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Scott v. Chicago Police Department

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

January 29, 2015



CHARLES P. KOCORAS, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on the motion of Defendants Chicago Police Department, Chicago Police Officer L. Altamirano ("Altamirano") and Chicago Police Officer B.O. Chinchilla's ("Chinchilla") (collectively "the Defendants") to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the Defendants' motion is granted concerning Scott's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("§ 1983") claims and the Court declines to exercise jurisdiction of Scott's remaining Illinois state claims.


For the purposes of the instant motion, the following well-pleaded allegations derived from pro se Plaintiff Ulysses Scott's ("Scott") complaint are accepted as true. The Court draws all reasonable inferences in favor of Scott. Purdue Research Found v. Sanofi-Synthelabo, S.A., 338 F.3d 773, 782-83 (7th Cir. 2003).

On February 1, 2012, Scott was pulled over in the west side of Chicago, Illinois by four officers of the Chicago Police Department. Scott was searched and placed in a police squad car where he was detained. During his detention, Scott's car was searched without his permission and his car was impounded. While Scott was still in the custody of the unnamed Chicago Police officers they drove him to his place of business.

Scott saw Officers Altamirano and Chinchilla and several other Chicago Police Officers enter Scott's business and remove retail goods, furniture, fixtures, televisions, computers, and store surveillance items. The officers' actions were not limited to removing items; Scott alleges that the officers also cut holes in drywall, damaged door locks and destroyed various other items in his store, which left the business inoperable.

After leaving Scott's business, he was taken to a Chicago Police Station without cause or an explanation. Upon his arrival he was robbed and humiliated in the course of an invasive body cavity search. Scott was processed into the jail and falsely imprisoned for 16 days. After his bail was paid, Scott was maliciously prosecuted for several crimes. After two and a half years, Scott proceeded to trial on the charges against him and received a directed verdict of not guilty.

On August 28, 2014, Scott filed the instant complaint alleging false arrest and false imprisonment, unlawful search and seizure, excessive force, deprivation of property without due process, conspiracy, and Monell claims brought pursuant to § 1983. Scott also alleges a variety of Illinois state law claims including, assault, battery, false arrest and imprisonment, conversion, malicious prosecution, conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. On November 24, 2014, the Defendants moved to dismiss all of Scott's claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).


A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint and not the merits of the case. McReynolds v. Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., 694 F.3d 873, 878 (7th Cir. 2012). The allegations in a complaint must set forth a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A plaintiff need not provide detailed factual allegations but must provide enough factual support to raise her right to relief above a speculative level. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A claim must be facially plausible, meaning that the pleadings must allow the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the purported misconduct. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The claims must be described "in sufficient detail to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." EEOC v. Concentra Health Services, 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, " are insufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Id. at 678. Pro se complaints should be construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys. Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1027 (7th Cir. 2013).


1. Claims Brought under § 1983

The Defendants seek to dismiss Scott's § 1983 claims as untimely. While a statute of limitations defense is not normally part of a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), when the allegations of the complaint reveal that relief is barred by the applicable statute of limitations, the complaint is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim. See Andonissamy v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 547 F.3d 841, 847 (7th Cir. 2008); Limestone Dev. Corp. v. Vill. of Lemont, 520 F.3d 797, 802 (7th Cir. 2008). In determining the applicable statute of limitations in § 1983 claims, "federal courts apply the statute of limitations governing personal injury actions in the state where the injury took place." Serino v. Hensley, 735 F.3d 588, 590 (7th Cir. 2013). The Illinois statute of limitations for personal injury actions is two years. 735 ILCS 5/13-202. Once the applicable period of limitations is established, federal law determines when that claim begins to accrues. Serino, 735 F.3d at 590 (citing Wallace v. Kato, 549 ...

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