United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
L.ELLIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
police officers allegedly beat up Plaintiff Phillip Bagley as
he was leaving someone's property in Chicago on September
26 or 27, 2015 and thereafter arrested him. Two years later,
on September 26, 2017, Bagley filed this lawsuit against the
City of Chicago (the “City”) and Chicago Police
Officers Tito Ortiz, Davis, Jackson, and “J. Doe,
” alleging excessive force, unlawful search and
seizure, denial of medical treatment, and failure to
intervene pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in addition to
seeking indemnification against the City for any judgment
entered against the individual Defendants. On January 16,
2018, Bagley filed an amended complaint, naming Chicago
Police Officers Jesus Delgado and Daniel Blackman
(collectively, the “Defendant Officers”), in
addition to Tito Ortiz and the City, as
Defendants. The City and the Defendant Officers now
move to dismiss the amended complaint, arguing that the
statute of limitations has run on Bagley's claims against
the Defendant Officers and that Heck v. Humphrey,
512 U.S. 477, 487 S.Ct. 2364, 129 L.Ed.2d 383 (1994), bars
Bagley's unreasonable seizure claim. Because the Court
cannot on this record determine whether Bagley's naming
of the Defendant Officers in the amended complaint relates
back to the initial complaint to make it timely, the Court
denies the motion to dismiss based on the statute of
limitations at this time. However, the Court dismisses
Bagley's unreasonable seizure claim because Heck
bars that claim.
On September 26 or 27, 2015, the Defendant Officers and Ortiz
arrested Bagley. Before and after placing Bagley in
handcuffs, the Defendant Officers and Ortiz kicked him and
struck him in the face with a gun, causing Bagley injuries,
including bruises and permanent damage to his face and body.
To the extent the Defendant Officers and Ortiz were not
directly involved in the beating, they did not intervene to
stop it. Despite Bagley bleeding profusely, the Defendant
Officers and Ortiz denied his request for medical treatment.
Bagley was thereafter charged with resisting arrest and
pleaded guilty to this charge on October 27, 2015.
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.
Statute of Limitations
the Defendant Officers argue that the two-year statute of
limitations bars Bagley's claims against them. The
statute of limitations is an affirmative defense that need
not be anticipated in the 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 plainly 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 complaint). Illinois' statute of limitations
for personal injury claims, which is two years, governs the
statute of limitations for Section 1983 claims. Ashafa v.
City of Chicago, 146 F.3d 459, 461 (7th Cir. 1998); 735
Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-202. Although the statute of
limitations is borrowed from state law, federal law
determines when the claim accrues. Wallace v. Kato,
549 U.S. 384, 388 (2007). Under federal law, § 1983
claims accrue when a plaintiff knows or has reason to know
that his constitutional rights have been violated. Wilson
v. Giesen, 956 F.2d 738, 741 (7th Cir. 1992).
Bagley's claims for excessive force, illegal search,
denial of medical treatment, and failure to intervene accrued
immediately, on September 27, 2015, Devbrow v. Kalu,
705 F.3d 765, 768 (7th Cir. 2013); Evans v. Poskon,
603 F.3d 362, 363 (7th Cir. 2010), while any claim for false
arrest accrued when Bagley was bound over by a magistrate or
arraigned on charges, which according to the certified
statement of conviction occurred the following day, on
September 28, 2015. Serino v. Hensley, 735 F.3d 588,
591 (7th Cir. 2013). But Bagley named the Defendant Officers
only on January 16, 2018, after the statute of limitations
had run against them.
Bagley's claims against the Defendant Officers are only
timely if his amended complaint relates back to his original
complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
15(c)(1)(C). Rule 15(c)(1)(C) provides that a claim asserted
against a newly identified defendant relates back if:
within the period provided by Rule 4(m) for serving the
summons and complaint, the party to be brought in by
(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). The Defendant Officers argue
that the amended complaint cannot relate back to the filing
of Bagley's original complaint, relying on long-standing
Seventh Circuit precedent holding that the naming of John Doe
defendants does not stop the statute of limitations and that
a plaintiff's lack of knowledge does not constitute a
mistake for purposes of relation back.See King v.
One Unknown Fed. Corr. Officer, 201 F.3d 910, 914 (7th
Cir. 2000) (complaint did not relate back where plaintiff
lacked knowledge of proper party within limitations period).
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 the 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.”
Id. at 548. Thus, the proper inquiry for the Court
at this stage is whether the Defendant Officers knew or
should have known, during the ...