United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER
Jeffrey J. Helmick United States District Judge.
se Plaintiff Alfred Miller has filed this civil action
against the Toledo Police Department. In the Complaint,
Plaintiff alleges that the police raided his home with an
invalid search warrant and caused severe damages to his
residence and the death of two pets. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff also
has moved to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2);
that motion is granted. For the following reasons,
Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed.
complaint states in its entirety:
In 2016 the end of October my home was raided by the Toledo
Police - Swat. My home was damaged severely. Two pets were
killed. The police handed me the search warrant with a name I
do not recognize. The police made a mistake which does not
cover immunity. Good faith does not apply here. The police
are responsible for their mistake, not me. They were looking
for gang members and guns, drugs and dogs. No one was
arrested from my home. The police tapped each other on the
back and said good job. Kids were at home. They said this is
for all the shit I got away with. Its unfair and I want
(Doc. 1 at 1-2.)
se pleadings are held to “less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers” and must be
liberally construed. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,
520 (1972) (per curiam). Nevertheless, district courts are
required to screen all in forma pauperis actions and
dismiss before service any action the court determines is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B); see also Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d
468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010).
state a claim, a complaint must set forth “sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Hill, 630 F.3d
at 471 (applying the dismissal standard articulated in
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), to
dismissals for failure to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)). The “allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . .
.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. And they must be
sufficient to give defendants “fair notice of what [the
plaintiff's] claims are and the grounds upon which they
rest.” Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S.
506, 514 (2002).
does not specify the legal ground for his complaint.
Nevertheless, I will assume that Plaintiff asserts a civil
rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the violation of
his Fourth Amendment right against an illegal search or
seizure. See, e.g., Lomaz v. Hennosy, 151
F.3d 493, 500 (6th Cir. 1998) (“Section 1983 is the
vehicle available to redress injury suffered by individuals
whose constitutional or legal rights have been violated by
officials acting under color of law.”).
complaint, however, must be dismissed. First, it is clear on
the face of the complaint that the statute of limitations on
Plaintiff's claim expired before he filed this action.
There is a two-year statute of limitations on claims raised
under § 1983. See Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S.
261, 275-276 (1985) (holding that federal courts must apply
the state statute of limitations for personal injury actions
to § 1983 claims); Browning v. Pendleton, 869
F.2d 989, 991 (6th Cir. 1989) (Ohio's two-year statute of
limitations for personal injury claims applies to § 1983
actions). Plaintiff states that the police raid occurred at
the end of October 2016. Yet Plaintiff did not file his
complaint until December 18, 2018, more than one month after
the statute of limitations on his claim had expired.
Plaintiff's claim, therefore, is time-barred, and the
complaint must be dismissed for that reason. See Fraley
v. Ohio Gallia Cnty., No. 97-3564, 1998 WL 789385, at *1
(6th Cir. Oct. 30, 1998) (affirming sua sponte
dismissal of pro se §1983 action filed after
two-year statute of limitations for bringing such an action
the complaint also must be dismissed because it fails to
allege any plausible constitutional claim upon which
Plaintiff may be granted relief under § 1983. To
establish a violation under § 1983, a plaintiff must
show that a person acting under color of state law deprived
him or her of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by
the Constitution or laws of the United States. E.g.,
Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535 (1981). Plaintiff
names only the Toledo Police Department as a defendant.
Municipalities, and the various departments or agencies under
them, are “persons” subject to suit under §
1983. Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S.
658, 700-01 (1978). But they are not “liable for every
misdeed of their employees and agents.” Garner v.
Memphis Police Dep't, 8 F.3d 358, 363-64 (6th Cir.
government body cannot be held responsible for a
constitutional deprivation unless there is a direct causal
link between a municipal policy or custom and the alleged
constitutional deprivation. Deaton v. Montgomery County,
Ohio, 989 F.2d 885, 889 (6th Cir. 1993). Here, Plaintiff
has not identified any policy, connected a policy to a
governmental entity, or shown that the injury of which he
complains was incurred because of the execution of that
policy. See Garner v. Memphis Police Dep't, 8
F.3d 358, ...