United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Harrisonburg Division
Michael F. Urbanski Chief United States District Judge
matter comes before the court on defendant Middle River
Regional Jail Authority's ("MRRJA") Motion to
Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim, ECF No. 30, which seeks
dismissal of Count III of plaintiff Alvion Cashion's
("Cashion") First Amended Complaint for Monetary
Damages and Equitable Relief (the "FAC"), ECF No.
26. MRRJA argues that Claim III, the only claim pled against
it, is time barred or, in the alternative, MRRJA is entitled
to sovereign immunity. As MRRJA's statute of limitations
defense requires adjudication of Count IV of the FAC, in
which Cashion asks the court to declare that Virginia Code
§ 8.01-243.2 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the court will
also decide Count IV. For the reasons described below, the
court GRANTS MRRJA's motion to dismiss,
DISMISSES Counts III and IV of the FAC
WITH PREJUDICE, and DENIES AS
MOOT MRRJA's Motion to Submit Supplemental
Authority, ECF No. 47.
initial Complaint for Monetary Damages (the
"Complaint"), ECF No. 1, sought damages against
defendants MRRJA, Jack Lee ("Lee"), in his
individual capacity as superintendent of MRRJA, and Dr.
Moises Quinones ("Quihones"), in his individual
capacity as a doctor at MRRJA. Cashion alleged that Lee
unlawfully instituted a policy of denying antipsychotic
prescription medication to inmates. FAC ¶ 13. Quinones
allegedly knew that Cashion had a severe mental illness and
been prescribed certain antipsychotic medication. Because of
Lee's policy, however, Cashion claims that Quinones never
prescribed that medication or ensured that Cashion would be
evaluated by another qualified medical professional. FAC
¶¶ 33, 38.
Cashion was incarcerated at MRRJA from approximately October
17, 2015 through December 11, 2015. FAC ¶ 28. Cashion
filed his Complaint on January 31, 2017. MRRJA filed a Motion
to Dismiss, ECF No. 19, contending that Cashion's claims
against MRRJA were time barred by Virginia Code §
8.01-243.2, which prescribes a one-year statute of
limitations for claims "relating to the conditions of [a
prisoner's] confinement." Va. Code § 8.01-243.2
Because Cashion filed suit on January 31, 2017, more than one
year after Cashion was last allegedly denied antipsychotic
medication, MRRJA argued that his claims against it were
than aver that a different statute of limitations applies to
his claims, Cashion contends that Virginia Code §
8.01-243.2 offends the Equal Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Cashion filed the FAC, which added
Count IV, a claim seeking declaratory judgment that Virginia
Code § 8.01-243.2 is unconstitutional and appropriate
also filed a notice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
5.1, which notified the Commonwealth of Virginia of his
challenge to the constitutionality of Virginia Code
§ 8.01-243.2. MRRJA renewed its motion to dismiss, and
Virginia intervened to defend the constitutionality of
Virginia Code § 8.01-243.2.
Standard of Review
moves to dismiss Count III under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a
claim. Rule 12(b)(6) permits a dismissal when a
plaintiff fails "to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To survive a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient "facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The complaint's
"[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level." Id. at
must construe factual allegations in the nonmoving
party's favor and will treat them as true, but is
"not so bound with respect to [a complaint's] legal
conclusions." Dist. 28. United Mine Workers of Am..
Inc. v. Wellmore Coal Corp.. 609 F.2d 1083, 1085 (4th
Cir. 1979). Indeed, a court will accept neither "legal
conclusions drawn from the facts" nor "unwarranted
inferences, unreasonable conclusions, or arguments."
E. Shore Mkts.. Inc. v. J.D. Assocs. Ltd.
P'ship. 213 F.3d 175, 180 (4th Cir. 2000). Further,
"[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Only after a claim is stated adequately
may it then "be supported by showing any set of facts
consistent with the allegations in the complaint."
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 563.
statute of limitations defense "must be raised by the
defendant through an affirmative defense, and the burden of
establishing the affirmative, defense rests on the
defendant." Goodman v. Praxair, Inc., 494 F.3d
458, 464 (4th Cir. 2007) (internal citations omitted). When
"facts sufficient to rule on an affirmative defense are
alleged in the complaint, the defense may be reached by a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Id. These
facts, however, must "clearly appear on the face of
the complaint." Richmond. Fredericksburg &
Potomac R.R. Co. v. Forst. 4 F.3d 244, 250 (4th Cir.
Virginia Code § 8.01-243.2
contends, and Cashion does not contest, that Virginia Code
§ 8.01-243.2 governs the applicable limitations period
for Count III. Virginia Code § 8.01-243.2 provides:
No person confined in a state or local correctional facility
shall bring or have brought on his behalf any personal action
relating to the conditions of his confinement until all
available administrative remedies are exhausted. Such action
shall be brought by or on behalf of such person within one
year after cause of action accrues or within six ...