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”) 56
motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below,
the motion is granted.
November 1, 2015, plaintiff filed his original complaint
against the City of Chicago and “unknown officers,
” asserting claims arising out of his October 31, 2013
arrest. (Compl., ECF 1.) On April 18, 2017, plaintiff filed
his second amended complaint and, for the first time, named
Officers Mionskowski, Lopez, and Melendez as defendants. (2d
Am. Compl., ECF 65.) Defendants Mionskowski and Lopez first
learned about this lawsuit in December 2016. (Defs.' LR
56.1(a) Stmt., ECF 127 ¶ 20.) Defendant Melendez first
learned about this lawsuit on May 4, 2017. (Id.
¶ 30.) None of the defendants had any reason to know
about the existence of the lawsuit until they received actual
notice of it in December 2016 and May 2017, respectively.
(Id. ¶¶ 21-28, 31-39.)
prevail on a summary judgment motion, “the movant
[must] show that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). At this stage, we
do not weigh evidence or determine the truth of the matters
asserted. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 249 (1986). We view all evidence and draw all inferences
in favor of the non-moving party. Reget v. City of La
Crosse, 595 F.3d 691, 695 (7th Cir. 2010). Summary
judgment is appropriate only when the record as a whole
establishes that no reasonable jury could find for the
non-moving party. Payne v. Pauley, 337 F.3d 767, 770
(7th Cir. 2003).
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)). Plaintiff's section 1983 claims for excessive
force, unlawful search, and Fifth Amendment retaliation
accrued at the time the use of force, search, or retaliation
occurred, 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) (stating that
an excessive force claim “accrues immediately”).
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.' LR 56.1(a)
Stmt. ¶ 17.) Thus, plaintiff had until November 2,
to timely file his § 1983 claims.
filed his original complaint, naming the City of Chicago and
“unknown officers” as defendants, on November 1,
2015. He did not identify the officers by name until he filed
his second amended complaint on April 18, 2017-more than
three years after the events that gave rise to his claims. As
a result, plaintiff's claims against the officers are
timely only if they relate back to his original complaint.
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). It is
undisputed that the individual defendants did not know or
have any reason to know about this suit until well after the
120-day period for service had expired. (See
Defs.' LR 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶¶ 20-28, 30-39.)
wake of Krupski v. Costa Crociere S.p.A., 560 U.S.
538 (2010), the Seventh Circuit has made clear that:
The only two inquiries that a district court is now permitted
to make in deciding whether an amended complaint relates back
to the date of the original one are, first, whether the
defendant who is sought to be added by the amendment knew or
should have known that the plaintiff, had it not been for a
mistake, would have sued him instead or in addition to suing
the named defendant; and second, whether, even if so, the
delay in the plaintiff s discovering his mistake impaired the
new defendant's ability to defend himself.
Joseph v. Elan Motorsports Technologies Racing Corp,
638 F.3d 555 (7th Cir. 2011). Because plaintiff fails at the
first stage of inquiry, defendants are entitled to summary
judgment. Analysis of any prejudice to the defendants is
unnecessary. Additionally, while some courts continue to
accept the distinction between “mistake” and
“lack of knowledge” that had been applied (pre-
Krupski) in the context of relation back under Rule
15(c), this case is governed by Judge Ellis's ruling in
which she rejected the argument that plaintiffs lack of
knowledge categorically cannot constitute a mistake for
purposes of relation back. (11/17/16 Order, ECF 34 at 2.)
Thus, we do not address the legal merits of defendants'
lack of knowledge argument.
the undisputed facts establish that plaintiffs claims against
the individual defendants are time-barred, and the City's
liability is derivative of that of the individual defendants,
all defendants are entitled to summary judgment on plaintiffs
claims. Accordingly, the ...