United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
L.ELLIS United States District Judge.
spending two years in jail accused of a crime of which he was
ultimately acquitted, Plaintiff Timothy Jones filed this suit
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the City of Chicago
(the “City”), the County of Cook (the
“County”), Chicago Police Department Sergeant
James Corcoran, Detective Dwayne Davis, and Assistant
State's Attorneys (“ASAs”) Tene McCoy
Cummings and Teresa Guerrero. In his amended complaint, Jones
brings federal claims for false arrest and false imprisonment
against Davis and violation of due process against the ASAs.
He also raises state law claims for malicious prosecution and
intentional infliction of emotional distress
(“IIED”) against Corcoran and Davis and seeks
indemnification from both the City and County. Defendants
have filed motions to dismiss Jones' amended complaint.
Because the statute of limitations expired on Jones'
false arrest and imprisonment claim before he initially filed
suit, he cannot proceed on that claim. He filed suit before
the statute of limitations expired on his state law claims
and the Court previously found that equitable tolling applies
based on issues recruiting counsel for Jones, thus his state
law claims may proceed. But the Court dismisses Jones'
due process claim against the ASAs because absolute immunity
protects their prosecutorial actions. And the dismissal of
all claims against the ASAs renders moot Jones'
indemnification claim against the County.
20, 1998, a woman claimed she was raped. After a brief
investigation, at which time the woman indicated she did not
want to pursue the matter further, the case lay dormant.
About eight years later, the police obtained a DNA match on a
sample taken from Jones, but the police could not get in
touch with the woman to proceed with the case. Finally, in
2012, the woman provided the police with additional
information, causing Davis to prepare a warrant for
Jones' arrest. Jones was arrested on July 31, 2012 in
Nebraska and extradited to Chicago. Jones denied raping
anyone but stated he may have had consensual sex with the
woman. Corcoran recommended that charges be filed against
Jones. Prosecutors charged Jones with non-aggravated criminal
sexual assault and Jones had an arraignment hearing on
September 26, 2012.
time of Jones' arrest, the police did not have possession
of the woman's medical records. Only several days before
Jones' scheduled trial, prosecutors disclosed in a motion
in limine that the woman had previously made at
least one false rape allegation in December 1998. Jones'
counsel moved for a continuance, and the judge moved the
trial from October 15, 2013 to July 28, 2014. The two-day
bench trial ended on September 5, 2015, with the judge
finding Jones not guilty.
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the
sufficiency of the complaint, not its merits. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6); Gibson v. City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510,
1520 (7th Cir.1990). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts in
the plaintiff's complaint and draws all reasonable
inferences from those facts in the plaintiff's favor.
AnchorBank, FSB v. Hofer, 649 F.3d 610, 614 (7th
Cir. 2011). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the complaint
must not only provide the defendant with fair notice of a
claim's basis but must also be facially plausible.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); see also Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d
929 (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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678. The allegations in the complaint “must
plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief,
raising that possibility above a ‘speculative
level'; if they do not, the plaintiff pleads itself out
of court.” E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs.,
Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 569 n.14).
False Arrest and False Imprisonment Claim (Count I)
Davis argues that the statute of limitations bars Jones'
false arrest and false imprisonment claim against him. The
statute of limitations is an affirmative defense that Jones
need not anticipate in his complaint in order to survive a
motion to dismiss. United States v. Lewis, 411 F.3d
838, 842 (7th Cir. 2005). But that is not the case where
“the allegations of the complaint itself set forth
everything necessary to satisfy the affirmative defense, such
as when a complaint reveals that an action is untimely under
the governing statute of limitations.” Id.;
see also Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 579 (7th Cir.
2009) (considering statute of limitations defense on motion
to dismiss where relevant dates were set forth in the
§ 1983 claim is governed by the forum state's
statute of limitations for personal injury claims, in this
case, two years. Henderson v. Bolanda, 253 F.3d 928,
931 (7th Cir. 2001); 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-202. Although
the statute of limitations is borrowed from state law,
federal law determines when a § 1983 claim accrues.
Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 388, 127 S.Ct. 1091,
166 L.Ed.2d 973 (2007). Jones' claim for false arrest and
false imprisonment accrued when Jones was bound over by a
magistrate or arraigned on charges. Id. at 389-91;
Serino v. Hensley, 735 F.3d 588, 591 (7th Cir.
2013). Here, Jones was arraigned on September 26, 2012,
meaning the statute of limitations on his false arrest and
false imprisonment claim expired at the latest on September
26, 2014. The Court received Jones' complaint on February
9, 2015, several months after this date.
argues, however, that his claim should nevertheless proceed
because the Court has determined that equitable tolling
applies to the case. Equitable tolling applies where the
plaintiff, through the exercise of due diligence, could not
have obtained the information needed to file his claim before
the limitations period expired. Shropshear v. Corp.
Counsel of City of Chicago, 275 F.3d 593, 595 (7th Cir.
2001). Here, there is no suggestion that Jones could not have
brought a claim of false arrest within the two-year statute
of limitations and indeed, such a claim can be inferred from
Jones' original pro se complaint. See
Doc. 1. The Court's application of equitable tolling was
intended to toll the statute of limitations from the time the
Court received his complaint on January 9, 2015 and the time
his recruited counsel filed an amended complaint because of
the difficulty of securing recruited counsel for Jones during
that period of time, effectively hampering his efforts to
amend his claims and name additional defendants. See
Doc. 51. Equitable tolling does not save Jones' false
arrest and false imprisonment claim, however, where the
statute of limitations had already expired before Jones filed
his initial complaint. Therefore, the Court dismisses the
false arrest and false imprisonment claim with prejudice.
Malicious Prosecution and IIED Claims (Counts III and
and Davis move to dismiss Jones' state law malicious
prosecution and IIED claims on statute of limitations grounds
as well. These claims are both subject to a one-year statute
of limitations. See 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. 10/8-101(a)
(setting forth statute of limitations for civil tort claims
against local government employees); Shelton v.
Wright, No. 09 C 6413, 2011 WL 856811, at *3 (N.D. Ill.
Mar. 9, 2011) (state law malicious prosecution claim);
Evans v. City of Chicago, 434 F.3d 916, 934 (7th
Cir. 2006) (IIED claim), overruled on other grounds by
Hill v. Tangherlini, 724 F.3d 965 (7th Cir. 2013). For a
malicious prosecution claim, this one-year period begins
running “on the date the case was terminated in the
plaintiff's favor.” Shelton, 2011 WL
856811, at *3. In this case, that means Jones' malicious
prosecution claim accrued on September 5, 2014. The ...