United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
RONNIE G. BOWEN PLAINTIFF
INVESTIGATOR SEAN CHANDLER, DEFENDANTS
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS JUDGE
a civil rights case filed by the Plaintiff, Ronnie G. Bowen,
under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff
proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. At
the time this complaint was filed, Plaintiff was incarcerated
in the Arkansas Department of Correction Delta Regional Unit.
(Doc. 1, p. 2) He is currently not incarcerated.
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) modified the IFP statute,
28 U.S.C. § 1915, to require the Court to screen
complaints for dismissal under § 1915(e)(2)(B). The
Court must dismiss a complaint, or any portion of it, if it
contains claims that: (a) are frivolous or malicious; (b)
fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or,
(c) seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
filed his complaint on December 14, 2016. (Doc. 1) He was
directed to file an addendum, and did so on May 10, 2017.
(Doc. 7) Plaintiff alleges violation of his constitutional
rights based on events which occurred between July 8, 2009,
through July 10, 2009. (Doc. 1, pp. 3-9). Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges that while he was on parole, his property
was searched without a warrant at the wrong address, and
evidence tampering occurred. Id. at 6. He alleges
false information for the search was allegedly received
through a nonexistent "tip" line concerning a
methamphetamine lab for which there was no evidence.
Id. at 7. He alleges the Benton County Sheriff's
Department failed to follow proper procedures. Id.
at 8. He alleges excessive force was utilized in the search
because multiple law enforcement teams and a SWAT team were
called in. He further alleges his property was damaged in the
search. Id. at. 9-10; Doc. 7, p. 3. Plaintiff
alleges the court clerk authorized the false identity of a
person on his charges and violated his rights by stamping her
seal on his bond paperwork. (Doc. 1, pp. 10-11)
relief, Plaintiff asks for compensatory and punitive damages.
Id. at 13.
the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen a case prior to
service of process being issued. A claim is frivolous when it
"lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact."
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A
claim fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
if it does not allege "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). However, the
Court bears in mind that when "evaluating whether a
pro se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to
state a claim, we hold 'a pro se complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, ... to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'"
Jackson v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
claims are subject to dismissal because they are time-barred.
The statute of limitations for § 1983 claims is the
state statute of limitations for personal injury actions.
Morton v. City of Little Rock, 934 F.2d 180, 183
(1991) (citing Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261
(1985). In Arkansas, this period is three years. Id.
(referencing Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105.) Any possible
equitable tolling is also controlled by state law, unless
that law is inconsistent with the policies behind §
1983. Board of Regents of Univ. of State of N.Y. v.
Tomanio, 446 U.S. 478 (1980); Hughes v. Sheriff of
Fall River Cnty. Jail, 814F.2d532(8thCir. 1987).
accrual date of a § 1983 cause of action is controlled
by federal law. Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384
(2007). Accrual generally occurs when the Plaintiff has
"a complete and present cause of action."
Id. at 388. This is met when "the Plaintiff can
file suit and obtain relief." Id.
does not provide for tolling of the statute of limitations
while an inmate pursues state or other remedies. See
Ark. Code. Ann. § 16-56-126 (tolling permitted for
nonsuit or judgment in favor arrested or reversed); §
16-56-116 (tolling provided for individuals who are minors or
insane at the time of accrual); § 16-56-120 (tolling
provided for improper acts of a party which prevent
commencement of action); § 16-56-121 (tolling provided
for absconding debtors); § 16-56-125 (tolling provided
for unknown tortfeasors). The failure to provide tolling
during the pendency of related but independent state actions
does not render the state's tolling rules inconsistent
with § 1983. Tomanio, 446 U.S. at 478.
accrual date for Plaintiff's § 1983 claims was July
of 2009. He filed this complaint in December of 2016, several
years past the three-year statute of limitations. Plaintiff
has not alleged any facts which could support equitable
tolling under Arkansas law. Plaintiff's claim is
Complaint fails to state a cognizable claim under § 1983
and is frivolous and/or asserted against an individual immune
from suit. The case is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(1)-(iii) (IFP action may be