United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING
GUIROLA, JR. CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court, sua sponte, for
consideration of dismissal. Plaintiff Henry Lee Craig, an
inmate of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, brings
this pro se Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Craig is proceeding in forma pauperis.
See Order . The named Defendants are: Reuben
Fountain, Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy; and Mike
Ezell, former Sheriff of Jackson County, Mississippi. The
Court, having liberally construed Craig's Complaint 
and Amended Complaint  in consideration with the
applicable law, finds that this case should be dismissed.
Facts and Procedural History
2011, Craig was convicted of murder in the Jackson County
Circuit Court and sentenced to life imprisonment. Craig
v. State, 110 So.3d 807, 808 (Miss. Ct. App. 2012).
Craig's conviction arises from a shooting that occurred
in the Barnett Street area of Moss Point, Mississippi, in May
of 2009. Id. Fountain was present in the area and
testified as a witness at Craig's trial. Id. at
808-09. “However, Fountain did not provide the police
with an eyewitness statement until over a year after [the
victim] was killed.” Id. at 809. According to
Craig, Defendant Fountain, acting as a deputy sheriff,
“fail[ed] to uphold his official duty [on] May 30, 2009
by . . . concealing evidence of a crime” and by his
“failure to report evidence of a crime to his
supervisor.” Compl.  at 4. Plaintiff fails to assert
any allegations against Defendant Ezell in his Complaint or
brings this Complaint on forms available for prisoners suing
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and also cites to “U.S.C.
§1986” in the body of his Complaint. Compl.  at
4. Craig seeks “compensatory relief, punitive relief,
injunctive relief, ” attorney's fees, and
“whatever [ ] relief this Court deems necessary and
appropriate.” Id.; Am. Compl.  at 5 (CM/ECF
Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (as
amended), applies to prisoner proceedings in forma
pauperis, and provides that “the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . .
. (B) the action or appeal -- (i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” Since Craig is proceeding
in forma pauperis, his Complaint is subject to the
case-screening procedures set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915
(e)(2). Having completed that screening, it is apparent that
Craig's claims are barred by absolute witness immunity,
the applicable statute of limitations, and by Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994).
immunity is immunity from suit rather than simply a defense
against liability, and is a threshold question ‘to be
resolved as early in the proceedings as possible.'”
Hulsey v. Owens, 63 F.3d 654, 356 (5th Cir. 1995)
(quoting Boyd v. Biggers, 31 F.3d 279, 284 (5th Cir.
1994)). Witnesses in grand jury proceedings and criminal
trials are entitled to absolute immunity against § 1983
suits. Rehberg v. Paulk, 132 S.Ct. 1497, 1506
(2012). Insofar as Craig claims his rights were violated by
Fountain's testimony during his criminal proceedings,
Craig's claims are barred by absolute immunity.
Id. at 1506-07; see also Mowbray v. Cameron
Cnty., Tex., 274 F.3d 269, 277-78 (5th Cir. 2001)
(finding absolute witness immunity bars § 1983 suits for
conspiracy to commit perjury).
Statute of Limitations “A district court ‘may
raise the defense of limitations sua sponte . . .
[and] [d]ismissal is appropriate if it is clear from the face
of the complaint that the claims asserted are barred by the
applicable statute of limitations.'” Stanley v.
Foster, 464 F.3d 565, 568 (5th Cir. 2006) (quoting
Harris v. Hegmann, 198 F.3d 153, 156 (5th Cir.
1999)). Since there is no federal statute of limitations for
civil rights actions brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, a federal court must borrow the forum state's
general personal injury limitations period. See Owens v.
Okure, 488 U.S. 235, 240 (1989); see also Mitchell
v. Crescent River Port Pilots Ass'n, 265 F.
App'x 363, 367, 367 n.3 (5th Cir. 2008) (citations
omitted) (holding state's personal injury limitation
period applies to claims under §1983, but noting that
§ 1986 specifically includes a one-year statute of
limitations). The applicable Mississippi statute of
limitations period is three years. See James v.
Sadler, 909 F.2d 834, 836 (5th Cir. 1990) (holding
Mississippi's three-year general personal injury
limitations period applicable to § 1983 cases); see
also Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49 (1972), as amended.
Mississippi law governs the applicable limitations period,
“the accrual date of a § 1983 cause of action is a
question of federal law that is not resolved by reference to
state law.” Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 388
(2007). As such, an action accrues when a plaintiff has
“a complete and present cause of action.”
Id. As noted by the Fifth Circuit:
Under federal law, the [limitations] period begins to run the
moment the plaintiff becomes aware that he has suffered an
injury or has sufficient information to know that he has been
injured. A plaintiff's awareness encompasses two
elements: (1) the existence of the injury; and (2) causation,
that is, the connection between the injury and the
defendant's actions. A plaintiff need not know that she
has a legal cause of action; she need know only the facts
that would ultimately support a claim. Actual knowledge is
not required if the circumstances would lead a reasonable
person to investigate further.
Piotrowski v. City of Houston, 237 F.3d 567, 576
(5th Cir. 2001) (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted); see also Walker v. Epps, 550 F.3d 407, 414
(5th Cir. 2008) (citing Piotrowski).
filed this lawsuit in October 2016. His claims are premised
on the inadequacies of his criminal conviction, including
Fountain's alleged “failure to uphold his official
dut[ies] [on] May 30, 2009.” Comp.  at 4. Craig
specifically represents the date of May 30, 2009, for
Fountain's purported conduct or lack thereof, causing his
injury. Id.; Am. Compl.  at 3 (CM/ECF
pagination). Furthermore, any witness statements or trial
testimony provided by Fountain occurred prior to Craig's