Pierce v. State Mississippi et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders on 6/3/2021. (cb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
STEVEN WAYNE PIERCE
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, ET AL.
This matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner complaint of Steven Wayne Pierce,
who challenges the conditions of his confinement under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the purposes of the
Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court notes that the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this suit.
The plaintiff has brought the instant case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which provides a federal cause of
action against “[e]very person” who under color of state authority causes the “deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws.” 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
The plaintiff alleges that, in 2005 and 2006, Panola County Sheriff’s Department Deputies
unlawfully imprisoned him and later arrested him on the charge of sexual battery. He also alleges that
the Panola County Circuit Court convicted him of sexual battery in the absence of subject matter
This court issued a show-cause order, requiring the plaintiff to explain why the case should not
be dismissed as barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The plaintiff has responded to the
order, and the matter is ripe for resolution. For the reasons set forth below, the instant case will be
dismissed as untimely filed.
A federal court borrows the forum state’s general or residual personal injury limitations
period. Owens v. Okure, 488 U.S. 235, 249 (1989); Gartrell v. Gaylor, 981 F.2d 254 (5th Cir. 1993).
In Mississippi, that statute is MISS. CODE ANN. § 15-1-49, which allows a litigant only three years to
file such an action, and the statute begins to run “at the moment the plaintiff becomes aware he has
suffered an injury or has sufficient information to know he has been injured.” Russel v. Board of
Trustees of Firemen, etc., 968 F.2d 489 (5th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 113 S. Ct. 1266 (1993) (citations
The events the plaintiff describes occurred in 2005 and 2006 and involved his arrest and
prosecution for sexual battery. The plaintiff was obviously aware of these events at the time they
occurred; as such, the statute began to run at that time. Thus, the limitations period regarding claims
arising out of those events expired three years later – in 2009. The instant complaint was filed on July
13, 2020, some 11 years after the limitations period expired. Thus, this case must be dismissed as
For the reasons set forth above, the instant case must be dismissed as untimely filed. A final
judgment consistent with this memorandum opinion will issue today.
SO ORDERED, this, the 3rd day of June, 2021.
/s/ David A. Sanders
DAVID A. SANDERS
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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