United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE OR AMEND COMPLAINT
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge
John Greystoke, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this civil rights complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Having reviewed and screened
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A, the Court declines to serve the Amended Complaint but
provides Plaintiff leave to file an amended pleading by June
16, 2017, to cure the deficiencies identified herein.
who is housed at Clallam County Corrections Facility
(“Corrections Facility”), alleges his
constitutional rights were violated when he was (1) sexually
assaulted by Defendant James Vice; (2) forced to live in
inhumane conditions of confinement; and (3) denied adequate
medical care by Defendant Arthur Tordini. Dkt.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Court is
required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking
relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee
of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
Court must “dismiss the complaint, or any portion of
the complaint, if the complaint: (1) is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted;
or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. at (b); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2); see Barren v. Harrington, 152
F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 1998).
order to state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a plaintiff must show: (1) he suffered a violation of
rights protected by the Constitution or created by federal
statute, and (2) the violation was proximately caused by a
person acting under color of state law. See Crumpton v.
Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). The first
step in a § 1983 claim is therefore to identify the
specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994). To
satisfy the second prong, a plaintiff must allege facts
showing how individually named defendants caused, or
personally participated in causing, the harm alleged in the
complaint. See Arnold v. IBM, 637 F.2d 1350, 1355
(9th Cir. 1981).
Amended Complaint suffers from deficiencies requiring
dismissal if not corrected in an amended complaint.
Statute of Limitations
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges he was sexually
assaulted by Defendant Vice in 1991. Dkt. 16. Plaintiff was
directed to show cause why this claim should not be dismissed
as barred by the statute of limitations. See Dkt.
10. Plaintiff filed a response regarding statutory rape, not
the statute of limitations. See Dkt. 16-1. The Court
therefore provides Plaintiff with a second opportunity to
show cause why this claim is untimely.
complaint must be timely filed. The Civil Rights Act, 42
U.S.C. § 1983, contains no statute of limitations.
“Thus, the federal courts  apply the applicable
period of limitations under state law for the jurisdiction in
which the claim arose.” Rose v. Rinaldi, 654
F.2d 546, 547 (9th Cir. 1981). In Rose, the Ninth
Circuit determined the three year limitations period
identified in Revised Code of Washington 4.16.080(2) is the
applicable statute of limitations for § 1983 cases in
Washington. 654 F.2d at 547; see R.C.W. §
Court also applies the forum state's law regarding
equitable tolling for actions arising under § 1983.
Jones v. Blanas, 393 F.3d 918, 927 (9th Cir. 2004).
In Washington, courts permit equitable tolling “when
justice requires.” Millay v. Cam, 135 Wash.2d
193, 206 (1998). “The predicates for equitable tolling
are bad faith, deception, or false assurances by the
defendant and the exercise of diligence by the
plaintiff.” Id. Courts “typically permit
equitable tolling to occur only sparingly, and should not
extend it to a garden variety claim of excusable
neglect.” State v. Robinson, 104 Wash.App.
657, 667 (2001) (internal quotations omitted). Washington
State also allows for a tolling period when a person is
imprisoned on a criminal charge prior to sentencing.
See R.C.W. § 4.16.190; see also Williams v.
Holevinski, 2006 WL 216705, *2 (E.D. Wash. July 31,
the statute of limitations is an affirmative defense which
normally may not be raised by the Court sua sponte,
it may be grounds for sua sponte dismissal of an
in forma pauperis complaint where the defense is
complete and obvious from the face of the pleadings or the
Court's own records. See Franklin v. Murphy, 745
F.2d 1221, 1228-30 (9th Cir. 1984).
the allegations contained in the Complaint, Plaintiff had
actual notice of the facts related to the claim alleged
against Defendant Vice on March 31, 1991. See Dkt.
16, p. 3; Kimes v. Stone, 84 F.3d 1121, 1128 (9th
Cir. 1996) (a claim accrues when the plaintiff knows or has
reason to know of the injury which is the basis of the
action). The time for filing a complaint as to this claim
expired three years later, on March 31, 1994. Plaintiff
initiated this lawsuit on April 8, 2017, approximately 23
years after the statute of limitations expired. See
Dkt. 1. Plaintiff has not shown statutory or equitable