The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
In the early morning hours of August 5, 1982 plaintiffs, who
were riding in an automobile owned by Clark, stopped to purchase
hamburgers at a White Castle restaurant at 111th and State
Streets in Chicago. Shorters entered the restaurant while Clark
remained in the car. While waiting for Shorters to return, Clark
was approached by a restaurant security guard who told her she
was parked in a restricted area and would have to move her car.
After some discussion Clark agreed to do so.
As Clark was moving the car Weir arrived on the scene, ordered
Clark to stop the car and asked to see her license. When Clark
produced her license, Weir reached inside the car, took the
license from her and also removed the keys from the ignition
switch. Weir then opened the car door, removed Clark from the car
and placed her in his squad car, in the meantime subjecting her
to verbal abuse. Shortly thereafter Shorters emerged from the
restaurant and approached Weir to ask about what had happened.
Weir responded "Do you want to go to jail too?," twisted
Shorters's arm behind her back and placed her under arrest. Clark
was later charged with battery, while both Shorters and Clark
were charged with disorderly conduct. After plaintiffs had
appeared several times in the Circuit Court of Cook County all
charges against them were dropped.
Defendants' motion to dismiss invokes the Supreme Court's
definitive ruling in Wilson v. Garcia, ___ U.S. ___, 105 S.Ct.
1938, 85 L.Ed.2d 254 (1985). Wilson, 105 S.Ct. at 1949
characterizes Section 1983 claims collectively as "[g]eneral
personal injury actions, sounding in tort,"*fn3 and id. at 1947
mandates the selection, "in each State, [of] the one most
appropriate statute of limitations for all § 1983 claims." That
statute in Illinois, defendants argue, is Ill. Rev.Stat. ch. 110,
¶ 13-202 ("Section 13-202"*fn4):
Actions for damages for an injury to the person, or
for false imprisonment, or malicious prosecution, or
for a statutory penalty, or for abduction, or for
seduction, or for criminal conversation . . . shall
be commenced within two years next after the cause of
action accrued. . . .
Because the events giving rise to plaintiffs' claim occurred in
August 1982, defendants claim the July 1985 Complaint was filed
out of time.
Plaintiffs counter with two arguments:
2. Even if Wilson were instead to cause Section 13
202 to supply the applicable limitations period,
plaintiffs should be afforded a reasonable time after
Wilson to file actions (a) that would have been
timely under what had been thought a five-year
limitations period (adopted by our Court of Appeals
in Beard v. Robinson, 563 F.2d 331 (7th Cir. 1977),
cert. denied, 438 U.S. 907, 98 S.Ct. 3125, 57 L.Ed.2d
1149 (1978)) but (b) that would become untimely under
a post-Wilson two-year period.
This opinion considers those arguments in turn.
1. Applicable Illinois Limitations Period
Wilson teaches a twofold inquiry:
1. a single characterization of all Section 1983
claims — for which purpose a federal standard
2. selection of a single state limitations statute
— for which purpose state law necessarily gives
content to the state's own statutes.
Because of the double aspect of that inquiry, and because of the
two quite different sources that must be drawn upon, special care
must be taken to avoid the trap of assuming the same or similar
words necessarily have the same meaning in the two contexts —
they may, of course, but they need not.
This opinion turns then to the first question: the precise
meaning of the Wilson characterization. Wilson, 105 S.Ct. at 1948
speaks of Section 1983 "as conferring a general remedy for
injuries to personal rights." On the following page it refers to
"all § 1983 actions as involving claims for personal injuries,"
to "[g]eneral personal injury actions, sounding in tort" and to
"§ 1983 claims [as] best characterized as personal injury
actions." Certainly Justice Stevens (speaking for the Court, over
a single dissent) was not shifting the intended meaning of his
language in such a brief compass. Slight variations in locution
do not import any change in substance.
Because this Court is already aware of what the second-step
(state-law) inquiry later in this opinion will bring, it notes
Wilson gave several strong clues as to what the shorthand terms
"injuries to personal rights" and "personal injuries" embrace.
Wilson, id. at 1948 said:
As we have noted, however, the § 1983 remedy
encompasses a broad range of potential tort
analogies, from injuries to property to ...