Lewis v. Chicago, No. 17-1510 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
In September 2013, Chicago police officers searched an apartment where they encountered Lewis and two others and discovered a handgun. Lewis alleges that the officers had no basis to believe the gun was his; that he didn’t live at the apartment and never told the officers otherwise; and that the officers never found anything in the apartment indicating that he lived there. Lewis spent more than two years in pretrial detention on charges of unlawfully possessing a firearm. After the charges were dropped, Lewis sued the city and police officers under 42 U.S.C. 1983 seeking damages. The district court dismissed the suit, ruling that both claims were time-barred. Days later the Supreme Court decided Manuel v. City of Joliet, clarifying that detention without probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment “when it precedes, but also when it follows, the start of legal process in a criminal case.” The Court declined to decide when such claims accrue, remanding the case to the Seventh Circuit, which held that a Fourth Amendment claim for wrongful pretrial detention accrues on the date the detention ends. The Seventh Circuit then held that Lewis had filed a viable, timely Fourth Amendment claim for unlawful pretrial detention. Lewis filed it within two years of his release from detention. The court affirmed the dismissal of the due-process claim.