was devised and executed secretly. There is no reason to believe that Wolf should have known about Melei's acts any earlier than he should have known about the acts of the other defendants, and the statute of limitations began to run when Wolf knew or reasonably should have known about defendants' acts, not when those acts occurred.
Plaintiff concedes that the one-year limitations period found in the Illinois Tort Immunity Act governs his state law claims. Under the preceding analysis, however, the shorter limitations period makes no difference. When a continuing violation is alleged, the rule in Illinois is that the statute of limitations begins to run from the date of the last injury or tortious act. Leckrone v. City of Salem, 152 Ill. App. 3d 126, 503 N.E.2d 1093, 1101, 105 Ill. Dec. 87 (Ill.App. 1987); Anderson v. Sutter, 119 Ill. App. 3d 1070, 458 N.E.2d 39, 44, 75 Ill. Dec. 871 (Ill.App. 1983). Plaintiff has alleged a continuing violation that extended into 1992, less than one year before the complaint was filed. Therefore, the court concludes that all of the claims contained within the complaint were brought within the applicable limitations periods against all of the defendants.
Defendants observe that a claim of conspiracy cannot be supported by proof that the agents of a municipality conspired among themselves. See Cromley v. Board of Education of Lockport Township High School Dist. No. 205, 699 F. Supp. 1283, 1291-92 (N.D.Ill. 1988). Defendants' statement of the law is correct, but its application of that law to this case is erroneous. Wolf alleges that municipal officers conspired among themselves and with "with others unknown" to solicit and encourage acts of vandalism at and theft from the property as part of a scheme to exclude African-Americans and Mexicans from the neighborhood where the Wolf property was located. The conspirators allegedly include persons who were not agents of Chicago Heights. Wolf's allegations are sufficient to make out a claim for conspiracy under § 1985.
Pleading with Particularity
Plaintiff has made one claim -- a fraudulent conspiracy claim contained in count XI -- that is subject to a heightened pleading standard under Fed.R.Civ.P. 9. The claims contained in counts I through X are subject to the notice pleading requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8. The court concludes that all of the claims other than the fraudulent conspiracy claim have been pled in sufficient detail.
Rule 8 requires only a "short and plan statement of the claim." Plaintiff has provided that for every claim. Under Strauss v. City of Chicago, 760 F.2d 765, 767 (1985), the Seventh Circuit used to impose a heightened pleading standard on plaintiffs making constitutional claims against municipalities, but, as this court observed in Hammond v. Town of Cicero, 91 C 8339, slip op. (N.D.Ill. Mar. 12, 1993), that practice is now precluded by the Supreme Court's decision in Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence and Coordination Unit, 122 L. Ed. 2d 517, 113 S. Ct. 1160 (1993). Under Rule 9(b), however, all averments of fraud must be "stated with particularity." Plaintiff insists that the fraudulent conspiracy claim is a conspiracy claim that happens to involve fraud, not a fraud claim that happens to involve conspiracy, and that it is therefore not subject to the elevated standard of Rule 9. But plaintiff's grammatical analysis overlooks the purpose of Rule 9(b), which is to ensure that defendants have been given sufficient notice of the claims against them to allow them to prepare a defense. Plaintiff's complaint alleges that defendants conspired to commit a fraud, but it offers no information concerning the manner in which the fraud was to be committed, when it was to be committed, who was supposed to commit it, or what its objectives were supposed to be. Accordingly, defendants' motion to dismiss is denied with respect to counts I through X, but is granted with respect to count XI.
For the reasons stated herein, defendants' motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part.
JAMES B. MORAN,
Chief Judge, U.S. District Court
June 16, 1993.