United States District Court, D. Delaware
RICHARD C. HUNT, Plaintiff,
CONNECTIONS COMMUNITY SUPPORT PROGRAMS, INC., et al., Defendants.
Maryellen Noreika, United States District Judge
Richard C. Hunt ("Plaintiff'), an inmate at the
James T. Vaughn Correctional Center ("VCC") in
Smyrna, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (D.I. 3). Plaintiff appears pro se and has
been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 5). On
November 15, 2018, the Court screened the Complaint pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A and dismissed
it as time-barred. (D.I. 7, 8). Plaintiff has filed a motion
to alter or amend a judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e),
construed by the Court as a motion for reconsideration. (D.I.
Motion for Reconsideration.
purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to "correct
manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence." Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel Lou-Ann,
Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999).
"A proper Rule 59(e) motion .. . must rely on one of
three grounds: (1) an intervening change in controlling law;
(2) the availability of new evidence; or (3) the need to
correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest
injustice. Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666, 669
(3d Cir. 2010) (citing N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA
Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)).
Plaintiff moves for reconsideration on the grounds that he
filed the same lawsuit in 2015, Hunt v. Lynch, C.A.
No. 15-1095-GMS, the Court identified what appeared to be
cognizable and non-frivolous claims, and a service order was
entered. See C.A. No. 15-1095-GMS, at D.L 8. The case was
dismissed without prejudice on February 24, 2017, for
Plaintiffs failure to show cause why the case should not be
dismissed for failure to timely serve process. Id.
at D.I. 27.
Plaintiff refiled the matter as this case on August 13, 2018.
It was dismissed as time-barred on November 15, 2018. (D.L
8). Plaintiff does not address the statute of limitations
issue in his motion for reconsideration. Instead, he dwells
on the service issue and the fact that he has now provided
addresses to effect service of Defendants. He asserts that he
is of mentally diminished capacity but is receiving
assistance from the prison law library staff. Also, he
asserts he is now aware that he needs an affidavit from an
expert for any medical negligence claim.
purposes of the statute of limitations, § 1983 claims
are characterized as personal injury actions. Wilson v.
Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 275 (1983). In Delaware, §
1983 claims are subject to a two-year limitations period. See
10 Del. C. § 8119; Johnson v. Cullen, 925
F.Supp. 244, 248 (D. Del. 1996). Section 1983 claims accrue
"when plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the
injury that forms the basis of his or her cause of
action." Id. Claims not filed within the
two-year statute of limitations period are time-barred and
must be dismissed. See Smith v. State, C.A. No.
99-440-JJF, 2001 WL 845654, at *2 (D. Del. July 24, 2001).
is well settled that "a statute of limitations is not
tolled by the filing of a complaint dismissed without
prejudice. As regards the statute of limitations, the
original complaint is treated as if it never existed,"
Cardio-Medical Associates v. Crozer-Chester Medical
Center, 721 F.2d 68, 77 (3d Cir. 1983) (citations
omitted), and "the statute of limitations is deemed to
have continued running from whenever the cause of action
accrued, without interruption by that filing,"
Elmore v. Henderson, 227 F.3d 1009, 1011 (7th Cir.
2000) (citations omitted). Without such a rule a plaintiff
could file a suit, dismiss it voluntarily the next day, and
have forever to refile it. Elmore, 227 F.3d at 1011.
Plaintiff cannot escape the fact this his claim is time
barred. Plaintiff claims that his medical needs claim
continued through September 2014. Giving Plaintiff the
benefit, the Court considers September 30, 2014 as the date
Plaintiffs claim accrued. As discussed above, Plaintiff first
timely filed his medical needs claim in C.A. No. 15-1095-GMS,
and the claim was dismissed without prejudice when he failed
to serve the defendants. The limitation period continued to
run and had expired when Plaintiff commenced this action on
August 21, 2018.
Plaintiffs motions fail on the merits because he has not set
forth any intervening changes in controlling law, new
evidence, or clear errors of law or fact made by the Court to
warrant granting reconsideration. See Max's Seafood Cafe,
176F.3dat677. Therefore, the motion for reconsideration will
Conclusion. The Court will deny the motion for
reconsideration. (D.I. 9). An appropriate order will be