Cooper v. Minor

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtWilliam Ray Price, Jr.
Citation16 S.W.3d 578
Decision Date25 April 2000
Parties(Mo.banc 2000) . William Cooper, Appellant, v. Dean Minor, et al., Respondents. Case Number: SC81398 Supreme Court of Missouri Handdown Date: 0

16 S.W.3d 578 (Mo.banc 2000)
This slip opinion is subject to revision and may not reflect the final opinion adopted by the Court.
William Cooper, Appellant,
v.
Dean Minor, et al., Respondents.
Case Number: SC81398
Supreme Court of Missouri
Handdown Date: 04/25/2000

Appeal From: Circuit Court of Randolph County, Hon. Channing Blaeuer

Counsel for Appellant: William Cooper, Pro Se

Counsel for Respondent: Megan L. Brackney

Opinion Summary:

Inmate William Cooper had certain of his legal papers confiscated and was assigned to segregation for misconduct. He filed administrative grievances and then filed this lawsuit. The court dismissed the suit on the ground that it was barred by the one-year statute of limitations in section 516.145.

AFFIRMED.

Court en banc holds:

(1) The statute of limitations begins to run when damage is sustained and capable of ascertainment. Section 516.145. Cooper's claims about the confiscation and segregation arose when his papers were taken or he served his last day in segregation. Cooper did not file suit within a year of confiscation or segregation.

(2) Cooper's suit was not tolled by filing administrative grievances. The Missouri Prisoner Litigation Reform Act requires an inmate to exhaust administrative remedies before filing a civil action. It does not provide a tolling provision. Harmonizing the statutes, the action must be filed within a year, and, when an individual is unable to exhaust the remedies before the running of the statute of limitations, stayed pending their exhaustion.

(3) Section 516.145 is constitutional.

William Ray Price, Jr., Chief Justice

AFFIRMED. All concur.

Opinion:

Appellant's petition was dismissed on the ground that it was time-barred by section 516.145, RSMo 1994.1 We hold (1) appellant's cause of action accrued no later than his last day of segregation; (2) appellant's cause of action was not tolled by filing administrative grievances; and (3) section 516.145 is constitutional. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to article V, section 3 of the Missouri Constitution. We affirm.

I.

William Cooper ("appellant") is an inmate in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections. On May 21, 1997, and May 22, 1997, corrections officials confiscated certain legal papers (unrelated to this suit) from appellant while he was on the "yard" during recreation time. He received conduct violation reports for each of these two days. As a result, he was assigned to a segregation unit from May 23, 1997, to July 7, 1997. Appellant challenged the prison officials' actions in confiscating his papers and the amount of time assessed in segregation. The prison's administrative grievance process requires an inmate to file informal resolution requests, grievances, and grievance appeals before the process is exhausted and the inmate can file suit in court. Appellant satisfied these requirements and received negative responses to the grievance appeals on September 30, 1997. Appellant, however, filed a second appeal on each of the three grievance appeals. This filing continued the administrative remedy process. The last of these second appeals was resolved on April 21, 1998.

On July 15, 1998, appellant filed a "Petition for Declaratory Judgment." On December 10, 1998, respondents filed a motion to dismiss Appellant's petition on the ground that it was time-barred by section 516.145.2 The trial court sustained the motion to dismiss.

II.

Appellant argues on appeal that: 1) the trial court incorrectly determined the cause of action's accrual date; 2) his cause of action was tolled by filing administrative grievances; and 3) section 516.145 is unconstitutional.

a.

We must review appellant's petition to determine what claims are made and what facts are the basis for those claims in order to determine if any claims are time barred. Appellant's petition contains the following claims: 1) imposing disciplinary segregation in excess of ten days for minor and nonserious rule violations; 2) not crediting appellant with days spent in segregation; 3) failing to convene a three-member disciplinary hearing as required by section 217.335; 4) referring minor and nonserious conduct violations to an adjustment officer in violation of section 217.380.2; 5) placing prisoners in solitary confinement in violation of section 217.375.1; 6) finding prisoners guilty of law related activities or legally authorized conduct; 7) confiscating appellant's legal papers; 8) illegally assigning prisoners to disciplinary segregation and requiring reassignment to prison general population due to unconstitutional overcrowding in violations of sections 217.010(6) and 217.380(2); 9) forcibly...

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4 practice notes
  • Labrayere v. Bohr Farms, LLC, No. SC 93816
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 14, 2015
    ...of return.”). Damages for loss of use during the temporary taking can be factored into the fair rental value of the property. Byrom, 16 S.W.3d at 578. By authorizing a plaintiff to recover the diminution in rental value in a temporary nuisance, section 537.296.2(2) provides for the constitu......
  • Shade v. Missouri Highway and Transp. Com'n, No. WD 58652.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • October 30, 2001
    ...Byrom merely stands for the proposition that recovery for personal injuries in an inverse condemnation case is inappropriate. Byrom, 16 S.W.3d at 578. As previously discussed, Article I, § 10 of the Missouri Constitution provides "[t]hat no person shall be deprived of ... property with......
  • Kinder v. MO Dept. of Corrections
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 13, 2001
    ...that section 516.145 is the applicable statute of limitation for appellant's personal injury claim, and that based on Cooper v. Minor, 16 S.W.3d 578 (Mo. banc 2000),section 516.145 is constitutional. Opinion Author: Harold L. Lowenstein, Judge Opinion Vote: AFFIRMED. Holliger, P.J., and New......
  • Thomas v. Denney, WD 77388
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • January 27, 2015
    ...Amendment claim “is a bare and conclusory statement without sufficient factual information plead[ed] to support it.” See Cooper v. Minor, 16 S.W.3d 578, 581 (Mo. banc 2000). Recently, in Williams v. Roper, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri dismissed a pla......
4 cases
  • Labrayere v. Bohr Farms, LLC, No. SC 93816
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 14, 2015
    ...of return.”). Damages for loss of use during the temporary taking can be factored into the fair rental value of the property. Byrom, 16 S.W.3d at 578. By authorizing a plaintiff to recover the diminution in rental value in a temporary nuisance, section 537.296.2(2) provides for the constitu......
  • Shade v. Missouri Highway and Transp. Com'n, No. WD 58652.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • October 30, 2001
    ...Byrom merely stands for the proposition that recovery for personal injuries in an inverse condemnation case is inappropriate. Byrom, 16 S.W.3d at 578. As previously discussed, Article I, § 10 of the Missouri Constitution provides "[t]hat no person shall be deprived of ... property with......
  • Kinder v. MO Dept. of Corrections
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 13, 2001
    ...that section 516.145 is the applicable statute of limitation for appellant's personal injury claim, and that based on Cooper v. Minor, 16 S.W.3d 578 (Mo. banc 2000),section 516.145 is constitutional. Opinion Author: Harold L. Lowenstein, Judge Opinion Vote: AFFIRMED. Holliger, P.J., and New......
  • Thomas v. Denney, WD 77388
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • January 27, 2015
    ...Amendment claim “is a bare and conclusory statement without sufficient factual information plead[ed] to support it.” See Cooper v. Minor, 16 S.W.3d 578, 581 (Mo. banc 2000). Recently, in Williams v. Roper, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri dismissed a pla......

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