United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
DANIEL R. LOZIER, II, Plaintiff,
QUINCY UNIVERSITY CORPORATION and BRIAN HOLZGRAFE, Defendants.
MYERSCOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court on the Motion for Leave to File
Counterclaims Against Plaintiff and to File Third-Party
Complaint Against Cindy Lozier (d/e 45) filed by Defendant
Brian Holzgrafe. The Motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN
PART. The Court grants Holzgrafe leave to amend his Answer to
add counterclaims for defamation and false light/invasion of
privacy against Plaintiff. The Court denies Holzgrafe leave
to file a third-party complaint against Cindy Lozier.
April 2018, Plaintiff, Daniel R. Lozier II, filed a
twelve-count Complaint against Quincy University Corporation;
Brian Holzgrafe, the Head Tennis Coach, and other
administrators at the University. Plaintiff alleged
violations of federal and state law arising out of the
allegedly hostile and retaliatory responses by defendants to
Plaintiff's participation in an April 2017 Title IX
investigation into sexual harassment allegations against
Holzgrafe. Following a motion to dismiss, three claims remain
against Holzgrafe: (1) Count III, intentional infliction of
emotional distress, alleging that Holzgrafe engaged in
extreme and outrageous conduct toward Plaintiff; (2) Count
VIII, public disclosure of private facts, alleging that
Holzgrafe communicated Plaintiff's personal and
confidential medical information to other members of the
tennis program; and (3) Count IX, false light, alleging
Holzgrafe falsely indicated that Plaintiff was the source of
the information that resulted in the Title IX
March 8, 2019, Holzgrafe filed an Answer and Affirmative
Defenses (d/e 34). On May 3, 2019, Holzgrafe filed a Motion
for Leave to File Counterclaims Against Plaintiff and to File
Third-Party Complaint Against Cindy Lozier (d/e 45).
Holzgrafe seeks leave to bring defamation and false
light/invasion of privacy claims against Plaintiff and his
mother, Cindy Lozier, that arise out of the same transaction
or occurrence or same case or controversy that is the subject
of Plaintiff's claim. Holzgrafe asserts that the Court
has supplemental jurisdiction of the claims pursuant to 28
proposed defamation claims allege that, in early April 2017,
Plaintiff knowingly and intentionally made false allegations
against Holzgrafe to Plaintiff's mother, Cindy Lozier,
and at least two student-athletes. Holzgrafe alleges that
Plaintiff falsely stated that Holzgrafe had sexual relations
with a female student tennis player, that another female
student tennis player left the program because of
inappropriate advances made by Holzgrafe, and that Holzgrafe
had a history of sexual misconduct with other female tennis
players. On or about April 8, 2017, Cindy Lozier repeated the
false statements to one or more other Quincy University
student tennis players and other tennis players. Cindy Lozier
also claimed that Holzgrafe would be out as Head Tennis Coach
within two weeks.
false light/invasion of privacy claims allege that
Plaintiff's and Cindy Lozier's actions of publishing
false statements put Holzgrafe in a false light in the public
and his profession as an adulterer and predator of young
women under his charge as Head Tennis Coach at Quincy
University. See proposed Counterclaim against
Plaintiff (d/e 45-1); proposed Third Party Complaint against
Cindy Lozier (d/e 45-2).
The Court Grants Defendant Holzgrafe Leave to Amend his
Answer and Assert the Counterclaims Against
seeks leave to file the defamation and false light/invasion
of privacy counterclaims against Plaintiff. The proposed
counterclaim specifically states that the claims are not
barred by the applicable statute of limitations pursuant to
735 ILCS 5/13-207, the Illinois savings provision.
13(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a
pleading must state any counterclaim the pleader has against
the opposing party if the claim arises out of the transaction
or occurrence that is the subject of the opposing party's
claim and does not require adding another party over whom the
court cannot acquire jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 13(a). Leave
to amend a pleading to add a counterclaim is governed by Rule
15 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. See McCoy v.
Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., 760 F.3d 674, 684 (7th Cir.
2014) (applying Rule 15 to review the denial of a motion for
leave to amend third-party counterclaims); Fed.R.Civ.P. 15,
Advisory Committee Notes, 2009 Amendment (“Abrogation
of Rule 13(f) establishes Rule 15 as the sole rule governing
the amendment of a pleading to add a counterclaim.”).
should be freely given when justice so requires. Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)(2). A court may deny leave for various reasons,
including futility, undue delay, and prejudice. See Kreg
Therapeutics, Inc. v. VitalGo, Inc., 919 F.3d 405, 417
(7th Cir. 2019); McCoy, 760 F.3d at 684, 687 (also
noting that the underlying concern with undue delay “is
the prejudice to the defendant rather than simple passage of
objects to Holzgrafe's motion for leave to file the
counterclaims. Plaintiff argues that the counterclaims are
futile because the claims are barred by the statute of
limitations. Plaintiff also asserts that Holzgrafe failed to
timely assert his counterclaims and granting leave would be
unfair to Plaintiff.
first argues that Holzgrafe's allegations make it clear
that the counterclaims are barred by the one-year statute of
limitations applicable to defamation and false light claims.
735 ILCS 5/13-201 (“Actions for slander, libel or of
matter violating the right to privacy, shall be commenced
within one year next after the cause of action
accrued.”); Ludlow v. Northwestern Univ., 79
F.Supp.3d 824, 841 (N.D. Ill. 2015) (noting that one-year
statute of limitation applied to defamation and false light