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PENN v. CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY
March 30, 2001
DAVID PENN, PLAINTIFF,
CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Leinenweber, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
During the fall semester of 1998, Penn was a full-time student
at Chicago State. In the early morning hours of December 10, 1998, a
fire alarm sounded in Penn's dormitory, which was evacuated. Officers
Harris, Jones, and Mack were employed as Campus Police Officers on
December 10, 1998, and assisted in the dormitory's evacuation. The fire
alarm proved to be a false one, but the students remained outside for
about forty-five minutes. Seeing no reason to continue standing in the
cold with little clothing, the students became agitated and sought
readmittance to the dormitory. The crowd of almost 300 students grew
angry, and Penn and others began yelling and beating on the windows.
Harris motioned for Penn to come inside. Once he was inside, the
officers allegedly beat and kicked him. The officers arrested
Penn and charged him with battery against Harris. Penn was held for
several hours and released on a personal recognizance bond. Penn's
battery charge was later stricken with leave to reinstate.
The officers contend that Penn was engaging in disorderly conduct by
inciting the crowd outside. They brought Penn inside to separate him
from the others and allegedly had probable cause to arrest him for
disorderly conduct. Arguing that the disputed events occurring inside
the dormitory are irrelevant for summary judgment purposes, the officers
do not articulate their version of the events once Penn was inside the
Penn contends that he was not acting differently than the rest of the
crowd and that he was not inciting anyone to violence. Feeling
cold, sick, and suffering from asthma, Penn yelled and pounded on the
windows to get the attention of those inside. Once inside, Penn
maintains that the officers began beating him for no reason and concocted
a reason for his arrest after his unprovoked beating. Penn also
maintains that Harris failed properly to fill out the police report
detailing his arrest.
In considering defendant Mack's motion to dismiss, the Court "must
accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and draw reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff." Capitol Leasing Co. v. FDIC,
999 F.2d 188, 191 (7th Cir. 1993).
Defendant Mack seeks dismissal of all counts directed at him, arguing
that the statute of limitations bars all such claims. Mack states
that the statute of limitations is two years for all claims against him,
which arise from the events of December 10, 1998. Penn did not name Mack
as a defendant until December 17, 2000, when Penn filed his second
amended complaint. As a result, Mack asserts that Penn's claims against
him are barred.
The two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims applies
to Penn's § 1983 and Illinois state claims against Mack. 735
ILCS 5/13-202. Manley v. City of Chicago, 236 F.3d 392, 395 (7th Cir.
2001). All of Penn's claims against Mack, with the exception of the
malicious prosecution claim, accrued on December 10, 1998. Mack was
not identified as a defendant until Penn filed his second amended
complaint on December 19, 2000. Unless Penn's second amended complaint
relates back to the original complaint filed December 12, 1999, Penn's
claims against Mack are barred.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(c) allows an amendment to the
pleadings to relate back to the date of the original pleading
(1) relation back is permitted by the law that
provides the statutes of limitations applicable to the
action, or (2) the claim asserted in the amended
complaint arose out of the conduct, transaction or
occurrence set forth in the original pleading, or (3)
the amendment changes the party or the naming of the
party against whom a claim is asserted if the
foregoing provision (2) is satisfied and, of the
summons and complaint, the party to be brought in by
amendment (A) has received such notice of the
institution of the action that the party will not be
prejudiced in maintaining a defense on the merits, and
(B) knew or should have known that, but for a mistake
concerning the identity of the proper party, the
action would have been brought against the party.
FED.R.CIV.P. 15(c). The Seventh Circuit has interpreted Rule 15(c)(3)
to permit an amendment to relate back to the original complaint only
where an error was made concerning the identity of the proper party and
where that party is chargeable with knowledge of the mistake. King
v. One Unknown ...