Mack, Jr. v. Rockford Police Department et al
ORDER : For the following reasons, plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis 4 is granted, plaintiff's motion for attorney representation 5 is denied, and plaintiff's complaint 1 is dismissed. Civil case terminated. [See STATEMENT] Signed by the Honorable Philip G. Reinhard on 10/6/2017. Mailed notice (jp, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
John Robert Mack, Jr.,
Rockford Police Department et al.,
Case No: 17 CV 50145
Judge Philip G. Reinhard
For the following reasons, plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis  is granted,
plaintiff’s motion for attorney representation  is denied, and plaintiff’s complaint  is dismissed.
Civil case terminated.
The court has received plaintiff John Robert Mack, Jr.’s complaint , motion to proceed in
forma pauperis , and motion for attorney representation .
The court accepts plaintiff’s IFP application on a preliminary basis to the extent that plaintiff has
demonstrated that he cannot prepay the filing fee. His request to proceed IFP  is thus granted. Under its
authority pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), the court waives the initial filing fee.
Plaintiff’s motion seeking attorney representation is denied . Although “[t]here is no right to
court-appointed counsel in federal civil litigation,” Olson v. Morgan, 750 F.3d 708, 711 (7th Cir. 2014), the
court has discretion to request that an attorney represent an indigent litigant on a volunteer basis under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). In making the decision whether to recruit counsel, the court must engage in a two-step
analysis: (1) has the plaintiff made a reasonable attempt to obtain counsel on his own behalf or been
effectively precluded from doing so; and, if so, (2) given the factual and legal complexity of the case, does
this particular plaintiff appear competent to litigate the matter himself. Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 654-55
(7th Cir. 2007) (en banc). This analysis does not focus solely on the plaintiff’s ability to try the case, but on
his ability to gather evidence and prepare and respond to motions. Navejar v. Iyiola, 718 F.3d 692, 696 (7th
Cir. 2013). First, plaintiff in his motion  does not indicate that he has made a reasonable attempt to obtain
counsel. Second, plaintiff’s submitted materials show sufficient cogency and grasp of the relevant facts to
proceed on this matter without assistance, at least at the present time. Third, as shown below, attorney
representation would not appear to assist plaintiff as it is clear from the face of the complaint that his claims
are barred due to the statute of limitations.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court is required to screen an indigent litigant’s complaint and
dismiss the complaint, or any claim therein, if the court determines that the complaint or claim is frivolous
or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 214 (2007); Turley v.
Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). Courts screen IFP complaints in the same manner they
review ordinary motions to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Maddox v. Love, 655 F.3d 709, 718
(7th Cir. 2011). Pursuant to such review, the court must determine if plaintiff’s complaint sufficiently
states a claim in accordance with federal notice pleading requirements. Id. Under those requirements, a
complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain statement must “give the defendant fair notice of
what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555 (2007). Also, a plaintiff’s “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Id.; Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
When reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint on initial review, courts “accept the well-pleaded facts
in the complaint as true,” Alam v. Miller Brewing Co., 709 F.3d 662, 665-66 (7th Cir. 2013), “draw all
reasonable inferences from those facts in favor of the plaintiff,” Smith v. Dart, 803 F.3d 304, 309 (7th Cir.
2015), and construe complaints filed by pro se litigants liberally. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)
Here, it is clear from plaintiff’s complaint that he is raising claims based on 42 U.S.C. § 1983
based on his arrest on August 9, 2014 and the course of criminal proceedings against him, which were
resolved with the dismissal of those proceedings on March 24, 2015. There is a “two-year statute of
limitations applicable to § 1983 suits in Illinois,” and assuming that plaintiff raises claims related to false
arrest, malicious prosecution, and the actions of his counsel during criminal proceedings, “his § 1983
claim for damages [would] accrue . . . when the state litigation ended.” See Wilson v. Illinois Department
, 2017 WL 3909105, at **2-3 (7th Cir.
of Financial and Professional Regulation, 2017___ F.3d
2017). It is thus clear from the face of plaintiff’s complaint that the statute of limitations expired no later
than March of 2017. Plaintiff signed the complaint on May 8, 2017, several months after the expiration
of the statute of limitations. “The statute of limitations issue may be resolved definitively on the face of
the complaint when the plaintiff pleads too much and admits definitively that the applicable limitations
period has expired.” Barry Aviation Inc. v. Land O'Lakes Municipal Airport Com'n, 377 F.3d 682, 688
(7th Cir. 2004). Thus, the court is forced to dismiss this action.1
United States District Court Judge
Notices mailed by Judicial Staff. (LC)
The court also notes that Rockford Police Department is not a suable entity, and that the public defender is
likely immune to a suit for damages from the plaintiff.
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