United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
OPINION AND ORDER
A. O’Toole, Jr. United States District Judge.
January 4, 2016, Yvette Malick filed a pro se
complaint against the Quincy Police Department alleging that she
was mistreated by Quincy police officers in 2008. The
Department has moved for judgment on the pleadings pursuant
to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
arguing primarily that Malick’s case is time-barred
under the applicable statute of limitations.
to Malick’s complaint, police and a mental health
worker visited her apartment on October 3, 2008. She claims
that the police entered the apartment against her wishes, and
that, once inside, they witnessed a civil rights violation
which they failed to document. She alleges that the police
handcuffed her, dragged her out of the apartment, and placed
her face down into an ambulance. She further alleges that the
police harassed her with the use of their
deciding a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the Court
“must accept all of the nonmovant's well-pleaded
factual averments as true, and draw all reasonable inferences
in [her] favor.” Rivera-Gomez v. de Castro,
843 F.2d 631, 635 (1st Cir. 1988) (citations omitted). The
Court may not enter a judgment on the pleadings “unless
it appears beyond a doubt that the nonmoving party can prove
no set of facts in support of her claim which would entitle
her to relief.” Feliciano v. Rhode Island, 160
F.3d 780, 788 (1st Cir. 1998).
Malick does not argue that the defendant violated a specific
statute, the allegations in her complaint resemble a claim
that could arise under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Estelle
v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) (requiring courts to
construe complaints filed by pro se litigants
liberally). Section 1983 imposes liability on police officers
who act to deprive persons of their constitutional rights.
Saldivar v. Racine, 818 F.3d 14, 18 (1st Cir. 2016).
order to be entitled to relief, a plaintiff who sues under
§ 1983 must initiate the action before the statute of
limitations expires. Because § 1983 does not contain its
own statute of limitations, federal courts “must lift a
limitation period from state law.” McIntosh v.
Antonino, 71 F.3d 29, 33 (1st Cir. 1995). In this
District, such claims are subject to the Massachusetts
three-year statute of limitations applicable to tort actions.
See Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 260, § 2A; see also
Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 276 (1985) (holding that
the limitation period for a § 1983 claim is borrowed
from the state’s law for tort actions). If an action is
not initiated within three years of the alleged injury, the
plaintiff is not entitled to relief.
the allegations of the complaint as true, the statute of
limitations had already expired by the time Malick initiated
her action. According to Malick, the events that gave rise to
her complaint occurred in October 2008. She has not alleged
any additional offenses that have occurred since that
Given the three-year statute of limitations, Malick had until
October 2011 to commence her action. Malick did not file the
present complaint until January 2016, many years after the
statute of limitations had expired. Thus, even taking all
factual allegations as true and drawing all inferences in
Malick’s favor, see Rivera-Gomez, 843 F.2d at
635, there is no possibility that she could be entitled to
foregoing reasons, the Quincy Police Department’s
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (dkt. no. 15) is
GRANTED. The complaint is DISMISSED.
 A “police department” is
normally not a suable entity. See Henschel v. Worcester
Police Dep’t, Worcester, Mass., 445 F.2d 624, 624
(1st Cir. 1971). Typically, a suit against a municipal agency
or department is construed as a suit against the
municipality. See id. (“If a Police Department
may be successfully sued, it is the city which will pay; the
result is the same as suing the city.”) No individual
police officers are identified by name in the complaint.
Whoever the intended defendant(s), the issue need not be
addressed because it is so clear that any claim arising from
events in 2008 is time-barred.
 Malick also advances several
allegations against parties other than the police. For
example, she asserts in her complaint that the ambulance
“dumped” her off at a local hospital, where
doctors made disparaging remarks about her race and defamed
her character by calling her a drug addict. At a scheduling
conference on May 16, 2016, Malick added that the doctors
imprisoned her against her will and left an object in her
body. These allegations are not at issue here, however,
because the Quincy Police Department is the only named
defendant in this case.
 At the scheduling conference held on
May 16, Malick referenced a 2006 incident as well. The
existence of a separate incident two years earlier than the
one centrally described in the complaint does not ...