[state] law," the essential ingredient for Section 1983
That fact is dispositive of Harris' claims against Beynon
and Remencius as now asserted. But Harris' counsel now asks to
convert those claims to garden-variety negligence causes of
action, assertedly as "ancillary" to Section 1983 claims
against other defendants.
There may well be no room at all for such pendent-party
jurisdiction in this Circuit under any circumstances, see
Hixon v. Sherwin-Williams Co., 671 F.2d 1005, 1007-09 (7th Cir.
1982); Johnson v. Miller, 680 F.2d 39, 41 (7th Cir. 1982). And
if any such jurisdiction could exist in the face of our Court
of Appeals' strong statements, this is not the case for it.
Harris cannot engraft his separate state-law-based claims
against his lawyers onto his really unrelated federal claims
against state officials.
Stampar and Perez
Laches is an affirmative defense (see Rule 8(c)),*fn3 as to
which Stampar and Perez bear the burden of showing (1) Harris'
lack of diligence in asserting his claim and (2) resulting
prejudice suffered by Stampar and Perez.*fn4 Cannon v.
University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School,
710 F.2d 351, 359 (7th Cir. 1983). "Lack of diligence" turns on
whether the delay in filing suit was both unreasonable and
inexcusable. Id.; Lingenfelter v. Keystone Consolidated
Industries, Inc., 691 F.2d 339, 341 (7th Cir. 1982). Prejudice
is a function of the changing conditions and relationships
occasioned by the delay. Lingenfelter, 691 F.2d at 340.
Here Harris complains of actions taken by Stampar and Perez
in 1966 and 1967 during the course of Harris' confinement.
That means a 16-year delay by Harris in seeking to redress the
alleged wrongdoing by Stampar and Perez. Harris argues by
analogy the same statutory provision that tolls the running of
limitations (see Order at 1) should be applied to "toll" the
applicability of laches. Harris does not identify any other
circumstance that prevented the earlier filing of this
Harris' argument seems thin at best. But the issue need not
be decided now, for given the poverty of the Stampar-Perez
position on the second factor — prejudice — it may be assumed
arguendo Harris' delay was both unreasonable and inexcusably
All Stampar and Perez do is to advance the bald assertion
such delay has prejudiced their ability to present a defense
Plaintiff's inordinate delay in the instant case
will undoubtedly impair the accuracy of the
fact-finding process since these defendants will
have to search for documents that may no longer
exist and witnesses no longer accessible and
attempt to recall an isolated event that occurred
nearly a generation ago.
If true in fact, those factors could establish the requisite
prejudice as the second component of a laches defense. See EEOC
v. Dresser Industries, Inc.,