Judge Sidney I. Schenkier Grants City of Chicago's Motion to Dismiss and Dismisses Steven Hudson's False Confession, False Arrest and Excessive Force Claims As Time-Barred

On December 5, 2006, in a 13-page Memorandum Opinion and Order, Northern District of Illinois Judge Sidney I. Schenkier granted the defendants' (City of Chicago, James Cassidy, & Wayne Bunch) motion to dismiss and dismissed plaintiff Steven Hudson's false confession, false arrest, and excessive force claims. Plaintiff Hudson alleged that on November 5, 1998, detectives Bunch and Cassidy interrogated him about a recent murder and put their thumbs in his eyes, used a device to electrocute and shock him, punched and kicked him, and threatened to take away his son if he did not confess. Hudson alleged he finally confessed and that Cassidy told him what to say in the confession. Based on that confession, Hudson was charged with murder. Hudson brought a motion to suppress his confession, which was granted by the trial judge on August 13, 2001. The State's appeal of this ruling was dismissed on April 9, 2003. On October 1, 2003, prosecutors nolle prosequied the charges. Hudson filed his suit on September 29, 2005.Both parties agreed that the two-year statute of limitations governed plaintiff's Section 1983 claims, but the parties disagreed over when those claims accrued. Judge Schenkier held that the accrual issue was governed by the Seventh Circuit's decision in Wallace v. City of Chicago, 440 F.3d 421 (7th Cir. 2006), cert granted, 126 S.Ct. 2891 (2006). As to Hudson's excessive force claim, Judge Schenkier held that it was "within the 'normal run' of claims to which the Wallace accrual rule applies" and that "Hudson had two years from November 5, 1998 in which to file his excessive force claim," which he failed to do. As to Hudson's false arrest claim, Judge Schenkier held that "[t]his is not a case where Mr. Hudson's false arrest claim would implicate either element of his criminal prosecution for murder. Indeed, Mr. Hudson's Heck argument is indistinguishable from the false arrest argument raised by the Wallace plaintiff." Thus, Judge Schenkier held that Wallace's accrual controlled the false arrest claim and that Hudson's false arrest claim accrued on November 5, 1998 and was time-barred. As to Hudson's false confession claim, Judge Schenkier held that "[t]o the extent that the claim is premised on physical and psychological coercion resulting in a false confession, we find that the analysis that governs the date of accrual for excessive force claims governs here as well." Judge Schenkier also held that to the extent Hudson was claiming his substantive due process rights were violated, "[w]e see nothing in Wallace that creates a different test for accrual of substantive due process claims than that used for constitutional violations."  Finally, Judge Schenkier dismissed Hudson's indemnity claim against the City of Chicago based on the Illinois Tort Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 10/9-102, since there was no longer any viable claim against defendants Cassidy and Bunch.
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