Howlet v. Davenport et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Abdul K Kallon on 1/30/2015. (PSM)
2015 Jan-30 AM 09:26
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CARTER F. DAVENPORT, et al.,
Case No. 4:14-cv-01077-AKK-SGC
The magistrate judge filed a report on November 13, 2014, recommending the dismissal of
this action without prejudice for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted based upon
the expiration of the statute of limitations applicable to claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff
filed objections to the report and recommendation on December 19, 2014. (Doc. 11).
The gist of the plaintiff’s objections is that he was induced to refrain from filing suit based
upon statements made by an Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) “I & I” investigator, who
allegedly: (1) told the plaintiff he would advise him of the outcome of the internal investigation into
the events made the basis of the claims in this action; and (2) led the plaintiff to believe ADOC would
offer him monetary damages and mental health counseling to compensate him for his “wounds and
mental anguish.” (Doc. 11 at 2-3 and 8-10). The plaintiff states he never heard back from the ADOC
Investigator after their initial meeting, which occurred while the plaintiff was still recovering from his
injuries. (Id. at 2-3.)
The plaintiff’s objections are essentially an assertion that the court should equitably toll the
statute of limitations. Unfortunately for Plaintiff, this assertion is without merit because where, as
here, a federal statute borrows a state statute of limitations period, as with § 1983 claims, the
corresponding state tolling rules are borrowed as well. Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident
Insurance Co., 134 S. Ct. 604, 616 (2013); Hardin v. Straub, 490 U.S. 536, 538-39 (1989). The
Supreme Court of Alabama has held “a litigant seeking equitable tolling bears the burden of
establishing two elements: (1) that he has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some
extraordinary circumstances stood in his way.” Weaver v. Firestone, --- So. 3d ---, 2013 WL
6516389, at *4 (Ala. 2013). The court has defined these “extraordinary circumstances” as matters
beyond the plaintiff’s control and “unavoidable even with the exercise of due diligence.” Id.1 Based
on this court’s review, nothing in the plaintiff’s objections meets this strict burden.
Accordingly, having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all of the materials in the court
file, including the report and recommendation and the objections thereto, the Court is of the opinion
that the magistrate judge's report is due to be and hereby is ADOPTED and her recommendation is
ACCEPTED. Therefore, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), this action is due to be
dismissed without prejudice for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
A Final Judgment will be entered.
DONE this 30th day of January, 2015.
ABDUL K. KALLON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
The Eleventh Circuit imposes nearly identical burdens, calling equitable tolling “an extraordinary remedy
which is typically applied sparingly.” Drew v. Department of Corrections, 297 F.3d 1278, 1286 (11th Cir. 2002). In
fact, “[b]ecause of the difficult burden, [the Eleventh Circuit] has rejected most claims for equitable tolling.” Diaz v.
Secretary for Dept. of Corrections, 362 F.3d 698, 701 (11th Cir. 2004).
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?