Ford v. Richwood Correctional Center et al
MEMORANDUM ORDER: Directing plaintiff to amend complaint. Pro Se Response due by 7/14/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph H L Perez-Montes on 6/14/2017. (crt,ThomasSld, T)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
ROMAN FORD #156841,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:17-CV-194-P
CHIEF JUDGE DRELL
WARDEN, ET AL.,
MAGISTRATE JUDGE PEREZ-MONTES
Before the Court is a civil rights (42 U.S.C. § 1983) complaint filed by pro se
Plaintiff Roman Ford (“Ford”). Ford is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana
Department of Corrections, incarcerated at Lasalle Correctional Center in Olla,
Louisiana. Ford complains that he was wrongfully incarcerated with convicted
inmates when he was a pretrial detainee.
Ford alleges that, on June 13, 2013, while he was a pretrial detainee, he was
involved in an altercation with a convicted inmate at Richwood Correctional Center.
(Doc. 1, p. 3). Ford sustained a broken jaw and broken ribs. Ford seeks damages for
the injuries sustained.
Instructions to Amend
District courts are authorized to dismiss a complaint as frivolous when “it is
clear from the face of a complaint filed in forma pauperis that the claims asserted are
barred by the applicable statute of limitations.” Moore v. McDonald, 30 F.3d 616, 620
(5th Cir. 1994); Gartrell v. Gaylor, 981 F.2d 254, 256 (5th Cir. 1993). A district court
may raise the limitation period sua sponte. See Harris v. Hegmann, 198 F.3d 153 (5th
The statute of limitations for a civil rights action is borrowed from state law.
See Harris v. Hegmann, 198 F.3d 153, 156–57 (5th Cir.1999). Louisiana tort law
provides a one-year prescriptive period. See La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 3492; Gaspard v.
United States, 713 F.2d 1097, 1102 n. 11 (5th Cir. 1983).
Federal law determines when a civil rights cause of action accrues. United
Klans of America v. McGovern, 621 F.2d 152, 153 n. 1 (5th Cir. 1980). Under federal
law, a cause of action accrues when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the
injury which is the basis of the action. Such knowledge encompasses both: (1) the
existence of the injury; and (2) the connection between the injury and the defendant’s
actions. See Brown v. Nationsbank Corp., 188 F.3d 579, 589-90 (5th Cir. 1999).
Actual knowledge is not necessary for the limitations period to commence “if the
circumstances would lead a reasonable person to investigate further.” Piotrowski v.
City of Houston, 51 F.3d 512, 516 (5th Cir. 1995).
Ford knew of his injury on June 13, 2013, the date of the altercation. Therefore,
Ford had one year from that date within which to file suit. Ford did not file his
complaint until January 25, 2017. Therefore, Ford’s complaint appears to be
However, Ford’s complaint may be subject to tolling if he exhausted
administrative remedies. See La. R.S. 15:1172(E) (prescription is suspended while an
inmate pursues administrative remedies). It is unclear from the complaint whether
Ford filed an administrative remedy regarding the incident of June 13, 2013. Ford is
instructed to amend his complaint to state whether he filed an administrative
grievance, the date on which it was filed, and whether responses were received. If a
grievance was filed, Ford should provide a copy of the administrative remedy form,
as well as any responses received at each level.
IT IS ORDERED that Ford amend his complaint within thirty (30) days of the
filing of this Order to provide the information outlined above.
Failure to comply with this Order may result in dismissal of this action under
Rule 41(b) or 16(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Ford is further required to
notify the Court of any change in his address under Rule 41.3 of the Local Rules for
the Western District of Louisiana.
THUS DONE AND SIGNED in chambers in Alexandria, Louisiana, this
_______ day of June, 2017.
Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes
United States Magistrate Judge
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