United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Virginia M. Kendall, United States District Judge.
the Court granted his Motion to Reconsider (Dkt. 39),
Plaintiff Keith Smith timely filed his Amended
Complaint. The Amended Complaint brings claims of
fabricated evidence and conspiracy, along with a
Monell claim against the City of Chicago pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Dkt. 45). The fundamental question
before the Court is whether Plaintiff's conditions of
bond were so substantial as to be considered a seizure, thus
prolonging the accrual date of for his constitutional claims.
After review of Plaintiff's newly pled allegations, the
conditions of bond Plaintiff was subjected to were not
sufficiently burdensome to be considered a seizure. The
controlling statute of limitations expired in March of 2016,
two years after he was released from Cook County Jail.
Accordingly, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss is granted and
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is dismissed with
Court is well aware of, and assumes familiarity with, the
facts alleged in Plaintiff's Complaint and his Amended
Complaint based upon the Court's ruling on the first
motion to dismiss (Dkt. 37) and Plaintiff's subsequent
motion to reconsider (Dkt. 44). The well pleaded facts in
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint are presumed as true for
purposes of reviewing the instant Motion to Dismiss. Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).
Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle that Defendants
Mitchell and Otero stopped and searched on September 10,
2013. (Dkt. 45, ¶ 5). Plaintiff was arrested as a
result, but “does not assert any claim of unlawful
search, seizure, or false arrest.” Id.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Mitchell and Otero
conspired to produce a fabricated police report which led to
Plaintiff's detention in Cook County Jail for seven
months. (Id. at ¶¶ 6-10). Plaintiff was
released on bond on March 29, 2014 and was required to appear
at court hearings and seek permission from the court before
leaving Illinois. (Id. at ¶¶ 10-12).
21, 2016, Plaintiff was found not guilty. (Id. at
¶ 15). Plaintiff then filed his original complaint on
July 18, 2018. (Dkt. 1). This Court dismissed Plaintiff's
complaint as barred by the two-year statute of limitations
because his claim for unlawful detention accrued at the time
he was released from custody on March 29, 2014. (Dkt. 37).
Following the Court's ruling, Plaintiff filed a motion to
reconsider based on the potential intervening authority of
Mitchell v. City of Elgin, 912 F.3d 1012 (7th Cir.
2019). The Mitchell court wrote that conditions of
bond could potentially constitute a continuing
seizure. However, the exact parameters of Mitchell's bond
were not before the court so the matter was remanded for
further fact-finding. Mitchell, 912 F.3d at 1017. As
was the case with Mitchell, the conditions of bond
were not before this Court at the time it ruled on
Defendants' first motion to dismiss. Therefore,
Plaintiff's motion to reconsider was granted and
Plaintiff was permitted to file an amended complaint alleging
the conditions of bond. (Dkt. 44).
filed his Amended Complaint on May 27, 2019 with new
allegations detailing the conditions of his bond.
Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that while on bond, he
“was required to appear in court at the state's
command, about once per month, ” “was subject to
the condition that he seek formal permission from the court
before exercising what would otherwise have been his
unquestioned right to travel outside the State of Illinois,
” “experienced the financial and emotional strain
of preparing a defense, ” and suffered from diminished
employment prospects “because he had to appear in court
about once each month.” (Dkt. 45, ¶¶ 11-14).
survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint “must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)(internal
quotations omitted). A claim is facially plausible
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. The
Court is “not bound to accept as true a legal
conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Olson
v. Champaign Cty., Ill., 784 F.3d 1093, 1099 (7th Cir.
2015) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Toulon v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 877
F.3d 725, 734 (7th Cir. 2017) (citing Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678.). “[W]hen the allegations of the complaint
reveal that relief is barred by the applicable statute of
limitations, the complaint is subject to dismissal for
failure to state a claim.” Logan v. Wilkins,
644 F.3d 577, 582 (7th Cir. 2011).
Fabrication of Evidence Claim
brings his claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Specifically, Plaintiff argues that Defendants violated his
Fourth Amendment rights when they fabricated evidence which
led to his wrongful pretrial detention. “[T]here
is a constitutional right not to be held in custody
without probable cause.” Manuel v. City of
Joliet, Illinois, 903 F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir.
2018), cert. denied sub nom. City of Joliet, Ill. v.
Manuel, 139 S.Ct. 2777 (2019) (emphasis in original).
That right is grounded in the Fourth Amendment. Manuel v.
City of Joliet, Ill., 137 S.Ct. 911, 920 (2017).
“[A] Fourth Amendment claim for unlawful pretrial
detention accrues when the detention ends,
not when the prosecution ends.”
Mitchell, 912 F.3d at 1015 (emphasis in original).
Once a claim accrues, plaintiffs have two years to seek
relief. Gekas v. Vasiliades, 814 F.3d 890, 894 (7th
Cir. 2016) (“The statute of limitations for § 1983
claims in Illinois is two years.”).
is no dispute that Plaintiff was released from the Cook
County Jail on bond in March of 2014. However, Plaintiff
argues that his wrongful detention did not end until he was
acquitted on July 21, 2016-making the July 18, 2018 filing of
his Complaint timely. He posits that the conditions of his
bond amounted to a seizure and wrongful detention. The
dispositive question is whether Plaintiff's conditions of
bond constitute a seizure and necessarily delay the accrual
of his Fourth Amendment claims.
Plaintiff alleges just two conditions of his
bond. First, that he “was required to
appear in court at the state's command, about once per
month.” (Dkt. 45, ¶ 11). And second, that he had
to seek permission to leave the State of Illinois.
(Id. at ¶ 12). These allegations, neither
independently nor cumulatively, do not amount to a seizure.
Elevating these bond conditions to the level of a Fourth
Amendment seizure would fundamentally alter the understanding
and structure of the pretrial system. Bielanski v. Cty.
of Kane,550 F.3d 632, 642 (7th Cir. 2008) (“To
hold otherwise would transform every traffic ticket and jury
summons into a potential Section 1983 claim.”); see
also Mitchell, 912 F.3d at 1017 (“We have
misgivings about construing a simple obligation to appear in
court-a uniform condition of any pretrial release-as a
‘seizure' for Fourth Amendment purposes. Converting
every traffic ticket into a nascent Fourth Amendment claim
strikes us as an aggressive reading of the constitutional
text.”). In fact, the very conditions that Plaintiff
now alleges have already been classified as insufficient to
establish a Fourth Amendment seizure. “No court has
held that a summons alone constitutes a seizure, and we
conclude that a summons alone does not equal a seizure for
Fourth Amendment purposes. … Although the travel
restriction and the interview with the probation officer
might be somewhat more onerous than the summons alone, we
conclude that they are insufficient restraints on freedom of
movement to constitute a seizure.” Id. ...