United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Thomas M. Durkin United States District Judge
Stapinksi alleges that Defendants violated his federal civil
rights and state law when they arrested and prosecuted him
for possession of an illegal substance despite a cooperation
agreement. R. 1. Defendants have moved to dismiss for failure
to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). R. 9. For the following reasons, that motion is
12(b)(6) motion challenges the sufficiency of the
complaint. See, e.g., Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of
Police of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir.
2009). A complaint must provide “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), sufficient to
provide defendant with “fair notice” of the claim
and the basis for it. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). This standard “demands more
than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). While “detailed factual allegations”
are not required, “labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The
complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
“‘A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.'” Mann v.
Vogel, 707 F.3d 872, 877 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). In applying this standard,
the Court accepts all well-pleaded facts as true and draws
all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.
Mann, 707 F.3d at 877.
alleges that on April 12, 2011 he was arrested by defendant
Detective Christine Masterson, of the Romeoville Police
Department, after Stapinksi “obtained a package
containing suspect ketamine, an illegal substance.” R.
1 ¶¶ 9-10. When he was taken to the police station,
Detective Masterson asked Stapinski if he was interested in
cooperating with the police to help them arrest the person to
who Stapinksi was supposed to deliver the ketamine.
Id. ¶ 13. On April 14, 2011, Detective
Masterson met with Stapinksi, his attorney, and his mother
and promised that Stapinksi would not be charged in
connection with the ketamine if he cooperated. Id.
¶¶ 14-15. The intended recipient of the ketamine
was arrested shortly thereafter. Id. ¶ 16.
Stapinksi continued to cooperate with Detective Masterson and
her colleague Detective Bedja until October 2011 when
Masterson told Stapinksi that they were no longer interested
in working with him. Id. ¶ 20.
months later on March 20, 2012, Detective Masterson filed a
criminal complaint against Stapinksi charging him with
possession of ketamine stemming from the April 12, 2011
arrest. Id. ¶ 21. Based on this complaint,
Stapinski was indicted. Id. ¶ 22. On February
27, 2013, the circuit court granted Stapinksi's motion to
dismiss the indictment, finding that it violated
Stapinksi's due process rights and the cooperation
agreement he entered into with the police through Detective
Masterson. See People v. Stapinksi, 40 N.E.3d 15, 20
(Ill. 2015). The state appealed, and the appellate court
reversed. Stapinksi appealed the appellate court's ruling
and the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court
and reinstated the circuit court's dismissal of the
indictment on October 8, 2015. See id.
September 23, 2016, Stapinksi filed this action alleging that
Defendants' actions violated his civil rights and state
law. Count I claims a violation of Due Process pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Count II claims malicious prosecution in
violation of state law. And Count III claims intentional
infliction of emotional distress in violation of state
I: Section 1983
Count I, Stapinski alleges that Defendants' actions
violated his due process rights. Defendants argue that this
claim is untimely. In Illinois, Section 1983 claims have a
statute of limitations of two years, and they accrue when the
plaintiff knows or should know that his constitutional rights
have been violated. See Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d
667, 672 (7th Cir. 2006). Defendants breached Stapinski's
cooperation agreement by filing a criminal complaint against
him on March 20, 2012. This is the date he knew or should
have known about the facts supporting his Section 1983 claim.
See Reimann v. Hanley, 2016 WL 5792679, at *9 (N.D.
Ill. Oct. 4, 2016) (due process claim accrued when the
plaintiff learned the state would not honor a cooperation
agreement). The statute of limitations for Stapinski's
due process claim expired two years later on March 20, 2014.
Stapinski waited until September 23, 2016 to file his claim
so it is untimely and must be dismissed.
argues that he was barred from filing his claim any earlier
than he did by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477
(1994), because the appeal proceedings regarding the
dismissal of his indictment were not complete until October
8, 2015. See R. 17-2 at 2. In support of his
argument, Stapinski cites Washington v. Summerville,
127 F.3d 552, 556 (7th Cir. 1997), which held that
“[i]f success on the [criminal defendant's civil]
claims would have necessarily implied the invalidity of a
potential conviction on the [criminal] charge, then
[defendant's] claims did not accrue until the day on
which the [criminal] charge was dismissed.” But as
Defendants point out, Washington and the other cases
Stapinski cites, were decided prior to the Supreme
Court's decision in Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S.
384 (2007). In Wallace, the Supreme Court held that
district courts can stay civil actions that might
“impugn” a pending criminal conviction.
Id. at 393-94. Since Wallace, the Seventh
Circuit has consistently held that arguments based on
Heck like those raised by Stapanski, and other
plaintiffs who were never convicted, are
“non-starters” because Heck is only
concerned with civil actions that challenge the validity of
“outstanding criminal judgments.” Serino v.
Hensley, 735 F.3d 588, 591 (7th Cir. 2013); see also
Gakuba v. O'Brien, 711 F.3d 751, 753 (7th Cir. 2013)
(“Heck does not apply absent a
conviction.”); Jamison v. Urban, 411 Fed.
App'x 919, 921 (7th Cir. 2011) (“Heck
delays accrual only when there exists a conviction or
sentence that has not been invalidated; it does not bar suits
that would call into question anticipated
convictions.”). Thus, Heck did not prevent
Stapinski from filing his due process claim as soon as
Defendants breached his cooperation agreement, and the
ensuing criminal proceedings did not serve to toll the
accrual of the statute of limitations.
II: Malicious Prosecution