United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
David Weisman, United States Magistrate Judge.
third amended complaint, plaintiff asserts 42 U.S.C. §
1983 claims against Chicago police officers R.L. Mionskowski,
H. Lopez, and J. Melendez for their alleged violations of his
Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights and a state law claim for
indemnification against the City. Defendants have filed a
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss all of the claims. For the reasons set
forth below, the motion is denied.
October 31, 2013, plaintiff was driving his car in Chicago
and was stopped by defendants Mionskowski and Lopez. (3d Am.
Compl. ¶¶ 9-12.) Mionskowski and Lopez then took
plaintiff out of his car, handcuffed him and searched him and
his car. (Id. ¶ 13.) Subsequently, Mionskowski
and Lopez took plaintiff to a police station, and along with
Melendez, performed a strip search and body cavity search on
plaintiff. (Id. ¶¶ 16-20.) Defendants then
sent plaintiff to Cook County Jail, where he stayed for the
next twenty-three days. (Id. ¶ 21.)
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true
all well-pleaded factual allegations of the complaint,
drawing all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor.
Hecker v. Deere & Co., 556 F.3d 575, 580 (7th
Cir. 2009). “[A] complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual
allegations” but must contain “enough facts to
state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). “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.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
contend that plaintiff's § 1983 claims are
time-barred. The statute of limitations for § 1983
claims filed in Illinois is two years. Johnson v.
Rivera, 272 F.3d 519, 521 (7th Cir. 2001). Generally,
“[a] § 1983 claim accrues ‘when the
plaintiff knows or should know that his or her constitutional
rights have been violated.'” Hileman v.
Maze, 367 F.3d 694, 696 (7th Cir. 2004) (quoting
Kelly v. City of Chi., 4 F.3d 509, 511 (7th Cir.
1993)). Thus, plaintiff's section 1983 claims for
excessive force, unlawful searches, and Fifth Amendment
retaliation accrue at the time the use of force, search or
retaliatory action occurs, in this case on October 31, 2013.
(See 3d Am. Compl. ¶¶ 9-20); see also
Evans v. Poskon, 603 F.3d 362, 363 (7th Cir. 2010)
(“The [Supreme] Court [in Wallace v. Kato, 549
U.S. 384 (2007)] held that a claim asserting that a search or
seizure violated the fourth amendment-and excessive force
during an arrest is such a claim -- accrues
immediately.”) (citation omitted). A section 1983 claim
for false arrest accrues at the time a probable cause
determination is made, Serino v. Hensley, 735 F.3d
588, 591 (7th Cir. 2013), in this case, November 1, 2013.
(See Defs.' Mot. Dismiss Compl., Ex.
Certified Statement of Conviction/Disposition, Dkt.
24-1.) Thus, plaintiff had until November 2,
to timely file his § 1983 claims.
filed his original complaint, naming the City of Chicago and
“Unknown Chicago Police Officers” as defendants,
on November 1, 2015. He did not identify the officers by name
until he filed his third amended complaint on April 18, 2017
- more than three years after the events that gave rise to
this suit. As a result, plaintiff's claims against the
officers are timely only if they relate back to his original
to Rule 15(c), “[a]n amendment to a pleading relates
back to the date of the original pleading” if
“the amendment changes the party or the naming of the
party against whom a claim is asserted” and
“within the period provided by Rule 4(m) for serving
the summons and complaint, the party to be brought in by
amendment: (i) received such notice of the action that it
will not be prejudiced in defending on the merits; and (ii)
knew or should have known that the action would have been
brought against it, but for a mistake concerning the proper
party's identity.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(c)(1)(C).
Defendants argue that plaintiff's claims do not relate
back to his initial complaint because plaintiff did not
mistakenly sue the wrong officers, he lacked knowledge of
defendants' identities, and such lack of knowledge does
not constitute a mistake within the meaning of Rule 15.
See, e.g., King v. One Unknown Fed. Corr. Officer,
201 F.3d 910, 914 (7th Cir. 2000); Baskin v. City of Des
Plaines, 138 F.3d 701, 704 (7th Cir. 1998) (“[I]t
is . . . well established that Rule 15(c)(3) does not permit
relation back where there is a lack of knowledge of the
proper party.”) (quotations and alteration omitted).
not the first time, however, that the Court has addressed
this argument. The City argued precisely the same thing in
support of its motion to dismiss the original complaint
(see City's Mot. Dismiss Pl.'s Compl., Dkt.
24), and Judge Ellis rejected the argument:
. . . . The City argues that no amendment naming the Unknown
Officers could relate back to the filing of Ryan's
complaint, relying on long-standing Seventh Circuit precedent
holding that . . . a plaintiff's lack of knowledge does
not constitute a mistake for purposes of relation back. After
the Supreme Court's decision in Krupski v. Costa
Cruciere, S.p.A., 560 U.S 538, 130 S.Ct. 2485, 177
L.Ed.2d 48 (2010), however, the focus of relation back
inquiry has shifted away from the plaintiff's to the
defendant's knowledge, with the plaintiff's knowledge
“relevant only if it bears on the defendant's
understanding of whether the plaintiff made a mistake
regarding the proper party's identity. Although some
courts in this district continue to apply the John Doe rule,
an increasing number have acknowledged a doctrinal change in
the law of relation back occasioned by Krupski even
as applied in the John Doe context. Because these
developments require the Court to consider what Unknown
Officers knew concerning Ryan's suit, the Court denies
the City's motion at this time and awaits Ryan's
identification of the Unknown Officers and a more developed
record before making a determination on the statute of
limitations issues raised here.
(11/7/16 Order, Dkt. 34 at 2-3) (quotations, citations, and
footnotes omitted). Judge Ellis's decision on this issue
is law of the case, which the Court has no reason to disturb.
See Avitia v. Metro. Club of Chi., Inc., 49 F.3d
1219, 1227 (7th Cir. 1995) (“The doctrine of law of the
case establishes a presumption that a ruling made at one
stage of a lawsuit will be adhered to throughout the
also contend that plaintiff's Fifth Amendment retaliation
claim should be dismissed because Judge Ellis “ordered
Plaintiff . . . to remove the Fifth Amendment Claim on or
before June 14, 2017.” (Defs.' Mot. Dismiss
Pl.'s 3d Am. Compl., Dkt. 103 at 3.) In fact, Judge Ellis
said plaintiff's Fifth Amendment claim, as pleaded in the
original complaint, was flawed and gave him leave to amend
it, which plaintiff has now done. (See id., Ex. B,
5/31/17 Hr'g Tr. at 4-5.) Because defendants do not make