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Young v. Davis

February 3, 2009

ADAM FLETCHER YOUNG, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
JOEL DAVIS, AGENT/FBI AND/OR DEA; RANDALL R. RIEGER, AGENT, ICE, DEFENDANTS.



APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF WESTERN OKLAHOMA (D.C. No. 5:07-CV-00761-D).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ebel, Circuit Judge.

PUBLISH

Before BALDOCK, BRORBY, and EBEL, Circuit Judges.

Adam Fletcher Young, an Oklahoma state prisoner appearing pro se, appeals the dismissal of his claim for false arrest/false imprisonment brought pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). The district court determined that Mr. Young's claim was time-barred. Exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we AFFIRM the dismissal of his claim.

I. Background

On July 9, 2007, Mr. Young filed his complaint, alleging that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by federal agents Joel Davis and Randall Reiger. He asserted that, on January 26, 2005, defendants falsely arrested and imprisoned him at Enid Municipal Airport in Enid, Oklahoma, and then forced him to submit to continuing arrest and imprisonment by local Enid police officers. Mr. Young alleged also that Defendant Davis gave false and misleading testimony at his preliminary hearing in the ensuing criminal case, which caused him to be bound over for trial on July 18, 2005.

A magistrate judge screened Mr. Young's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and issued a report recommending that the complaint be dismissed as time-barred. In his report, the magistrate judge explained that the public docket sheet for the criminal case resulting from Mr. Young's arrest, which is a matter of public record, showed that Mr. Young's first appearance before a magistrate occurred on January 28, 2005, at which time bond was set at $500,000. The magistrate judge used this date as the accrual date for Mr. Young's claim.

Mr. Young acknowledged in his objections that he received a bail hearing on January 28 during which he was informed of the charges against him and his bond amount was set. The district court agreed with the magistrate judge that this was the point at which "legal process was initiated against [Mr. Young]," and the statute of limitations began to run from that date. R. Doc. 13 at 4. The district court concluded that Mr. Young's claim was time-barred because he had not filed it within two years from January 28, 2005, the date that he appeared before a judicial officer and was lawfully detained. The district court dismissed Mr. Young's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). Mr. Young appeals from that decision.

II. Standard of Review

Dismissal for failure to state a claim is a legal question we review de novo. McBride v. Deer, 240 F.3d 1287, 1289 (10th Cir. 2001). "We must accept all the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true and must construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Alvarado v. KOB-TV, L.L.C., 493 F.3d 1210, 1215 (10th Cir. 2007) (quotation omitted). "We review the complaint for plausibility; that is, to determine whether the complaint includes enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." KT & G Corp. v. Att'y Gen., 535 F.3d 1114, 1134 (10th Cir. 2008) (quotations and citation omitted).

III. Discussion

"A Bivens action is subject to the limitation period for an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and that limitation period is set by the personal injury statute in the state where the cause of action accrues." Roberts v. Barreras, 484 F.3d 1236, 1238 (10th Cir. 2007). In Oklahoma, the limitations period for a personal injury action is two years. See Okla. Stat. tit. 12, § 95(A)(3).

Mr. Young argues that his claim did not accrue until July 18, 2005, when he was bound over for trial, relying on Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 389 (2007). In Wallace, the Supreme Court held that a claim for false arrest/false imprisonment accrues when the victim becomes held pursuant to legal process, "for example, [when] he is bound over by a magistrate or arraigned on charges." See id. at 389-90. Mr. Young argues alternatively that the accrual date should be tolled until July 18, 2005, because he did not have access to a law library or other legal resources during the time period from his arrest on January 26 to the hearing on July 18.

In Wallace, the Court explained that the tort of false arrest/false imprisonment arises out of detention without legal process, whereas the tort of malicious prosecution arises out of detention after the wrongful institution of legal process. Id. The district court concluded that Mr. Young's allegation regarding Defendant Davis's false testimony at the July 18 hearing, which caused him to be bound over for trial, did not support his claim for false arrest but, instead, would be attributable to a claim for wrongful institution of legal process. The district court noted, however, that Mr. Young made clear in his objections to the magistrate judge's report and recommendation that he was not raising a ...


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