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Sokoya v. Schragel

May 27, 2010

SHAMSIDEEN GORIOLA SOKOYA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ARCHANGELO SCHRAGEL, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND JOHN DOE DEPUTY MARSHALS 2, 3 AND 4,) DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Ronald A. Guzmán

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Shamsideen Sokoya, a detainee, has sued Archangelo Schragel for excessive force pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Schragel has moved for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e). For reasons provided in this Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court grants the motion.

Facts

The following facts are undisputed. On November 8, 2005, Sokoya was transported from the jail in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin to the federal courthouse in Chicago, Illinois. (Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(B) ¶ 17.) During the trip to the courthouse, Sokoya fell from his seat to the floor of the van after a sharp turn and became dizzy. (Id. ¶¶ 25, 27.)

After the van arrived at the basement of the courthouse, Sokoya was still lying on the floor of the van. (Id. ¶ 39.) Deputy marshals lifted Sokoya from the van and took him to the elevator, which, according to Sokoya, was not even a long distance: two pulled on his leg shackles, two pulled him by his hands and two raised his midsection. (Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(C) ¶ 10; Pl.'s Ex. E, Sokoya Dep. at 38-39.) Deputy Marshal Schragel was on Sokoya's left side, with one hand supporting Sokoya's left shoulder and one hand pulling on Sokoya's left wrist shackle. (Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(B) ¶ 40.) According to Sokoya, Deputy Marshal Schragel stretched Sokoya's left hand until Sokoya felt like his bone was pulling from the socket. (Pl.'s Ex. E. Sokoya Dep at 39.)

The elevator had other inmates on it. (Id. ¶ 41.) The six deputy marshals dropped Sokoya approximately two feet onto the floor of the elevator. (Id.; Pl.'s Ex. E, Sokoya Dep. at 39.) Sokoya remained flat on his back during the entire elevator ride. (Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(B) ¶ 42.) Sokoya said nothing to anyone on the elevator, and no one said anything to him. (Id.) When the elevator reached its designated floor, the same six deputy marshals carried him off of the elevator in the same manner that they had carried him to the elevator. (Id. ¶ 43.) Sokoya claims that he said, "Please don't kill me. Please. Please. I'm in pain. My hand. My shoulder." (Id. ¶ 44.) According to Sokoya, Schragel twice responded, "I will kill you if I have the opportunity." (Id.)

Sokoya claims he did not seek medical attention while at the federal courthouse because there was no one in the building from whom he could have sought medical attention. (Id. ¶ 50.) Later that night, after he returned to the Ozaukee jail, Sokoya complained of a headache and body pain and was given an over-the-counter pain medication. (Id. ¶ 49.) According to Sokoya, although he complained at the Ozaukee jail "nothing was done until they move me back to MCC Chicago on January 16th, 2007. And that was when I was having pains all over my body again because the transport officer of Kankakee County had pushed me on the floor." (Id. ¶ 51; Pl.'s Ex. E, Sokoya Dep. at 60.)

On February 20, 2007, Sokoya sued a single defendant, the U.S. Marshals Service, based on the November 8, 2005 incident, alleging he was injured when one or more unidentified deputy marshals pulled and dragged him from a van.

On March 14, 2007, the Court terminated the U.S. Marshals Service as a defendant and added Chris Shaw and Marshal Block as defendants for the sole purpose of enabling Sokoya to identify the deputy marshals who allegedly mistreated him. (Minute Order of 3/14/07.) On April 18, 2008, Sokoya filed an amended complaint that substituted Shaw and Block with defendant Schragel. (First. Am. Compl.)

The Legal Standard

A district court will grant a summary judgment motion "only if there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Srail v. Vill. of Lisle, 588 F.3d 940, 943 (7th Cir. 2009). The court "construe[s] all facts and draw all inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party." Id. "The existence of merely a scintilla of evidence in support of the non-moving party's position is insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the non-moving party." Delta Consulting Group, Inc. v. R. Randle Constr., Inc., 554 F.3d 1133, 1137 (7th Cir. 2009).

Defendant argues that Sokoya's Bivens claim is time-barred. Bivens actions are governed by the statute of limitations for personal injury actions of the state in which the alleged injury occurred. Delgado-Brunet v. Clark, 93 F.3d 339, 342 (7th Cir. 1996). The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Illinois is two years. Shropshear v. Corp. Counsel of the City of Chi., 275 F.3d 593, 594 (7th Cir. 2001).

The incident of which Sokoya complains occurred on November 8, 2005. (See Pl.'s LR56.1(b)(3)(C) Stmt. ¶¶ 1, 10.) Sokoya sued the U.S. Marshals Office on February 20, 2007, the date on which the Court entered its order granting his application to proceed in forma pauperis. (Minute Order of 2/20/07.) On March 14, 2007, the Court terminated "U.S. Marshals" as a defendant and added supervisors Shaw and Block as defendants for the sole purpose of enabling Sokoya to identify the Deputy Marshals who allegedly mistreated him. (Minute Order of 3/14/07.) The statute of limitations expired on November 8, 2007. Approximately five months later, on April 18, 2008, Sokoya filed an amended complaint that terminated Shaw and Block as defendants and first identified Schragel as a defendant. (First. Am. Compl.)

Sokoya's claims are barred as untimely unless he can show that either: (1) his claims against Schragel relate back to the filing of the original complaint or (2) the statute of limitations is equitably tolled. (See ...


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