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Taneysha Bass v. Brian J. Hansen

February 3, 2011

TANEYSHA BASS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRIAN J. HANSEN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Marvin E. Aspen, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Taneysha Bass has filed a motion to reconsider ("Motion") our order of December 7, 2010 ("Order"). In the Order, we granted in part and denied in part Defendants' motion for summary judgment and denied Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment. Plaintiff now asks us to reconsider that Order and claims we misapprehended the law. (Mot. at 1.) She is only partially correct in that Plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim should not be dismissed as time-barred. (Ord. at 36.) Plaintiff's remaining arguments do not justify otherwise revisiting our prior Order.

I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Although she does not say so, we presume Plaintiff brings her Motion pursuant to Rule

59(e). Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e). To succeed on a Rule 59(e) motion, the moving party must present newly discovered evidence, point out an intervening change in controlling law, or clearly establish that the court committed a manifest error of law or fact. See Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole v. CBA Indus., Inc., 90 F.3d 1264, 1269--70 (7th Cir. 1996); Publishers Res., Inc. v. Walker-Davis Publ'ns, Inc., 762 F.2d 557, 561 (7th Cir. 1985). "A 'manifest error' is not demonstrated by the disappointment of the losing party. It is the 'wholesale disregard, misapplication, or failure to recognize controlling precedent.'" Oto v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000) (internal citation omitted). Indeed, reconsideration is appropriate in very limited circumstances, such as "where (1) the court has patently misunderstood a party;

(2) the court has made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the court by the parties; (3) the court has made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension; (4) there has been a controlling or significant change in law . . . or (5) there has been a controlling or significant change in the facts." BP Amoco Chem. v. Flint Hills Res., LLC, 489 F. Supp. 2d 853, 856 (N.D. Ill. 2007); Bank of Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191-92 (7th Cir. 1990); see also Hickory Farms, Inc. v. Snackmasters, Inc., 509 F. Supp. 2d 716, 719 (N.D. Ill. 2007) ("Reconsideration is appropriate, generally speaking, only when the Court overlooked or misunderstood something.").

II. ANALYSIS

A. Dismissal of Count VI as Time-Barred

Our dismissal of Count VI, Plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim, as time-barred was incorrect. The Illinois Supreme Court's decision in Ferguson v. City of Chicago establishes the relevant time period for bringing a state malicious prosecution claim based on a court's order to strike on leave to reinstate ("SOL") a criminal charge. 213 Ill.2d 94, 104, 820 N.E.2d 455, 461--62 (Ill. 2004). In Ferguson, the Court held that a malicious prosecution claim based on an SOL termination accrues for statute of limitations purposes at the time when the state can no longer seek to reinstate the criminal charge. Id. This time depends on whether and when the accused invokes the right to a speedy trial pursuant to Illinois' speedy trial statute and the United States Constitution. Id. If an accused released on bail or recognizance invokes the right to a speedy trial, the state has 160 days from the time the right is invoked to reinstate the charge.*fn1

Id.; 725 ILCS 5/103-5(b). If the state does not reinstate the charge within this period, the criminal proceeding terminates. Ferguson, 213 Ill.2d 94 at 104, 820 N.E.2d at 462. Accordingly, it is at this point that a malicious prosecution claim based on an SOL termination accrues, if at all. Id.

In this case, we held that Plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim accrued on September 12, 2007, the date of the SOL order. (Ord. at 36.) We therefore initially concluded that Plaintiff's filing of her initial complaint on February 19, 2009 occurred after the one-year statute of limitations period for her malicious prosecution claim had run. (Id.) However, based on Ferguson, Plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim properly accrued on February 19, 2008, and was not time-barred when she filed it exactly one year later.

But before we decide whether this claim should be reinstated and against whom,*fn2 the parties should brief the issue of whether Plaintiff has satisfied the second element of her malicious prosecution claim.*fn3 See Ross v. Mauro Chevrolet, 369 Ill. App. 3d 794, 801, 861 N.E.2d 313, 319 (1st Dist. 2006) (requiring "termination of the proceeding in favor of plaintiff"). Specifically, has Plaintiff offered evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that the SOL of her criminal charge was a "favorable termination" of the criminal proceeding against her? See Swick v. Liautaud, 169 Ill.2d 504, 513, 662 N.E.2d 1238, 1243 (Ill. 1996); Cult Awareness Network v. Church of Scientology Int'l, 177 Ill.2d 267, 277--80, 685 N.E.2d 1347, 1351--54 (Ill. 1997). Because the SOL of Plaintiff's criminal charge did not terminate the proceedings on the merits, Plaintiff must show that her charge was SOL'd "for reasons consistent with [her] innocence." Swick, 169 Ill.2d at 513, 662 N.E.2d at 1253 (1996). Whether Plaintiff satisfies this burden depends on the "circumstances under which the disposition was obtained." Ferguson, 213 Ill.2d at 103, 820 N.E.2d at 461 (citing Cult Awareness Network,177 Ill.2d 267 at 277--80, 685 N.E.2d 1347 at 1351--54). In this supplemental briefing, the parties should explain how the evidence in the record, specifically the transcript of the state criminal proceeding, establishes or fails to establish that Plaintiff's charge was SOL'd for "reasons consistent with

[her] innocence." Swick, 169 Ill. 2d at 513, 662 N.E.2d at 1253. The parties have seven days from the issuance of this order to submit ...


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