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Demouchette v. Sheriff of Cook County

April 12, 2011

DEMOUCHETTE
v.
SHERIFF OF COOK COUNTY



Name of Assigned Judge Blanche M. Manning Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

For the reasons stated below, certain defendants' motion to dismiss [68-1] the section 1983 claim against them is granted. Although the defendants ask that the state law claims be dismissed as well, they have failed to articulate any basis for the dismissal of the state law claims; thus, these claims shall proceed. A status hearing is set to Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.

O[ For further details see text below.]

00:00

STATEMENT

Joseph Demouchette, a pretrial detainee at the Cook County Jail, died while in custody there. The plaintiffs, the children and mother of Demouchette, sued the Sheriff of Cook County and numerous individual defendants alleging various claims relating to Demouchette's death. Specifically, they allege claims of failure to provide adequate medical care under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and state law claims for wrongful death, a survival action, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and indemnification. Certain of the defendants move to dismiss on the ground that the amendment to the complaint that named them was untimely.

Facts

The well-pleaded facts are taken as true for purposes of this motion to dismiss. Demouchette, a 30 year-old father of four was arrested on September 27, 2008. He was a heroin addict and was found dead in his cell on September 28, 2008. He committed suicide by hanging himself with a bedsheet. The plaintiffs allege that the defendants failed at intake to identify Demouchette's serious medical condition of drug withdrawal and failed to provide the necessary medication and medical treatment.

Analysis

Demouchette died in the Cook County Jail on September 28, 2010. Illinois' two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims applies to the plaintiffs' § 1983 claims. Wade v. Collier, No. 10 C 6876, 2011 WL 832240, at *1 (N.D.Ill. Mar. 3, 2011). The plaintiffs' original complaint was filed on January 26, 2009, and in addition to certain named individual correctional officers, it included as defendants John Doe Correctional Officers and Supervisors. The amendment naming defendants Sergeant Turner, Sergeant Hayes, Chief Martinez, Chief Salazar, Superintendent Janus and Director Romero was not filed until February 7, 2011, after the § 1983 two-year limitations period had expired. Thus, the defendants who were added by the amendment contend that the § 1983 claim against them must be dismissed as untimely.

The plaintiff first asserts that the amended complaint was timely because it was filed in accordance with the court's discovery schedule. However, the cases are inapposite as none of them address an amendment which the defendants contend is beyond the statute of limitations.

The plaintiffs next argue that the amendment relates back to the original pleading and therefore, the claims against the relevant defendants ...


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