the rules to be done within a limited period, either before or after the expiration of the time.
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 110A, para. 183. However, it is equally clear that Illinois courts must adhere to the requirements of the respondents in discovery statute.
None of the state cases that discuss the respondent in discovery statute permit the tolling of the six-month time limit. In fact, as pointed out by respondents, in Murphy v. Giardina, 78 Ill. App. 3d 896, 34 Ill. Dec. 173, 397 N.E.2d 845 (1st Dist. 1979), aff'd 82 Ill. 2d 529, 45 Ill. Dec. 921, 413 N.E.2d 399 (1980) the trial court, the appellate court and the Illinois Supreme Court all have refused to toll the six-month time limit, despite the several procedural and equitable arguments made by the plaintiff before them.
Similarly, in the present case, none of the procedural and equitable arguments urged by plaintiff Roe convince this Court to extend the six-month time limit. The Court never ordered a general stay of discovery or any stay of proceedings that would bring Roe within the provisions of Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 110, Section 13-216. In addition, neither the inadvertance, mistake nor absence of prejudice alleged by the plaintiff amounts to the showing of "good cause" required under Supreme Court Rule 183 to extend the six-month time limit. See Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 110A, Section 183; Greene v. City of Chicago, 48 Ill. App. 3d 502, 6 Ill. Dec. 696, 363 N.E.2d 378 (1977); McClure Engineering Association, Inc., 84 Ill. App. 3d 231, 39 Ill. Dec. 580, 405 N.E.2d 28 (3d Dist. 1980). Nor is the "relations back doctrine" of Ill. Rev. Stat. 110, Section 2-616 applicable in this case. The purpose of that statute is to cure "technical deficiencies of timely-filed complaints." Jefferson v. Davis, No. 88- C-1872, 1990 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4682, at *6 (N.D. Ill. April 19, 1990). But naming a party as a respondent in discovery instead of as a defendant can hardly be characterized as a "technical deficiency." Nor is this a case in which respondents acted to mislead the plaintiff and frustrate the discovery process, impeding Roe in the preparation of his case, which would be grounds for extending the time limit under Section 2-616. Cf., e.g., Lubbers v. Norfolk and Western Railway Company, 105 Ill. 2d 201, 85 Ill. Dec. 356, 473 N.E.2d 955 (1984).
While mindful that neither the legislature nor any previous court decisions have provided clear guidance on this problem, the Court observes that Roe has never sought leave of this Court to conduct discovery for the limited purposes of complying with paragraph 2-402. It is also important to note that the use of 2-402 is optional. A plaintiff may simply name persons as defendants at the outset. Flores, 149 Ill. App. 3d at 375; Clark, 126 Ill. App. 3d at 783. A party may also, of course, amend his complaint to name persons as defendants at any time prior to the expiration of applicable statute of limitations, without regard to the respondents in discovery statute. These options were open to the plaintiff. As indicated in Bernstein, merely complying with the Illinois statute would not have waived plaintiff's objections to the removal of this case. Finally, although Roe urges the Court to take account of its "good faith effort to refrain from naming the surgeons as defendants," the Court must also take account of the time and expense court appearances have cost the respondents and the benefit of their appearance Roe wasted by his inaction.
The Court, by its decision today, does not mean to suggest that there are no circumstances under which the six-month time limit might be extended. There are simply no facts that permit it to extend the time limit in the present case.
Roe's failure to conduct discovery or seek to name the respondents in discovery as defendants in this action has deprived the Court of jurisdiction over them. Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, the motion to dismiss respondents in discovery must be and hereby is granted.
The Motion to Dismiss Respondents in Discovery is granted. IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: December 9, 1992
James B. Parsons
United States District Court Judge