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JONES v. WATERS

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


May 31, 1983

INMAN L. JONES, JR.
v.
OFFICER DAVID A. WATERS, and DETECTIVE DONALD BUTLER

The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO

MEMORANDUM

 LUONGO, Chief Judge.

 This civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 was brought by plaintiff, Inman L. Jones, Jr., against Officer David A. Waters and Detective Donald Butler, both members of the Philadelphia Police Department, for violation of his rights under the Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The complaint alleges that Officer Waters, acting under color of state law, forced his way into plaintiff's home without consent, a warrant or probable cause; "seized" plaintiff without probable cause to make an arrest; made a warrantless search of the premises; and, in the course of that search, intentionally destroyed plaintiff's personal property. With respect to Detective Butler, the complaint alleges that Butler, acting under color of state law, handcuffed plaintiff to a chair in an unventilated, escape-proof room in a Philadelphia police station and detained him for several hours without probable cause to believe plaintiff had committed a crime and without formally arresting or charging plaintiff with any crime. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56, defendants move for summary judgment on the grounds that (1) plaintiff's claims are barred by the statute of limitations; (2) the complaint fails to state a "cause of action" against either defendant; and (3) plaintiff is collaterally estopped by a prior criminal conviction from relitigating the lawfulness of his arrest and detention. After considering each of these grounds, I conclude that summary judgment is inappropriate and therefore will deny defendants' motion.

 The incidents stated in the complaint are alleged to have occurred on January 17, 1980. The complaint was docketed on January 20, 1982. Defendants contend that plaintiff's claims under § 1983 are most analogous to those claims under Pennsylvania state law which are governed by the two-year statute of limitations set forth at 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5524. Thus, defendants assert that the statute had run by the time plaintiff filed his complaint.

 I conclude that plaintiff's action was commenced within the applicable statute of limitations. The complaint together with a motion to proceed in forma pauperis were received in the office of the clerk of court on Monday, January 18, 1982. Since the incidents alleged in the complaint occurred on January 17, 1980, the statute could have expired no earlier than Sunday, January 17, 1982. Because the last day was a Sunday, however, plaintiff had until the following day to commence his action. There is no question, therefore, that plaintiff's action would have been timely had he not sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis. His having sought to do so, however, does not operate to his detriment. The statute of limitations was tolled once his complaint and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis were lodged with the court. Krajci v. Provident Consumer Discount Co., 525 F. Supp. 145, 149-50 (E.D. Pa. 1981), aff'd without opinion, 688 F.2d 822 (3d Cir. 1982). Accordingly, when plaintiff's motion was granted and the complaint filed, the statute of limitations had not yet run.

 I also reject the remaining two bases for defendants' motion. It is apparent from the supporting memorandum of law that each of these grounds is predicated upon facts outside the record presented by this motion. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) provides that summary judgment shall be granted "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." The record on the instant motion consists solely of the complaint and the answer thereto and on the basis of those bare pleadings, defendants are not entitled to judgment in their favor.

 Accordingly, on the present state of the record, I will deny defendants' motion for summary judgment. However, because the memorandum of law in support of the motion indicates a set of facts which, if true, would preclude recovery in this case, *fn1" I will deny defendants' motion without prejudice to its renewal after further development of the record.

 ORDER

 This 31st day of May, 1983, it is

 ORDERED that the Motion of defendants, Officer David A. Waters, Jr., and Detective Donald Butler, for Summary Judgment is DENIED, without prejudice to its renewal after further development of the record.


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