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Pruitt v. Green

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

July 24, 2018



          Jorge L. Alonso United States District Judge

         For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint [46] is granted. Civil case terminated.



         Brandon Darryl Pruitt brings this action following his alleged unlawful arrest and detention. Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint.

         The following facts are drawn from the complaint. Pruitt was released on a two-year period of parole from Vienna Correctional Center on or about March 17, 2008. The conditions of parole required him to undergo continuing mental health treatment among other things. On or about May 3, 2010, Pruitt was arrested by Defendants Green and Dunbar for failure to comply with the terms of his parole. Pruitt complains that Defendants did not have a warrant to arrest him and failed to give him a Miranda warning, and that Green falsely stated on a parole violation report that Pruitt had failed to attend mental health counseling in conformity with the conditions of his parole. As a result of his arrest, Pruitt was incarcerated from his arrest until October 5, 2011, and never given the opportunity to participate in a hearing regarding his incarceration.

         Pruitt filed a pro se complaint on December 21, 2016, and counsel was recruited for him in 2017. Pruitt's operative complaint seeks redress under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Fourth Amendment claims of unlawful arrest and false swearing, and a Fourteenth Amendment claim of denial of due process with regard to the revocation of his parole. Defendants move to dismiss the complaint as time-barred, barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), and for failure to state a claim.


         On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded factual allegations of the complaint, drawing all possible inferences in plaintiff's favor. See 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 it 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, 555, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw 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).

         The failure to file a complaint within the applicable limitations period is an affirmative defense. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(c). Generally, “complaints do not have to anticipate affirmative defenses to survive a motion to dismiss.” U.S. v. Lewis, 411 F.3d 838, 842 (7th Cir. 2005). The general rule notwithstanding, “The exception occurs where . . . the allegations of the complaint itself set forth everything necessary to satisfy the affirmative defense, such as when a complaint plainly reveals that an action is untimely under the governing statute of limitations.” Id.


         Defendants argue Pruitt's complaint should be dismissed because it was filed several years after the limitations period expired. Pruitt opposes the motion, arguing his claims should be tolled due to his mental condition from the time of his 2010 arrest through the filing of this action. According to Defendants, Pruitt has not shown that he suffers from a legal disability sufficient to warrant tolling.

         Both the statute of limitations and principles of tolling are supplied to Pruitt's Section 1983 claims by Illinois law. See Heard v. Sheahan, 253 F.3d 316, 317 (7th Cir. 2001); Jenkins v. Village of Maywood, 506 F.3d 622, 623 (7th Cir. 2007). Under Illinois law, the applicable limitations period is two years from the date of accrual. See Jenkins, 506 F.3d at 623 (citing 735 ILCS § 5/13-202). The date of accrual, on the other hand, is supplied by federal law. See Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 388 (2007); Heard, 253 F.3d at 317-18. “A claim accrues for § 1983 purposes when the plaintiff knows or should know that his or her constitutional rights have been violated.” Behavioral Inst. of Ind., LLC v. Hobart City of Common Council, 406 F.3d 926, 929 (7th Cir. 2005) (internal quotations omitted).

         Pruitt's Fourth Amendment claims accrued upon his May 3, 2010 arrest, see Wallace v. City of Chicago, 440 F.3d 421, 425 (7th Cir. 2006), and the latest his due process claim could have accrued is prior to his October 5, 2011 release. Because he did not file this action until December ...

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