Burley v. The United Parcel Service et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION OF THE COURT. Signed by District Judge Aleta A. Trauger on 2/28/2017. (xc:Pro se party by regular and certified mail.)(DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(eh)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, et al.
The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, is a pre-trial detainee at the Correctional Development
Center for Men in Nashville. He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the United
Parcel Service (UPS) and Megan Humphries, a UPS employee, seeking damages.
Humphries is employed at a UPS store in Hendersonville, Tennessee. On two separate
occasions in October, 2015, she opened a package addressed to a post office box leased to the
plaintiff. In the packages, Humphries found what she thought might be illegal drugs. She reported
the discovery to the authorities who later placed the plaintiff under arrest.
The plaintiff believes that Humphries violated his rights by opening the packages without
cause and reporting him to the police.
To establish a claim for § 1983 relief, the plaintiff must plead and prove that a person or
persons, while acting under color of state law, deprived him of some right guaranteed by the
Constitution or laws of the United States. Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535 (1981).
Clearly, the defendants were private individuals who were not acting “under color of state
law” when the plaintiff’s packages were opened. Thus, they are not liable to the plaintiff under §
1983. Besides, Humphries allegedly violated the plaintiff’s rights in October, 2015 when she opened
the plaintiff’s packages. It appears, therefore, that the instant action is time-barred by the one year
statute of limitations imposed upon civil rights claims brought in Tennessee. Merriweather v. City
of Memphis, 107 F.3d 396, 398 (6th Cir.1997).
In the absence of an actionable claim, the Court is obliged to dismiss the complaint sua
sponte. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
An appropriate order will be entered.
Aleta A. Trauger
United States District Judge
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