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Brooks v. Hogan

United States District Court, N.D. New York

February 23, 2015

CHARLES BROOKS, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL HOGAN, et al., Defendants.

DECISION and ORDER

LAWRENCE E. KAHN, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This civil rights action comes before the Court following a Report-Recommendation filed on January 13, 2015, by United States Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 72.3(d). Dkt. No. 13 ("Report-Recommendation"). Pro se Plaintiff Charles Brooks ("Plaintiff") timely filed Objections. Dkt. No. 16 ("Objections"). For the following reasons, the Report-Recommendation is adopted in its entirety.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

When a party makes a timely objection to a Report-Recommendation, it is the duty of the Court to "make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). Where, however, an objecting "party makes only conclusory or general objections, or simply reiterates his original arguments, the Court reviews the Report and Recommendation only for clear error." Farid v. Bouey, 554 F.Supp.2d 301, 307 (N.D.N.Y. 2008) (quoting McAllan v. Von Essen, 517 F.Supp.2d 672, 679 (S.D.N.Y. 2007)) (citations omitted); see also Brown v. Peters, No. 95-CV-1641, 1997 WL 599355, at *2-3 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 1997). "A [district] judge... may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).

III. DISCUSSION

Liberally construed, Plaintiff objects to that portion of the Report-Recommendation finding certain allegations in the Complaint barred under New York's three-year statute of limitations for actions brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Objs. at 12;[1] see also Report-Rec. at 6-8.

Plaintiff first argues that his allegations concerning events in November 2009 and February 2011 are timely because they were addressed in a letter from the New York Office of Mental Health ("OMH") dated May 20, 2011. Objs. at 12. Plaintiff asserts that "[t]he dates of May 2, 2011 thru to April 25, 2014 demonstrates there is time available to plaintiff, and that he (plaintiff) was well within the statute of limitations [sic]." Id . However, Plaintiff's argument that the statute of limitations did not begin to run until he received the OMH letter is misguided. "The claim accrues when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the harm." Connoly v. McCall, 254 F.3d 36, 41 (2d Cir. 2001). Plaintiff does not dispute that he knew of the harm concerning the November 2009 and February 2011 events well before the three year cut-off of April 18, 2011.[2] See generally Objs. Accordingly, Plaintiff has failed to show that these allegations are not barred by the applicable three-year statute of limitations.

Plaintiff next argues, in the alternative, that the statute of limitations should be tolled because he believed that he could not file the Complaint until he had exhausted administrative remedies. Objs. at 7, 12. Although Plaintiff is correct that a prisoner must exhaust administrative remedies before commencing an action pursuant to § 1983, see 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), he has nonetheless failed to offer any argument as to why the applicable statute of limitations should be tolled in this case. Indeed, Plaintiff appears to assert that he exhausted administrative remedies in May 2011, when he received the OMH letter, yet fails to offer any reason why he did not file his Complaint until nearly three years later. Accordingly, the Court finds no basis on which to toll the three-year statute of limitations.

Plaintiff's remaining objections are either conclusory or irrelevant. Accordingly, the Court reviews the remainder of the Report-Recommendation for clear error and finds none.

IV. CONCLUSION

Accordingly, it is hereby:

ORDERED, that the Report-Recommendation (Dkt. No. 13) is APPROVED and ADOPTED in its ...


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