Julian v. Hanna, No. 13-1203 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
In 2001 a burglar set fire to Frankton High School, causing millions of dollars in damages. According to the plaintiff, an officer coerced one of the suspects and others to accuse the plaintiff. The plaintiff was convicted of arson, burglary, and theft. He obtained post-conviction relief and was released from prison in 2006, after proving that a key witness had lied. In 2007 a retrial was scheduled. On advice of counsel, plaintiff deferred filing a civil rights suit pending retrial, but the trial kept getting rescheduled until charges were dismissed in 2010. In 2011, the plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming malicious prosecution, due process, violations, and other torts, by Indiana police officers, the town that employed them, and the sheriff. The district judge dismissed the claim as untimely and held that Indiana law provides an adequate remedy for malicious prosecution, barring recourse to section 1983. The Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded, finding that Indiana law does not provide an adequate remedy. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants intimidated him into delaying filing a civil suit until the criminal proceeding ended. If that is true, the limitations period did not start to run until then, so that his November 2011 filing was within the limitations period.