United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
LUIS M. DIAZ-GUILLEN, Plaintiff,
J.D. VIEREGGE, AARON L. LAY, MATT MCCONKEY, VIPIN SHAH, and JAY L. SWANSON, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Now pending before the Court is the motion to dismiss for
Failure to State a Claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) (Doc. 42)
and Supplement thereto (Doc. 45) filed by Defendants J.D.
Vieregge, Matt McConkey, and Aaron L. Lay. For the reasons
set forth below, the motion is granted.
Luis M. Diaz-Guillen, an inmate in the custody of the
Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”),
filed this lawsuit on October 6, 2015 pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging his constitutional rights were violated
while he was detained at the Fayette County Jail.
Diaz-Guillen's initial complaint was dismissed for
failure to state an adequate claim for relief (see
Doc. 4); however, at the direction of the Court, Diaz-Guillen
filed an amended complaint on November 16, 2015 (see
Doc. 7). Diaz-Guillen later was granted leave to file a
second amended complaint (incorrectly designated as the First
Amended Complaint on the docket), which is the operative
complaint in this matter (Doc. 16). In the operative
complaint, Diaz-Guillen sets forth a Fourteenth Amendment
conditions of confinement claim against Defendants Vieregge,
McConkey, and Lay for exposing Diaz-Guillen to improper
conditions in his cell at the Fayette County Jail.
Vieregge, McConkey, and Lay filed a motion to dismiss on
December 6, 2016, and a supplement thereto on January 4,
2017. Diaz-Guillen did not file a response to the December 6
motion and, despite being provided notice that the Court
would consider the arguments in Defendants' supplement,
Diaz-Guillen again failed to respond by the May 19, 2017
deadline (see Doc. 61).
their motion to dismiss, Defendants assert the complaint
should be dismissed because it was filed more than two years
after the cause of action accrued and, insofar as the
complaint may be read to plead a claim of deliberate
indifference against Defendants, any such claim was
insufficiently pleaded. In their supplement, Defendants
address the issue of tolling of the statute of limitations as
relates to Diaz-Guillen's exhaustion of administrative
remedies. In particular, Defendants assert that
Diaz-Guillen's administrative remedies became
“unavailable” to him, at the latest, on August
27, 2012, when he transferred out of the Fayette County Jail
and into IDOC custody. Therefore, Defendants argue, the
two-year statute of limitations period began to run on that
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for
dismissal if a complaint fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. In considering a motion to dismiss,
the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded allegations in the
complaint and draws all possible inferences in favor of the
plaintiff. See Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nevada,
N.A., 507 F.3d 614, 618 (7th Cir. 2007) (quotations
omitted). A plaintiff need not set out all relevant facts or
recite the law in his or her complaint; however, the
plaintiff must provide a short and plain statement that shows
that he or she is entitled to relief. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Thus, a complaint will not be dismissed if
it “contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 679 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Additionally,
“[a]llegations of a pro se complaint are held
‘to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
draft by lawyers … Accordingly, pro se
complaints are liberally construed.” Alvarado v.
Litscher, 267 F.3d 648, 651 (7th Cir. 2001) (quoting
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)) (other
Section 1983 does not contain an express statute of
limitations, it is well established in this Circuit that the
appropriate statute of limitations period for Section 1983
cases is two years, as set forth in 735 ILCS § 5/13-202,
which prescribes that actions for personal injury must be
commenced within two years after the cause of action accrued.
Ashafa v. City of Chicago, 146 F.3d 459, 461 (7th
Cir. 1998) (citations omitted).
to 735 ILCS 5/13-216, “[w]hen the commencement of an
action is stayed by … statutory prohibition,
the time of the continuance of the … prohibition is
not part of the time limited for the commencement of the
action” (emphasis added). Importantly, the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) requires inmates
to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing suit under
§ 1983. See 42 U.S.C. § 1997(e)(a).
Accordingly, the Seventh Circuit has held that a federal
court relying on the Illinois statute of limitations in
§1983 cases must toll the limitations period
while a prisoner completes the administrative grievance
process. Johnson v. Rivera, 272 F.3d 519, 522 (7th
Vieregge, Lay, and McConkey assert that dismissal is
appropriate because Diaz-Guillen's cause of action
accrued on August 27, 2012, when he was transferred from the
Fayette County Jail to IDOC custody, but he did not file his
lawsuit until October 6, 2015, well after the statute of
limitations expired. This Court previously denied Defendant
Dr. Swanson's motion to dismiss, brought forth on a
similar basis, finding Dr. Swanson failed to account for the
exhaustion period. Defendants Vieregge, Lay, and McConkey