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Brown v. Holbrook

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

March 26, 2018

SHANE DALE BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
ERIC D. HOLBROOK, et al., Defendants.

          Chief Judge, Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KIMBERLY A. JOLSON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Shane Dale Brown, a pro se prisoner, initially brought this action against Eric D. Holbrook and the Ohio State Highway Patrol on February 28, 2018. (See Doc. 1-2). In its March 2, 2018 Order, the Court granted Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 2). The Court was unable to conduct an initial screen of the Complaint at that time, however, because Plaintiff attached two exhibits totaling more than 100 pages, rather than providing any factual allegations in what he titled his Complaint. (Id.). Pursuant to the Court's Order (id.), Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on March 19, 2018, against only Defendant Holbrook. (Doc. 4).

         Having performed an initial screen of the Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), and for the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that the Court DISMISS this action under § 1915(e)(2) for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted.

         I. LEGAL STANDARD

         Because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis (see Docs. 1, 2), the Court must dismiss the Complaint, or any portion of it, that is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a complaint to set forth “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” In reviewing a complaint, the Court must construe it in Plaintiff's favor, accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true, and evaluate whether it contains “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). On the other hand, a complaint that consists of “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” is insufficient. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Although pro se complaints are to be construed liberally, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), “basic pleading essentials” are still required. Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989).

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges in his Amended Complaint that on August 28, 2015, he was pulled over in a traffic stop by Officer Eric Holbrook. (Doc. 4 at 1). During the course of that stop, Plaintiff states that:

[he] was tased and placed in hand restraints behind my back, while in restraints and in custody of Officer Holbrook Plaintiff was assaulted and severely beaten up by Officer Holbrook with multiple injuries, Officer Holbrook did maliciously and sadistically try to hurt Plaintiff and did in fact cause permanent damage physically, mentally, and emotionally to Plaintiff which was the result of cruel and unusual punishment violating Plaintiff's eighth amendment.

(Id. at 1-2). Plaintiff also alleges that following his arrest, the Franklin County Jail refused to book Plaintiff because of his injuries. (Id. at 2). Plaintiff was subsequently admitted to Grant Medical Hospital. (Id.).

         Plaintiff seeks $300, 000 in relief for pain and suffering and asks that “Officer Holbrook be held responsible for his actions on August 28, 2015.” (Id. at 2-3).

         III. DISCUSSION

         As an initial matter, Plaintiff appears to be alleging that Defendant Holbrook violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment when Defendant Holbrook used excessive force against him. However, because the alleged misconduct by Defendant Holbrook occurred prior to Plaintiff's conviction, the Eighth Amendment was not implicated. See Bass v. Robinson, 167 F.3d 1041, 1049 (6th Cir. 1999) (holding that because “the alleged misconduct occurred prior to Plaintiff's conviction, the Eighth Amendment was not implicated”); see also Ingraham v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651, 671 n. 40 (1977) (“[T]he State does not acquire the power to punish with which the Eighth Amendment is concerned until after it has secured a formal adjudication of guilt in accordance with due process of law”). Interpreting Plaintiff's complaint liberally, however, the undersigned construes Plaintiff's claim as a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 excessive force claim. See Todd v. City of Zanesville Police Dep't, No. 2:05-CV-1076, 2006 WL 1027756 (S.D. Ohio Apr. 19, 2006).

         “The statute of limitations applicable to a § 1983 action is determined by reference to state law, while the date on which the statute of limitations begins to run is governed by federal law.” Wheeler v. Dayton Police Dep't, No. 12-4029, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 26373, *3 (6th Cir. Mar. 15, 2013) (citing Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 388 (2007)); Eidson v. Tenn. Dep't of Children's Servs., 510 F.3d 631, 635 (6th Cir. 2007)). The statute of limitations for a § 1983 civil action arising in Ohio is contained in Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2305.10, “which requires that actions for bodily injury be filed within two years after their accrual.” Browning v. Pendleton, 869 F.2d 989, 992 (6th Cir. 1989). “Ordinarily, such a period begins to run when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the injury that is the basis of his action.” See Wheeler, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS ...


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