Manuel v. City of Joliet et al
MEMORANDUM Order Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 2/12/2014. Mailed notice by judge's staff. (srb,)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
CITY OF JOLIET, a municipal corporation,
Case No. 13 C 3022
Elijah Manuel ("Manuel"), who originally launched this action with a self-prepared
detailed narrative submitted under the heading "Complaint Under the Civil Rights Act, Title 42
Section 1983 U.S. Code," is now represented by able counsel designated by this Court to serve
him pro bono publico. Now the First Amended Complaint ("FAC") recently prepared by counsel
on Manuel's behalf has been targeted by two Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 12(b)(6) motions to
dismiss, and late last week Manuel's counsel filed what they label as "Plaintiff's Modified
Response in Opposition to Defendants' 12(b)(6) Motion To Dismiss." Because the parties have
met head-on in those submissions, the motions are ripe for decision.
Both Rule 12(b)(6) motions focus primarily on a statute-of-limitations bar, pointing (1) to
Section 1983's adoption of the two-year statute of limitations for Illinois-based personal injury
claims and (2) to the fact that Manuel's original pro se Complaint was brought more than two
years after the occurrences that constitute the gravamen of Manuel's Section 1983 claims.
Because this Court's earlier oral ruling rejected the other contentions advanced by Manuel's
counsel, the most recent submission on Manuel's behalf urges denial of the motions only
"because plaintiff has a non-time-barred Fourth Amendment or Due Process claim" (Response at
2). And when the Response memorandum gets down to the precise issues, it focuses solely on
the contention that the "Plaintiff should have an actionable Section 1983 claim for malicious
prosecution through the Fourth Amendment" (id. at 4).
On that score Manuel's counsel are totally candid. Their Response at 5 states accurately:
The Seventh and Eighth Circuits stand alone in deciding that malicious
prosecution claims are not actionable as a Fourth Amendment Section 1983 claim.
Newsome v. McCabe, 256 F. 3d 747, 750 (7th Cir. 2001); Kurtz v. City of
Shrewsbury, 245 F. 3d 753, 758 (8th Cir. 2001).
As for our Court of Appeals' stance on the subject, the Response goes on to state (also
accurately) that the Newsome case "holds that Section 1983 malicious prosecution claims are
only cognizable as a substantive due process claim if state law does not provide an adequate
remedy" -- and to close the analytical circle, our Court of Appeals has expressly held that Illinois
law does provide such a remedy.
What Manuel's counsel must argue then -- and they do with vigor -- is that Newsome
should be revisited and "rejected in the present case." That invitation to a District Judge to
override the studied adherence by our Court of Appeals to a position that it knows to be a lonely
one (see Judge Richard Posner's recent opinion for the panel in Julian v. Hanna, 732 F. 3d 842,
845-46 (7th Cir. 2013)) has put this Court in mind of an even more recent opinion written by
Judge Posner that affirmed this Court's decision in a complex case (Inland Mortgage Capital
Corp. v. Chivas Retail Partners, No. 12-3648, 2014 WL 310355 (7th Cir. Jan. 29)) and concluded
in this fashion (id. at *3):
What a topsy-turvy world the defense rightly rejected by the district court would
This Court likewise rejects the invitation by Manuel's counsel to create still another topsy-turvy
world -- if a change from Newsome and its progeny is to be made, it must be left to our Court of
Appeals to do so.
Accordingly both Rule 12(b)(6) motions are granted. And (1) because the limitations bar
erected by Section 1983 cannot be overcome by a nonviable Illinois-based federal malicious
prosecution claim and (2) because the most recent response from Manuel's counsel has not
suggested any other tenable basis for the survival of his claims, this action is dismissed as well.
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: February 12, 2014
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