Madison v. Wood, No. 18615.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtPHILLIPS, CELEBREZZE and McCREE, Circuit
Citation410 F.2d 564
PartiesDred Scott MADISON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Marie WOOD, Manley E. Brown, J. Warren Eardley, Evangeline Lamberts, Joseph Van Dyke, George Bean, William Johnson, Harry Faber, Francis Pierce, Henry B. Nabers, the City of Grand Rapids and the Civil Service Board of the City of Grand Rapids, Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date24 April 1969
Docket NumberNo. 18615.

410 F.2d 564 (1969)

Dred Scott MADISON, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Marie WOOD, Manley E. Brown, J. Warren Eardley, Evangeline Lamberts, Joseph Van Dyke, George Bean, William Johnson, Harry Faber, Francis Pierce, Henry B. Nabers, the City of Grand Rapids and the Civil Service Board of the City of Grand Rapids, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 18615.

United States Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit.

April 24, 1969.


Wallson G. Knack, Grand Rapids, Mich., for appellant; Warner, Norcross & Judd, Grand Rapids, Mich., on brief.

Wendell A. Miles, Grand Rapids, Mich., for appellees; Steven L. Dykema, City

410 F.2d 565
Atty., Grand Rapids, Mich., James R. Brown, Dutchess, Mika, Miles, Meyers & Beckett, Grand Rapids, Mich., on brief

Before PHILLIPS, CELEBREZZE and McCREE, Circuit Judges.

CELEBREZZE, Circuit Judge.

Appellant instituted an action against Appellees in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan under the Civil Rights Act, Sections 1983 and 1985 of Title 42 U.S.C. He alleged that he was a member of the City of Grand Rapids Police Department and that Appellees wrongfully deprived him of certain rights arising under the Fourteenth Amendment by demoting him from Sergeant to Patrolman on July 16, 1962, because he was a member of the Negro race. In his original complaint, filed May 12, 1967, Appellant prayed for damages for loss of wages, and for reinstatement to his former position in the Grand Rapids Police Department. He also prayed that the Court permanently enjoin Appellees from discriminating against him in his job assignments and grant him "any further equitable relief that the Court may deem equitable and proper."

On January 29, 1967, Appellees moved that Appellant's action be dismissed on the ground that it was barred by the applicable statute of limitations. On August 14, 1967, Appellant amended his complaint deleting all reference to Section 1985 and striking all claims for damages for loss of wages. The only claims remaining thereafter were those for equitable relief under Section 19831, namely, reinstatement, injunction, and any further relief that the Court may deem proper. A hearing was held December 12, 1967 on Appellees' motion and the Court entered an order on that date dismissing the complaint. Appellant appeals from that order.

The main question before us is whether Appellant's remedies are outlawed by a three-year Michigan statute of limitations applicable to actions to recover damages for "injuries to person or property." We conclude that the three-year statute applies and affirm the judgment of the District Court.

When Appellant's alleged cause of action arose, the relevant portions of the Michigan statutes of limitations provided as follows:

"All actions in any of the courts of this state shall be commenced within 6 years next after the causes of action shall accrue and not afterward, except as hereinafter specified: Provided, however * * *
"Actions to recover damages for injuries to person or property * * * shall be brought within 3 years from the time said actions accrue, and not afterwards; * * *." C.L.Mich.1948, § 609.13; M.S.A. § 27.605 (Emphasis added)

Appellees contend that Appellant's claim is an action "hereinafter specified" within the meaning of the three-year provision of M.S.A. § 27.605.2 Appellant, however, urges that since his cause of action cannot be characterized as an "actions to recover damages for injuries to person or property", the six-year provision controls. If Appellant is correct in his contention, since his cause of action, assuming he has one, accrued in 1962, he is not barred from asserting it as he filed his complaint before the six-year period

410 F.2d 566
elapsed. Mohler v. Miller, 235 F.2d 153 (6th Cir. 1956)

Section 1983 provides federal remedies to persons deprived under the Fourteenth Amendment of due process or equal protection of the laws by individuals acting under color of law. The purpose behind that Section was to establish federal remedies "where the state remedy, though adequate in theory, was not available in practice." Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 174, 81 S.Ct. 473, 477, 5 L.Ed.2d 492 (1961). Relief against individuals so acting may be obtained by "an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress." 42 U.S.C. § 1983. These flexible remedies effectively utilize the concurrent jurisdiction in law and equity of federal courts to grant whatever relief may be appropriate.3

