Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sroga v. De Jesus

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

June 3, 2013

KEVIN SROGA, Plaintiff,
v.
SGT. DE JESUS, CITY OF CHICAGO, and SIX JOHN DOE CHICAGO POLICE OFFICERS, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

GARY FEINERMAN, District Judge.

Alleging that several Chicago police officers broke into his house in the early morning hours of November 17, 2010, Kevin Sroga filed this pro se lawsuit against a police sergeant named De Jesus and six unnamed Chicago police officers (collectively, the "Police Defendants"), along with the City of Chicago. Doc. 5. The complaint advances ten counts under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Illinois law: (1) a § 1983 claim against the Police Defendants for illegal entry; (2) a § 1983 claim against the Police Defendants for illegal search; (3) a § 1983 civil conspiracy claim against the Police Defendants; (4) a state law claim for "criminal damage to property" against the Police Defendants; (5) a § 1983 claim against the Police Defendants for failure to intervene; (6) a § 1983 supervisory liability claim against De Jesus; (7) a § 1983 claim against the City under the municipal liability doctrine of Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978); (8) a state law claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED") against the Police Defendants; (9) a state law respondeat superior claim against the City, which alleges that the City is liable for the Police Defendants' state law violations alleged in Counts IV and VIII; and (10) a state law indemnification claim against the City under 745 ILCS 10/9-102. Doc. 5 at ¶¶ 39-85.

The City, which is the only defendant to have appeared thus far, has moved to dismiss the state law claims-Counts IV, VIII, and IX-under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Doc. 12. The motion seeks dismissal of those claims on statute of limitations grounds only. Because those claims are time-barred, the City's motion is granted and Counts IV, VIII, and IX are dismissed with prejudice.

Background

In considering the motion to dismiss, the court assumes the truth of the complaint's factual allegations, though not its legal conclusions. See Munson v. Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 632 (7th Cir. 2012). The court must consider "documents attached to the complaint, documents that are critical to the complaint and referred to in it, and information that is subject to proper judicial notice, " along with additional facts set forth in Sroga's brief opposing dismissal, so long as those facts "are consistent with the pleadings." Geinosky v. City of Chicago, 675 F.3d 743, 745 n.1 (7th Cir. 2012). The following facts are set forth as favorably to Sroga as these materials allow. See Gomez v. Randle, 680 F.3d 859, 864 (7th Cir. 2012).

Sroga lives in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. Doc. 5 at ¶¶ 3, 30. At about 6:15 a.m. on November 17, 2010, Sroga was awakened by unusual noises inside his home. Id. at ¶ 7. At first he suspected the noises were caused by his father, who lived with him, but then he noticed that there were multiple sources of noise. Id. at ¶ 8. Sroga got up to investigate and found that his father was still asleep in bed. Id. at ¶ 9. He awoke his father and told him that someone was in their home. Id. at ¶ 10. Sroga then went to the front door and discovered that the two outer vestibule doors were wide open and a Chicago police vehicle was parked outside. Id. at ¶¶ 11-12. He shouted "Hello" and asked the police what they were doing. Id. at ¶¶ 13-15. Sroga was confronted by an officer with a military-style assault rifle, and other officers converged upon him from other locations in his home. Id. at ¶¶ 16-17.

As Sroga asked the officers what they were doing, he was approached by a plainclothes officer who identified himself as "Sgt. De Jesus." Id. at ¶ 18. When Sroga asked how the officers had entered his locked home, De Jesus told Sroga to "shut the fuck up before I throw you in handcuffs." Id. at ¶ 20. Sroga asked the officers whether they had a warrant, and De Jesus again told him to "shut the fuck up." Id. at ¶¶ 21-22. Sroga pursued his inquiry about the warrant, and was again told by De Jesus to "shut the fuck up before I throw you in cuffs and place you under arrest!" Id. at ¶¶ 23-24. De Jesus's threats, together with his loud and forceful manner, intimidated Sroga and put him in fear that he would be arrested. Id. at ¶ 25. Nonetheless, he told the officers to either "produce a warrant or leave." Id. at ¶ 26. At that point, Sroga's father appeared and joined in his son's request that the officers either leave or produce a warrant. Id. at ¶ 27. Ultimately, the officers left, though not before telling Sroga "you picked this neighborhood to live in" and "welcome to the real Chicago Police Department." Id. at ¶ 28. Upon escorting the officers off the premises, Sroga noticed that his main entry door had been badly damaged by the officers when they entered his home. Id. at ¶ 34. Sroga had not consented to the officers' entry, and nor had he done anything illegal. Id. at ¶ 35.

In his brief opposing dismissal, Sroga makes several additional allegations, which are consistent with the complaint and which the court must therefore assume to be true at this stage. See Geinosky, 675 F.3d at 745 n.1. First, Sroga alleges that the officers told him during their confrontation that "they had a search warrant to enter the premises and conduct a search." Doc. 20 at 2. Sroga believed this statement at the time, though it turned out to be a lie, and he therefore believed that the officers had a right to enter his home. Id. at 2-3. Second, Sroga says that he filed a complaint with the "I.P.R.A., " presumably referring to Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority, "within a reasonable amount of time" after the confrontation. Id. at 3. Sroga was later told by the I.P.R.A. that the complaint had been transferred to the Internal Affairs Division of the Chicago Police Department. Ibid. Then, in the summer of 2012, Sroga contacted the Internal Affairs Division to check up on the complaint and was informed that the officers actually had an arrest warrant, not a search warrant, and that the warrant was for the arrest of a person who had never resided on Sroga's property. Id. at 4.

Because he no longer believed that the officers had had a legal right to enter his home, Sroga filed this lawsuit on November 19, 2012-two years and two days after his confrontation with the officers. Doc. 1. The court has original jurisdiction over the § 1983 claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).

Discussion

The City seeks dismissal of Counts IV, VIII, and IX on statute of limitations grounds. "A statute of limitations defense, while not normally part of a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), is appropriate where the allegations of the complaint itself set forth everything necessary to satisfy the affirmative defense, such as when a complaint plainly reveals that an action is untimely under the governing statute of limitations." Andonissamy v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 547 F.3d 841, 847 (7th Cir. 2008). Although only the Police Defendants, and not the City itself, are named as Defendants to Counts IV and VIII, the court will consider the City's motion to dismiss those counts because Count IX claims that the City is vicariously liable for the state law violations alleged in Counts IV and VIII.

Because the challenged counts advance claims under Illinois law, the court must apply the statute of limitations that applies under Illinois law along with "any rules that are an integral part of the statute of limitations, such as tolling and equitable estoppel." Indep. Trust Corp. v. Stewart Info. Servs. Corp., 665 F.3d 930, 935 (7th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted). The applicable statute of limitations is provided by the Illinois Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 10/1-101 et seq., which provides in relevant part:

No civil action other than an action described in subsection (b) [which is limited to actions arising out of "patient care" and so is irrelevant to this case] may be commenced in any court against a local entity or any of its employees for any injury unless it is commenced within one year from the date that the injury was received or the cause of action accrued.

745 ILCS 10/8-101(a). Sroga does not dispute that the City is a "local entity" and that the Police Defendants are "its employees." And it is undisputed that the incident complained of occurred on November 17, 2010, and that Sroga did not sue until over two years later, on November 19, 2012. But Sroga advances six grounds for rejecting the City's argument that his state law claims are time-barred-at least his opposition brief, read generously, could be understood to advance six such arguments, and because Sroga is pro se, the court will consider each of those arguments. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ("A document filed pro se is to be liberally ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.