United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Rock Island Division
RONALD E. HANSON, Plaintiff,
GREG MCCLINTOK, et al. Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW ORDER
DARROW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se and presently incarcerated at Dixon
Correctional Center, brings the present lawsuit pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging constitutional violations
related to the prosecution of the crime for which he was
ultimately convicted. The matter comes before this Court for
merit review under 28 U.S.C. §1915A. In reviewing the
complaint, the Court takes all factual allegations as true,
liberally construing them in Plaintiff's favor.
Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th
Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements and labels are
insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to “state a
claim for relief that is plausible on its face.”
Alexander v. U.S., 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th
Cir. 2013) (internal citation omitted).
alleges that, in April 2009, he was detained at gun point
without a legal basis at the direction of Defendant Edwards,
the Warren County Sheriff. During this seizure, Plaintiff
alleges he suffered emotional distress after several police
officers failed to follow proper gun safety protocol.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Raymond, the lead detective,
ordered the removal of Plaintiff's guns.
in July 2009, Plaintiff alleges that a judge ordered that he
give all his guns (valued at over $100, 000) to his ex-wife.
Plaintiff alleges his ex-wife then sold the guns to Defendant
Johnson, an attorney Plaintiff later hired in his criminal
case, at a fraction of the price. Plaintiff alleges he
received nothing from this sale. Plaintiff does not disclose
whether the court order is related to his criminal case.
alleges next that he was prosecuted illegally. When Defendant
Johnson unexpectedly withdrew his representation, Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant Cavanaugh, the presiding judge, did
not allow him an opportunity to hire new counsel. Plaintiff
also alleges that Defendant Algren, an attorney whom
Plaintiff had known for 40 years, improperly remained on the
case as the prosecuting attorney.
also names another judge, Defendant McClintok, but he does
not make any specific allegations against him in his
complaint. In an affidavit attached to the complaint,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant McClintok grew up in the
same community and “used to swap out his car for my
motorcycle on weekends so that his father would not discover
are entitled to absolute immunity when they are performing
functions…‘intimately associated with the
judicial phase of the criminal process.'” Lewis
v. Mills, 677 F.3d 324, 330 (7th Cir. 2012)
(quoting Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259, 270
(1993)). Likewise, judges are entitled to absolute immunity
for any judicial functions. Polzin v. Gage, 636 F.3d
834, 838 (7th Cir. 2011). For these reasons,
Plaintiff cannot pursue federal claims against Defendants
Cavanaugh or Algren, or against the unnamed judge who ordered
the surrender of his gun collection.
does not provide the reasons Defendant Johnson withdrew his
representation, but private lawyers are not state actors for
purposes of § 1983. Polk Cnty. v. Dodson, 454
U.S. 312 (1981); Walton v. Neslund, 248 Fed.Appx.
733, 733 (7th Cir. 2007) (private lawyers are not
state actors when the lawyer “performs the traditional
function of counsel to a defendant in a criminal
case.”) (unpublished decision). Therefore, Plaintiff
cannot proceed against Defendant Johnson.
only remaining claim is time-barred. The applicable statute
of limitations for § 1983 actions in Illinois is two
years. See Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 651
(7th Cir. 2013). A claim under § 1983
accrues-that is, the clock starts running-when “the
plaintiff knows or should know that his or her constitutional
rights have been violated.” Savory v. Lyons,
469 F.3d 667, 672 (7th Cir. 2006). In making the
determination of when the claim has accrued, a court must
first identify the injury, and, then, determine when a
plaintiff could have filed suit. Id.
alleges he “was detained without a cause of
action” in April 2009. The Court interprets these
allegations as a claim that Plaintiff was arrested without
probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment. See
Manuel v. City of Joliet, ___ S.Ct. ___, 2017 WL
1050976, at *5 (2017) (Fourth Amendment establishes the
minimum constitutional standards and procedures for arrest
and ensuing detention). “When a person's Fourth
Amendment rights have been violated by a false arrest, the
injury occurs at the time of arrest.” Wallace v.
City of Chicago, 440 F.3d 421, 425 (7th Cir.
2006). Thus, Plaintiff's false arrest claim accrued at
that time. Dominguez v. Hendley, 545 F.3d 585, 589
(7th Cir. 2008). Plaintiff waited more than seven
(7) years to initiate this lawsuit, and, therefore, his
claims are barred by the statute of limitations.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed for failure to state a
claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. Any amendment to the Complaint would be futile. This
case is therefore terminated. All pending motions are denied