, it
does not present an arguable or rational basis in law or fact
and therefore may be dismissed as frivolous under §
1915(e)(2).” Fraley v. Ohio Gallia Cnty., No.
97-3564, 1998 WL 789385, at *1 (6th Cir. Oct. 30,
1998). While state law provides the statute of limitations to
be applied in a §1983 action, federal law governs when
that limitations period begins to run. Sevier v.
Turner, 742 F.2d 262, 272 (6th Cir. 1984). The statute
of limitations begins to run when “the plaintiff knows
or has reason to know of the injury which is the basis of his
action.” Id. at 273.
Hurst v. State of Ohio Bureau of Investigation and
Identification, 2016 WL 1604553, *3 (S.D. Ohio April 22,
2016) (Marbley, J.).
statute of limitations applicable to claims arising under 42
U.S.C. §1983 is the two-year statute of limitations for
personal injury claims found in Ohio Revised Code
§2305.10. Brown v. Pendleton, 869 F.2d 989 (6th
Cir. 1989). Mr. Boddie did not file this case until January
10, 2017, a date well beyond the applicable limitations
period. Additionally, according to the allegations of the
complaint, Mr. Boddie knew that the alleged breach and injury
occurred no later than May, 2009. According to Mr. Boddie,
this was the time period during which the state ...