Soto v. Sweetman, No. 16-15497 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The administrative exhaustion requirement justifies tolling the statute of limitations, but it does not justify creating a new accrual rule. The potential unfairness of limitations running during exhaustion is better addressed by equitable tolling. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleging excessive force and sexual assault claims against ten Arizona Department of Corrections officers. The panel held that plaintiff's claims accrued when the alleged assault occurred in 2010 because he knew of his injuries at that time; equitable tolling was not applicable in this case where neither his 2014 complaint allegations, his sworn affidavits, nor the letters and grievances he wrote from 2010 to 2014, provide competent summary judgment evidence that he took any steps to inquire into the delay in hearing from the Criminal Investigation Unit for nearly four years; and thus plaintiff's claims were time-barred.