Cavitt v. Massachusetts Department of Corrections et al
Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton: ORDER entered. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: For the foregoing reasons, plaintiffs motion for reconsideration (Docket No. 31 ) is DENIED. So ordered.(Vieira, Leonardo)
United States District Court
District of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Department of
Corrections, et al.,
Civil Action No.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Pro se plaintiff Brian Cavitt (“Cavitt” or “plaintiff”) is
an inmate in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of
Corrections (“MDOC”) who is currently serving consecutive life
sentences in Red Onion State Prison (“ROSP”) in Pound, Virginia.
He alleges that he was transferred to the Virginia facility in
November, 2016, and has since been kept in solitary confinement.
Based on that confinement, Cavitt brought suit against the MDOC
and certain MDOC employees in their individual and official
capacities pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the United States
Constitution, among other claims.
In January, 2021, this Court dismissed plaintiff’s claims
against the MDOC employees for failure to state a claim.
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moves for reconsideration of that dismissal only with respect to
Abbe E. Nelligan (“Nelligan” or “defendant”), Director of MDOC’s
Central Classification Division, for her role in his initial
transfer to the Virginia facility.
Cavitt contends that
Nelligan violated his due process rights by deliberately
choosing to transfer him to ROSP with the intention that he
would be subjected to solitary confinement there.
Nelligan responds that, inter alia, any claims based on Cavitt’s
transfer are barred by the statute of limitations and, in any
event, the transfer of an inmate to an out-of-state facility
implicates no protected liberty or property interest.
Because 42 U.S.C. § 1983 does not include its own statute
of limitations, federal courts “borrow the forum state’s statute
of limitations for personal-injury actions”. Alamo-Hornedo v.
In Massachusetts, the limitations period for personal
injury and civil rights claims is three years. See M.G.L. c.
260, § 2A (personal injury); M.G.L. c. 258, § 4 (civil rights).
With respect to the accrual of § 1983 claims, however, federal
law governs and provides that an action accrues “when the
plaintiff knows, or has reason to know of the injury on which
the action is based.” Alamo-Horrnedo, 745 F.3d at 581 (internal
Here, plaintiff was transferred to the Virginia facility on
November 7, 2016, thereby marking the accrual date of any § 1983
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claims arising out of that transfer.
Plaintiff had until
November 7, 2019, to file a federal complaint asserting such
claims but he waited until December 6, 2019 to do so.
those claims are barred by the three-year statute of
Furthermore, no federal due process rights are implicated
by Cavitt’s transfer to ROSP because such transfer “involves no
identifiable interest in liberty or property as contemplated by
the fourteenth amendment”. Porcher v. Mass. Dep’t of Corr., 7
F.3d 218(Table), 1993 WL 372748, at *2 (1st Cir. Sept. 23,
For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff’s motion for
reconsideration (Docket No. 31) is DENIED.
/s/ Nathaniel M. Gorton
Nathaniel M. Gorton
United States District Judge
Dated April 1, 2021
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