United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM C. LEE, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
matter is before the court on a motion to dismiss, filed by
the defendants Michelle Kodicek (“Kodicek”) and
Ronald Chapman (“Chapman”), on July 1, 2016. The
plaintiff, Chase Richard Caldwell (“Caldwell”),
proceeding pro se, has not filed a response. On
August 29, 2016, this court entered an order advising
Caldwell, pursuant to Lewis v. Faulkner, of his
obligation to respond to the motion to dismiss and informing
him that a response should be filed by September 12, 2016.
Caldwell has still not filed a response.
following reasons, the motion to dismiss will be granted.
support of their motion, the defendants recite that the
relevant facts alleged in the Amended Complaint are that on
August 23, 2011, Valparaiso Police Officer Michelle Kodicek
followed a vehicle in which Caldwell was a passenger,
signaled it to stop, approached the vehicle and asked him to
exit, whereupon he was arrested on a warrant for conspiracy
to deal a narcotic drug, cocaine. Caldwell was handcuffed by
an unknown police officer who escorted him into the squad car
of Valparaiso Police Officer Ronald Chapman, who then drove
him to the Porter County Jail where he was held for 46 days.
The record shows that Caldwell pleaded guilty to and was
sentenced on the charge of possession of a narcotic drug, a D
felony, as a result of his arrest. The original charge of
conspiracy to commit dealing in a narcotic drug, a Class B
felony, and forgery, a Class C felony, were dismissed
pursuant to the plea agreement.
24, 2016, Caldwell filed his pro se Complaint on a
42 U.S.C. § 1983 Complaint form, alleging that on August
23, 2011, Kodicek violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights
when she unlawfully stopped the car in which he was riding,
arrested and handcuffed him, and transported him to the
Porter County Jail.
27, 2016, Caldwell moved for leave to amend his complaint
which the Court granted on June 1, 2016. On June 3, 2016,
Caldwell filed his Amended Complaint adding Officer Chapman
as a defendant and alleging that both Kodicek and Chapman
violated his Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment Rights
when they stopped and arrested him on August 23, 2011. The
Plaintiff brought his claim under 42 U.S.C. §14141 in
addition to §1983.
considering a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6),
the court must accept as true all of the well-pleaded facts
alleged by the plaintiff and all reasonable inferences that
can be drawn therefrom. Barnes v. Briley, 420 F.3d
673, 677 (7th Cir. 2005). However, if the plaintiff provides
additional facts in his Complaint beyond a short and plain
statement of his claims, the plaintiff cannot prevent the
defendant from suggesting that those same facts demonstrate
the plaintiff is not entitled to relief. Thompson v. Ill.
Dep't of Prof'l Regulation, 300 F.3d 750, 753
(7th Cir. 2002). Thus, “if a plaintiff pleads facts
which show he has no claim, then he has plead himself out of
court.” McCready v. eBay, Inc., 453 F.3d 882,
888 (7th Cir. 2006). When the basis for dismissing a case
pursuant to an affirmative defense is apparent from the
Complaint, dismissal can be proper. Muhammad v.
Oliver, 547 F.3d 874, 878 (7th Cir. 2008).
defendants argue that Caldwell's claims are barred by the
statute of limitations. Defendants point out that
Caldwell's Amended Complaint states that the alleged
misconduct by the two officers occurred on August 23, 2011,
when he was arrested and transported to the Porter County
Jail. Caldwell filed his Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 on May 24, 2016, more than two years after the
courts must apply the statute of limitations for personal
injuries in the state where the incident occurred when
attempting to determine the timeliness of a civil rights
claim. Wilson v. Garcia, 105 S.Ct. 1938 (1985)
(Section 1983 lawsuits are most properly characterized as
torts, and the state's statute of limitations is
applicable in cases brought in federal courts); Dinger v.
City of New Albany, 668 F.Supp. 1216 (S.D. Ind. 1987).
Indiana has a two-year statute of limitations for personal
injury actions. Ind. Code § 34-11-2-4. Because
Caldwell's claims were filed more than two years after
the events alleged in the Amended Complaint, his claims under
§ 1983 are barred by the statute of limitations.
Hill v. Trustees of Indiana University, 537 F.2d 248
(7th Cir. 1976).
also point out that Caldwell's claims are barred even if
the additional 46 days that he spent in jail is added to his
August 23, 2011, arrest date under a theory of the
"continuing violation" doctrine. The continuing
violation doctrine has been applied to §1983 suits,
Heard v. Sheahan, 253 F.3d 316, 319 (7th Cir. 2001),
and "allows a complainant to obtain relief for a
time-barred act . . . by linking it with acts that fall
within the statutory limitations period, " Filipovic
v. K & R Express Sys., Inc., 176 F.3d 390, 396 (7th
Cir. 1999). In the present case, Caldwell's claims for
Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations all arose from his
arrest and detention on August 23, 2011. However, even by
extending the date of the violations by the 46 days that he
spent in jail, the Complaint was still filed more four years
after that extended date.
also alleges that an Eighth Amendment violation for cruel and
unusual punishment occurred because he was in jail for 46
days. However, because he was a pre-trial detainee, this
claim arises under the Fourteenth Amendment, not the Eighth.
Again, even if the 46 days are added to extend the date of
filing, the Complaint was still not filed within two years of
that extended date. It must also be noted that this not a
case, as in Heard, where the detainee is alleging an
Eighth Amendment violation for the deliberate indifference to
the serious medical needs by denial of medical treatment. In
such cases, the courts allow for an extension of the
limitations period for "[e]very day that [a defendant]
prolonged [a prisoner's] agony by not treating his
painful condition marked a fresh infliction of punishment
that caused the statute of limitations to start running
anew." Heard, 253 F.3d at 318-20. Caldwell
makes no such claims here, and the limitations period cannot
be extended under that theory. Even if his claims were
interpreted to be some sort of denial of medical care claim,
Caldwell did not file his claim within two years of the end
of his incarceration, and thus suffers dismissal on that
Caldwell's claims arising from his arrest and
incarceration are barred by the statute of limitations and,
accordingly, they will be dismissed.
the defendants argue that Caldwell has failed to state a
claim of a pattern or practice of depravation of rights. As
noted, Caldwell also claims a violation under 42.
U.S.C.§14141(a) and (b). This statute provides for
claims based upon a pattern or practice of the defendants in
depriving persons of rights, privileges or immunities secured
or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United
States. However, Caldwell only alleges an arrest by Officers
Kodicek and Chapman and makes no claims of a policy or
practice of engaging in false arrests. Even the most liberal
reading of Caldwell's Amended Complaint reveals that it
does not contain any facts or inferences that support a claim
that the ...