United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacomo
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND REMANDING
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Kitsap County, Kitsap County
Sheriff's Department, Kitsap County Prosecutor's
Office, Steve Boyer, Russ Hauge, Deputy Brandon L. Meyers,
Deputy Kurtis Lont, Deputy Jason Hedstrom, Deputy Sonya K.
Matthews, Deputy Miller, Deputy Prosecutor Emily Jarchow
Goodell, Barbara O. Dennis, and Deputy Prosecutor Kelly M.
Montgomery (“Kitsap County Defendants”) motion to
dismiss (Dkt. 7). The Court has considered the pleadings
filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the
remainder of the file and hereby grants in part and denies in
part the motion for the reasons stated herein.
PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
March 5, 2018, Plaintiff Clayton Longacre
(“Longacre”) filed a complaint in Pierce County
Superior Court for the State of Washington asserting numerous
causes of action against numerous defendants. Dkt. 1-1.
Longacre's claims arise out of a dispute with a mechanic,
Defendant Jacob Syring (“Syring”), that Longacre
hired to work on three watercraft. Id. ¶ 3.02.
When Longacre appeared at Syring's house to take
possession of the watercraft, a dispute arose regarding
payment and Syring's performance. Id.
¶¶ 3.11-3.13. The dispute escalated to a physical
altercation with both parties contacting the police.
Id. ¶¶ 3.14-3.17. On the evening of
December 12, 2014, deputies with the Kitsap County
Sheriff's office arrested Longacre and filed charges for
assault and harassment. Id. ¶ 3.25.
Monday December 15, 2014, Longacre posted bail and was
released. Id. ¶ at 9, ¶ 3.18. That
afternoon, Syring contacted the police alleging that Longacre
had made a threatening call to Syring and sent threatening
texts. Id. at 10 ¶ 3.20 (second ¶ 3.20 on
the page). Later that evening, Kitsap deputies arrested
Longacre on charges of intimidating a witness and harassment.
Id. at 10-11, ¶¶ 3.22-3.25. Longacre
alleges that the prosecutor refused to prosecute the initial
charges and eventually dismissed the second set of charges
March 9, 2018, the Kitsap County Defendants removed the
matter to this Court under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441(a),
(c). Dkt. 1.
March 20, 2018, Kitsap County Defendants filed a motion to
dismiss. Dkt. 7. On April 23, 2018, Longacre responded. Dkt.
23. On May 4, 2018, Kitsap County Defendants replied. Dkt.
case, the Kitsap County Defendants argue that the Court
should dismiss Longacre's § 1983 claims because they
are barred by the statute of limitations. The parties do not
dispute that (1) Longacre was arrested and jailed in December
2014, (2) the charges were dismissed against Longacre on
February 4, 2015, (3) Longacre served his complaint on
certain Defendants on February 10, 2018, and (4) the statute
of limitations for § 1983 claims is three years. Thus,
it appears from the face of the complaint that Longacre's
claims are barred because he commenced this action more than
three years after the actions giving rise to his claims.
Longacre, however, argues that the Court should apply the
continuing violation rule and the discovery rule to toll the
statute of limitations. Neither of Longacre's arguments
under federal law, a principle known as the “discovery
rule” dictates that a cause of action accrues on the
date “when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of
the injury which is the basis of the action.”
Lukovsky v. City and Cty. of S.F., 535 F.3d 1044,
1048 (9th Cir. 2008). As the Supreme Court has noted,
“discovery of the injury, not discovery of the other
elements of a claim, is what starts the clock.”
Rotella v. Wood, 528 U.S. 549, 555 (2000).
this standard, Longacre knew or had reason to know of his
injuries in December 2014. Longacre's illegal search and
seizure claims, false arrest claims, and false imprisonment
claims are all based on injuries that occurred in December
2014 when he was arrested. Similarly, his claims for failure
to allow access to the phone and library while in custody
occurred while he was in jail in December 2014.
Longacre's failure to train officers also stems from his
arrests in December 2014. Regarding Longacre's claims for
failure to train prosecutors, these claims arose when the
prosecutors filed the charges against Longacre. He even filed
a motion to dismiss the charges for lack of probable cause,
which establishes that he knew or had reason to know of his
injuries well before he “discovered” that the
charges had been dismissed. The Monell liability claim stems
from the same conduct and was likewise discoverable in
December 2014. Therefore, the Court finds that, based on the
allegations in the complaint, Longacre knew or had reason to
know of his injuries well before the applicable date of
February 10, 2015.
Longacre fails to provide any authority for the proposition
that the continuing violation rule applies to these §
1983 claims. Longacre cites one authority to support the
doctrine, Dkt. 23 at 17, but fails to cite any authority for
the proposition that the doctrine applies in any context
other than employment discrimination. Moreover,
Longacre's argument is suspect. He claims that the
violation continues until the statute of limitations runs on
the charges that were dismissed without prejudice. Dkt. 23 at
18. The doctrine isn't based on the threat of an adverse
action, it is based on actual discriminatory actions that
continue into the limitations period. Therefore, the Court
finds that the continuing violation doctrine does not apply
to § 1983 claims, and even if there was a reasonable
basis to consider the doctrine in this case, Longacre's
position is without merit because it relies on the threat of
an injury instead of an actual injury.
Longacre's § 1983 claims are barred by the statute
of limitations based on the face of the complaint. Longacre
fails to establish any reason that the limitations period
should be tolled or otherwise not apply to bar his claims.
Therefore, the Court grants ...