United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on sixteen pending motions
filed by Plaintiff Charles Donelson (Docs. 163, 180, 182,
184, 185, 190, 192, 193, 195, 197, 198, 201, 202, 206, 210,
212) and two pending motions of Defendants (Docs. 199, 207).
November 25, 2014, Plaintiff commenced an action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging several constitutional
violations (Docs. 1, 18). On January 29, 2015, the Court
severed Plaintiff's claims into separate actions. The
instant action pertains to Plaintiff's claim that
Defendants violated Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment and
First Amendment rights at Menard Correctional Center by
denying access to the yard and confining Plaintiff in
unsanitary conditions. Specifically, Plaintiff's claims
are as follows:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against
Defendants Holton and Cartwright for denying Plaintiff access
to the yard, thus preventing him from engaging in physical
activity necessary to maintain his health;
Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim against
Unknown (John Doe) Defendants and Defendants Baker and
Cartwright, for placing Plaintiff in unsanitary cells and/or
failing to remedy the cell conditions in response to
Count 3: First Amendment claim against
Unknown (John Doe) Defendants, for housing Plaintiff in the
cell contaminated with black mold in November 2012, in
retaliation for his complaints and grievances over the denial
Count 4: First Amendment claim against
Defendant Baker, for refusing to remedy the unsanitary
conditions in Plaintiff's cell in June 2013
(contamination with feces and urine), in retaliation for
Plaintiff's grievances over his staff assaulter
for Leave to Amend the Complaint
moved for leave to amend the Complaint on August 1, 2016
(Doc. 192). Plaintiff attempts to reassert claims under
Section 1983 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities
Act that were dismissed in the screening order. He further
attempts to add defendants that were dismissed in the
screening order to his existing claims.
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) states, “a party may
amend the party's pleading only by leave of court or by
written consent of the adverse party; and leave shall be
freely given when justice so requires.” Leave may be
denied upon undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue
of allowance of the amendment, or futility of amendment . . .
Airborne Beepers & Video, Inc. v. AT & T Mobility
LLC, 499 F.3d 663, 666 (7th Cir. 2007).
Court finds that allowing Plaintiff to amend his Complaint
would be futile. This action pertains to Plaintiff's
incarceration at Menard Correctional Center, which ended in
October 2013. (Doc. 1-1 at 3.) “[T]he applicable
statute of limitations for section 1983 claims is the state
period for personal injury torts.” Kalimara v.
Illinois Dep't of Corr., 879 F.2d 276, 277 (7th Cir.
1989). The state period for personal injury torts also
applies to claims under Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act. Soignier v. Am. Bd. of Plastic
Surgery, 92 F.3d 547, 551 (7th Cir. 1996). Under
Illinois law, the statute of limitations for personal injury
torts is two years. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-202. With the
exception of the exhaustion of administrative remedies, there
are no applicable grounds for equitable tolling and Plaintiff
represented that he exhausted all available remedies prior to
filing the initial Complaint. (Doc. 1 at 9.)
relation back doctrine allows amended pleadings to relate
back to the date of an original pleading. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(c).
“Rule 15(c)(1)(C) applies where the amendment changes
the party or the naming of the party against whom a claim is
asserted.” Hunt ex rel. Chiovari v. Dart, 612
F.Supp.2d 969, 973 (N.D. Ill. 2009); Arreola v.
Godinez, 546 F.3d 788, 796 (7th Cir. 2008). Here, the
vast majority of Plaintiff's proposed amendments would
add party defendants. To satisfy Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(c), the
proposed defendants either must know or should know that
Plaintiff would have sued them absent a mistake and, if so,
whether the mistake impaired the ability of the proposed
defendants to defend themselves. Joseph v. Elan
Motorsports Techs. Racing Corp., 638 F.3d 555, 560 (7th
Cir. 2011); Worthington v. Wilson, 8 F.3d 1253,
1256-57 (7th Cir. 1993). Stated otherwise, “A potential
defendant who has not been named in a lawsuit by the time the
statute of limitations has run is entitled to repose-unless
it is or should be apparent to that person that he is the
beneficiary of a mere slip of the pen, as it were.”
Joseph, 638 F.3d at 560.
record contains no indication that the proposed defendants
either knew or should have known of Plaintiff's intent to
include them in this action, and Plaintiff has identified no
mistake. Therefore, the relation back doctrine does not
apply. The statute of limitations bars the addition of
parties as proposed and such claims are futile.
only proposed amendment involving the existing defendants is
Plaintiff's ADA claim in which he alleges that his
designation as a predator by mental health staff constitutes
a disability and that Defendants prevented him from accessing
the yard and confined him to North 2 housing because of that
designation. The relation back doctrine likely applies to
this claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(c)(1)(B). However, this
proposed claim does not adequately suggest a statutory
disability. The ADA defines “disability” as a
physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one
or more major life activities. Gogos v. AMS Mech. Sys.,
Inc., 737 F.3d 1170, 1172 (7th Cir. 2013); 42 U.S.C.
§ 12102(1). “[M]ajor life activities include, but
are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual
tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing,
lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading,
concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.”
42 U.S.C. § 12102(2)(A); Scott v. Kaneland Cmty.
Unit Sch. Dist. No. 302, 898 F.Supp.2d 1001, 1005 (N.D.
Ill. 2012). Whether the predator designation constitutes or
correlates with a physical or mental impairment is entirely