United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Abingdon Division
Lee Horton, Pro Se Plaintiff.
P. Jones, United States District Judge
plaintiff, Roger Lee Horton, filed this pro se Amended
Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that his
constitutional rights were violated while he was
incarcerated. I conclude that the case as amended must
be summarily dismissed as frivolous.
construed, Horton's current submissions allege that while
he was incarcerated at Nottoway Correctional Center
(“NCC”) between December 27, 2013, and April 1,
2014, Dr. Amenra-Tuason prescribed unspecified “strong
mental health drug's [sic] and overdosed” him.
Horton states that his “body would not take this
medication” and it “damaged” him in
unspecified ways. See Am. Compl. 1-3, ECF No. 4;
Attach. 9, ECF No. 4-1 (listing medications prescribed to
Horton by various prison doctors in 2014-2016). Horton also
asserts that other medications the doctor prescribed
“did not help matters.” Am. Compl. 2, ECF No. 4.
Horton attaches medical records from 2017 about his recent
health issues, which he blames on Dr. Amenra-Tuason's
course of treatment for him at NCC more than three years ago.
April 1, 2014, Horton was transferred to Bland Correctional
Center (“BCC”). He alleges that the transfer
occurred “for no reason, and still no one [at BCC]
would ofte[r] to help [him with] any kind of treatment and
[he] was suffering.” Id. Horton's
attachments indicate, however, that at BCC other doctors
supervised his care and prescribed medications for him.
there, Horton filed numerous requests for free photocopies of
his medical and mental health records. These requests were
denied because Horton was indigent. Officials advised him,
however, that under Virginia law, he could obtain a copy of
his medical records at no cost within thirty days of his
release date. See Am. Compl. Attach. 39, ECF No.
4-1. Horton complains that the photocopied records provided
to him prior to his release were not complete.
identifies only two defendants in the heading of the Amended
Complaint - former warden of NCC, Henry Ponton, and
“Nottoway Correctional Facilities.” Am. Compl. 1,
ECF No. 4. Horton identifies three claims: (1) Dr.
Amenra-Tuason overdosed him at NCC on February 21, 2014; (2)
BCC officials did not provide timely, free copies of all
medical records; and (3) the overdose in 2014 continues to
cause him health problems. He does not state what relief he
court must dismiss any civil action upon determining that the
case is “frivolous or malicious” or “fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii). Because Congress did
not set time limits for filing a § 1983 action, such
cases are uniformly governed by the statute of limitations
applicable to general personal injury actions in the state
where the tort allegedly occurred. See Owens v.
Okure, 488 U.S. 235, 239, 250 (1989). Such actions in
Virginia must be commenced within two years from the date on
which the claim accrues. See Va. Code Ann. §
8.01-243(A). A § 1983 claim accrues “when the
plaintiff possesses sufficient facts about the harm done to
him that reasonable inquiry will reveal his cause of
action.” Nasim v. Warden, Md. House of
Corr., 64 F.3d 951, 955 (4th Cir. 1995) (en banc). When
the court finds it clear from the face of the complaint that
the plaintiff's claims are time barred, the court may
summarily dismiss the action as frivolous under §
1915(e)(2)(B). Id. (applying earlier version of 28
U.S.C. § 1915(d)).
it clear from Horton's submissions that he waited too
long to file his § 1983 claims about the alleged
medication overdose at NCC. He does not allege that Dr.
Amenra-Tuason had any involvement with his medical care after
his transfer to BCC on April 1, 2014, or that the NCC warden
had any personal involvement in the doctor's treatment
decisions. Horton also does not allege that the NCC Warden
was personally involved in any of the alleged events at BCC.
Horton filed this civil action on September 4, 2017, at the
earliest. Because he thus waited more than two years
after the alleged overdose to file his claims about it, I
must summarily dismiss these claims under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) as frivolous.
42 U.S.C. § 1983, an aggrieved party may file a civil
action against a state official for violations of his federal
constitutional rights. See Cooper v. Sheehan, 735
F.3d 153, 158 (4th Cir. 2013). Because Horton's claim
about events at BCC does not implicate any constitutionally
protected right, I find no justification for allowing him to
file a Second Amended Complaint to identify other individuals
stated reasons, I will summarily dismiss the case with
prejudice under ...