United States District Court, D. Montana, Helena Division
Johnston, United States Magistrate Judge.
January 31, 2018, pro se Plaintiff Strausie Hart
(“Ms. Hart”) filed a Motion to Proceed in
Forma Pauperis (Doc. 1) and a proposed Complaint (Doc.
2) against Defendants Jennifer Hudson (“Ms.
Hudson”) and Tanya Murgel (“Ms. Murgel”).
The Complaint alleges that the United States government is a
defendant as its basis for jurisdiction. (Doc. 2 at 5). Ms.
Hart, however, has not named the United States as a
defendant. She does name state actors as defendants and
therefore, for purposes of this Order, the Court will presume
it has federal jurisdiction arising under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Complaint, Ms. Hart alleges that Ms. Hudson is a public
defender who represented her son, Kris, in September of 2014
in what appears to the Court to be a case of sexual assault.
The Complaint alleges Ms. Hudson essentially “forced
[him] to plee[sic] guilty” and “forced [him] to
be a predator, falsified testimonies, manipulated [him] by
cohesion[sic] and forced [perjury]!” (Doc. 2 at 6).
Additionally, while not named in the caption of the
Complaint, Ms. Murgel is named as a defendant in the section
“Defendants Involved, ” in which Ms. Hart alleges
that Ms. Murgel, a juvenile probation officer, heard Kris
denying the charges and saying that he was raped.
Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis will be granted.
However, after conducting a screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§1915, it is apparent on the face of the Complaint that
Ms. Hart's claims are barred by the statute of
limitations. Therefore, the Court recommends that her
Complaint be dismissed.
Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis
Hart's Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis is
sufficient to make the showing required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a). (Doc. 1). Therefore, the Court orders that Ms.
Hart's request to proceed in forma pauperis be
granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
Screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915
Ms. Hart is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court
must review her Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Section 1915(e)(2)(B) requires the Court to dismiss a
complaint filed in forma pauperis before it is
served if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. A
complaint is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted if a plaintiff
fails to allege the “grounds” of his
“entitlement to relief.” Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation
document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally
construed, ' and ‘a pro se complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.'” Erickson v. Pardu, 551 U.S. 89,
94 (2007); cf. Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(e)
(“Pleadings must be construed so as to do
provides that a complaint must contain “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the [plaintiff] is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Under the
federal pleading standards, the Court must determine whether
the Complaint states a “plausible” claim for
relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
A claim is “plausible” if the factual
allegations, which are accepted as true, “allow[ ] the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at
678. This inquiry is “a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id. at 679
Court finds that Ms. Hart's Complaint should be dismissed
for failure to file within the applicable statute of
limitations. The United States Supreme Court in Wilson v.
Garcia, 471 U.S. 261 (1985), determined the applicable
statute of limitations for claims filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 is the state statute of limitations governing
personal injury actions. In Montana, that period is three
years after the action accrues. Mont. Code. Ann. §
27-2-204(1); see Harvey v. Waldron, 210 F.3d 1008,
1013 (Mont. 2000).
Hart alleges that the events giving rise to her claim
occurred in September of 2014. (Doc. 2 at 6). As such, Ms.
Hart was required to file her claims against Ms. Hudson and
Ms. Murgel no later than September of 2017. Ms. Hart's
Complaint is dated January 31, 2018. (Id.) Even the
most liberal construction of Ms. Hart's pleadings cannot
avoid the absolute bar of the statute of limitations, and
this is not a defect which ...