272 F.3d 519 (7th Cir. 2001), 99-2093, Johnson v. Rivera et al.

Docket Nº:99-2093
Citation:272 F.3d 519
Party Name:Shaun R. Johnson, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Officer Ruben Rivera, Officer Matthew Martinez, Officer Geoffrey Howard, and Officer William Pellegrini, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:November 29, 2001
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 519

272 F.3d 519 (7th Cir. 2001)

Shaun R. Johnson, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Officer Ruben Rivera, Officer Matthew Martinez, Officer Geoffrey Howard, and Officer William Pellegrini, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 99-2093

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

November 29, 2001

Argued November 7, 2001

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 98 C 3907--Ruben Castillo, Judge.

Page 520

Before Flaum, Chief Judge, and Posner and Kanne, Circuit Judges.

Flaum, Chief Judge.

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the district court dismissed Plaintiff-Appellant Shaun Johnson's claim as untimely, and Johnson appeals. For the reasons stated herein, we reverse.

I. Background

In reviewing a motion to dismiss, we accept all facts alleged in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Crenshaw v. Baynerd, 180 F.3d 866, 868 (7th Cir. 1999). Johnson is an inmate in the Cook County Department of Corrections. On December 22, 1995, the toilet in Johnson's cell malfunctioned. One day later, with the toilet stillinoperable, Johnson summoned Officer Ruben Rivera to request use of the prison's shared facility. Officer Rivera allowed Johnson's cellmate to utilize the common area toilet, but detained Johnson in his cell. Rivera refused to let Johnson leave because Johnson had acted inappropriately when the toilet broke on the previous day. Johnson informed Officer Rivera that he planned to file a grievance regarding Rivera's conduct, at which time Rivera became enraged and called four additional officers. Officers Rivera, Matthew Martinez, Geoffrey Howard and William Pellegrini (collectively "Defendants") then beat Johnson, who subsequently required medical treatment.

Johnson filed a grievance concerning the attack and placed the completed form in his cellblock mailbox pursuant to Department of Corrections procedures. However, Pellegrini removed and destroyed Johnson's grievance. For the next year, Johnson and his family repeatedly inquired about the status of his grievance, but neither Johnson nor his family received a response from the prison's grievance officer.

On June 24, 1998, Johnson filed in federal court a pro se complaint requesting relief for the December 23, 1995 beating. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint as time-barred by the applicable statute of limitations, and the district court granted Defendants' motion. The district court ruled that Johnson filed his complaint...

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