Lassiter v. City of Philadelphia, No. 12-2646 (3d Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
On May 25, 2011, Lassiter filed a complaint alleging Fourth Amendment violations for excessive force and false arrest. The complaint stated that the incident giving rise to Lassiter’s cause of action took place on May 22, 2009. On August 2, 2011, defendants filed an answer asserting six affirmative defenses, but did not raise the two-year statute of limitations as a defense. During a pretrial conference on September 20, 2011, without being prompted by either party, the district court observed that the statute of limitations appeared to have expired but that defendants failed to raise the issue in their answer. Defendants’ counsel acknowledged that they had missed this issue. The court suggested that defendants could amend their answer. On February 23, 2012, over Lassiter’s opposition, the court granted leave to amend the answer. On May 29, the court dismissed the complaint as time-barred. The Third Circuit affirmed, holding that the court had authority to raise the statute of limitations issue during the Rule 16 conference.