Since the Civil Rights Act and the federal statutes do not contain a statue of limitations for actions brought under Section 1983, we will apply the most analogous period of limitations under Michigan law. Mulligan v. Schlachter, 389 F.2d 231 (6th Cir. 1968); Crawford v. Zeitler, 326 F.2d 119 (6th Cir. 1964); Mohler v. Miller, 235 F.2d 153 (6th Cir. 1956); Hoffman v. Halden, 268 F.2d 280 (9th Cir. 1957). For instance, in Mulligan v. Schlachter, 389 F.2d 231 (6th Cir. 1968), Plaintiff alleged as a cause of action under Section 1983 an unlawful arrest and search by police officers. This Court "looked to the most analogous statute of limitations of the state where the cause of action arose" and held that Plaintiff's claim was barred under a two-year Michigan statute of limitations applicable to "actions charging false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, or misconduct of...

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41 practice notes
  • Penn v. Stumpf, Civ. A. No. C-69 239.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • February 3, 1970
    ...this court is following a recent and persuasive authority dealing with facts relevant to those in the present case. In Madison v. Wood, 410 F.2d 564 (6th Cir. 1969), a Negro police officer brought a Civil Rights action contending that he had been demoted because of his race. He claimed a de......
  • Beard v. Robinson, No. 76-1708
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • September 28, 1977
    ...Mason v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., 517 F.2d 520 (6th Cir. 1975); Garner v. Stephens, 460 F.2d 1144 (6th Cir. 1972). Contra, Madison v. Wood, 410 F.2d 564 (6th Cir. 1969); Bufalino v. Michigan Bell Tel. Co., 404 F.2d 1023, 1028 (6th Cir. 1968); Mulligan v. Schlachter, 389 F.2d 231 (6th Cir. 1968......
  • Citizens for Pre-Trial Justice v. Goldfarb, PRE-TRIAL
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • February 20, 1979
    ...5 Defendants' brief, p. 11. 6 Krum v. Sheppard, 255 F.Supp. 994 (W.D.Mich., 1966), Aff'd, 407 F.2d 490 (CA 6, 1967). 7 Madison v. Wood, 410 F.2d 564 (CA 6, 8 See note 3, Supra. 9 The court's order also included one William Jones, who has since settled with defendants and is no longer a part......
  • Garcia v. Wilson, Nos. 83-1017
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • March 30, 1984
    ...that the essence of a section 1983 action is "a claim to recover damages for injury wrongfully done to the person." Madison v. Wood, 410 F.2d 564, 567 (6th Cir.1969). The court said that " '[t]he Fourteenth Amendment protects the most fundamental personal rights and liberties guaranteed to ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • Penn v. Stumpf, Civ. A. No. C-69 239.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • February 3, 1970
    ...this court is following a recent and persuasive authority dealing with facts relevant to those in the present case. In Madison v. Wood, 410 F.2d 564 (6th Cir. 1969), a Negro police officer brought a Civil Rights action contending that he had been demoted because of his race. He claimed a de......
  • Beard v. Robinson, No. 76-1708
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • September 28, 1977
    ...Mason v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., 517 F.2d 520 (6th Cir. 1975); Garner v. Stephens, 460 F.2d 1144 (6th Cir. 1972). Contra, Madison v. Wood, 410 F.2d 564 (6th Cir. 1969); Bufalino v. Michigan Bell Tel. Co., 404 F.2d 1023, 1028 (6th Cir. 1968); Mulligan v. Schlachter, 389 F.2d 231 (6th Cir. 1968......
  • Citizens for Pre-Trial Justice v. Goldfarb, PRE-TRIAL
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • February 20, 1979
    ...5 Defendants' brief, p. 11. 6 Krum v. Sheppard, 255 F.Supp. 994 (W.D.Mich., 1966), Aff'd, 407 F.2d 490 (CA 6, 1967). 7 Madison v. Wood, 410 F.2d 564 (CA 6, 8 See note 3, Supra. 9 The court's order also included one William Jones, who has since settled with defendants and is no longer a part......
  • Garcia v. Wilson, Nos. 83-1017
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • March 30, 1984
    ...that the essence of a section 1983 action is "a claim to recover damages for injury wrongfully done to the person." Madison v. Wood, 410 F.2d 564, 567 (6th Cir.1969). The court said that " '[t]he Fourteenth Amendment protects the most fundamental personal rights and liberties guaranteed to ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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