Dave Lawrence v. INS

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT ___________ No. 20-3467 ___________ DAVE LAWRENCE, Appellant v. IMMIGRATION & NATURALIZATION SERVICE; DISTRICT ATTORNEY BELLEFONTE COUNTY; ROBERT BASCOM ____________________________________ On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (D.C. No. 3:18-cv-00859) District Judge: Honorable James M. Munley ____________________________________ Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) on July 1, 2021 Before: GREENAWAY, JR., KRAUSE, and BIBAS, Circuit Judges (Opinion filed: November 22, 2021) ____________________________________ ___________ OPINION* ___________ PER CURIAM Dave Lawrence appeals the District Court’s order dismissing his complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). For the reasons set forth below, we will affirm. On April 20, 2018, Lawrence filed a complaint against the Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”); the Centre County District Attorney’s Office; and At- torney Robert Bascom.1 The incidents giving rise to Lawrence’s complaint occurred in 1997 and 1998 when Lawrence pled guilty to two controlled substance charges in Penn- sylvania state court. He was sentenced on both cases in 1998. Lawrence alleges that he instructed his counsel to reject the plea deal and that he was not informed of the immigra- tion consequences of his conviction. In 2000 he filed a PCRA petition, where he was first represented by Bascom and then by another attorney. Lawrence was deported while his PCRA petition was pending.2 In his complaint, Lawrence alleged that he was denied due process during his criminal case and that the INS violated his rights by initiating * This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. 1 Because we write primarily for the benefit of the parties, we summarize only those facts that are necessary for the discussion. 2 The date of Lawrence’s deportation is not certain but the District Court determined that Lawrence was deported by 2006, at the latest. 2 deportation proceedings and having him removed from the United States. Lawrence sought only damages.3 In a Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge determined that the complaint was barred by the statute of limitations because the events in the complaint occurred more than two years before it was filed. The District Court agreed and dismissed the complaint. This timely appeal followed.4 We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and exercise plenary review over the District Court’s ruling. See Dooley v. Wetzel, 957 F.3d 366, 373-74 (3d Cir. 2020); Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir. 2000). The District Court determined correctly that Lawrence’s claims are barred by the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for civil rights suits under § 1983 in Pennsylvania is two years. See Lake v. Arnold, 232 F.3d 360, 368 (3d Cir. 2000); 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524(7). The limitations period began to run when Lawrence became aware, or should have been aware, that the alleged constitutional violation occurred. Sameric Corp. v. City of Phila., 142 F.3d 582, 599 (3d Cir. 1998). Lawrence’s claims regarding the arrest …

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