454 F.2d 313 (7th Cir. 1971), 18808, Rinehart v. Locke

Docket Nº:18808.
Citation:454 F.2d 313
Party Name:Joseph F. RINEHART, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Gloria D. LOCKE, Administrator of the Estate of Arnold R. Locke, Deceased, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:December 06, 1971
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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454 F.2d 313 (7th Cir. 1971)

Joseph F. RINEHART, Plaintiff-Appellant,


Gloria D. LOCKE, Administrator of the Estate of Arnold R. Locke, Deceased, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 18808.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

December 6, 1971

Richard E. Dowdle, Dowdle, Moscato, Ramsey & Egan, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff-appellant.

Michael Silverman, Edward V. Hanrahan, State's Atty., Chicago, Ill., for defendants-appellees; Daniel P. Coman, Chief, Civil Div., Theodore A. Shapero, Asst. State's Atty., of counsel.

Before SWYGERT, Chief Judge, and FAIRCHILD and STEVENS, Circuit Judges.

FAIRCHILD, Circuit Judge.

On June 17, 1970, plaintiff filed a complaint seeking damages and claiming that an arrest on November 24, 1964 deprived him of rights secured by the constitution. As one defense, defendants asserted that the matter was res judicata by virtue of dismissal on May 15, 1969 of a complaint based on the same arrest. The district court sustained the defense of res judicata and dismissed the action. Plaintiff appealed. Defendants also raised, in the district court and here, the defense that the period of limitations had expired.

The two complaints are identical in substance except that an averment that the arrest was made without probable cause was included in the second, but not the first.

The 1969 complaint may be summarized as follows: On November 24, 1964, three defendants, private detectives, observed plaintiff at an intersection talking to a man on a motorcycle and caused

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a false report to be made to the county police that plaintiff was falsely representing himself to be a police officer. As a result of the report, four other defendants, county police officers, arrested plaintiff for impersonating a government official. They also charged him falsely with unlawful use of weapons and resisting arrest. No warrant had been issued for the arrest. Plaintiff was imprisoned at the police station and later convicted of the charges, but in 1967 the conviction was reversed on appeal for insufficient evidence.

The district court entered an order dismissing the 1969 complaint for failure to state a claim. In an oral ruling on the motion to dismiss, the court based dismissal on the failure to allege the absence of probable cause, although the court made other comments which may shed light on its subsequent refusal to permit amendment.

Plaintiff sought leave to file an amended complaint in which he included an averment that defendants had no probable cause to suspect plaintiff of committing an offense. On June 13, 1969, leave was denied. The court stated no reason. Under Rule 15(a), F.R.Civ.P., "leave shall be freely given when justice so requires." Presumably the court felt justice did not so require in view of the court's earlier suggestion that the complaint itself showed that the arrest was based upon information given by three private detectives who said they had seen the offense and that the court thought plaintiff's failure to allege lack of probable cause was not inadvertent.

Plaintiff did not appeal from either 1969 order.

Res judicata.

Plaintiff contends that the May, 1969 dismissal did not establish that defendants were not...

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