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DeVries v. Driesen

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

September 10, 2014

Marvin Allan DeVries, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
David Driesen; Patrick J. Hoye; Steven L. Ponsetto; State of Iowa, Defendants - Appellees

Submitted April 17, 2014.

Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Sioux City.

For Marvin Allan DeVries, Plaintiff - Appellant: Theodore Frederick Sporer, Sporer Law Firm, Des Moines, IA.

For David Driesen, Patrick J. Hoye, Steven L. Ponsetto, State of Iowa, Defendants - Appellees: Jeffrey C. Peterzalek, Attorney General's Office, Des Moines, IA; Timothy Vavricek, Assistant Attorney General, Iowa Department of Justice, Des Moines, IA.

Before LOKEN and MURPHY, Circuit Judges, and PERRY,[*] District Judge.

OPINION

PERRY, District Judge.

Marvin DeVries brought this § 1983 suit two years and four months after the claim arose. The district court[1] dismissed the case as barred by Iowa's two-year statute of limitations governing personal injury claims. DeVries appealed, arguing that his time for filing suit was tolled during the pendency of an administrative claim he had filed under the Iowa Tort Claims Act. Section 1983 claims are governed by the state's statute of limitations for personal injury claims and may be subject to any tolling rules that Iowa courts have applied to that statute. The tolling provision DeVries relies on, however, comes from the Tort Claims Act, not from the personal injury statute, and so it has no application here. We affirm the district court's dismissal of the action as time barred.

I.

DeVries brought this suit against two Iowa State Patrol officers and other state officials after an incident related to a

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traffic stop. His suit included a number of state tort claims in addition to a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The incident occurred on September 29, 2010, but DeVries did not file his Complaint in the district court until February 14, 2013. Devries also pursued an unsuccessful administrative claim under the Iowa Tort Claims Act (ITCA) before filing his federal complaint.[2] The district court rejected DeVries' argument that a tolling provision contained in the ITCA applied to this case, and held that the § 1983 claim must be dismissed because it was brought after the expiration of the Iowa two-year limitations period that applies to personal injury claims. Because it was dismissing the only federal claim, the district court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the related state claims.

II.

We review the district court's grant of a motion to dismiss de novo. Farm Credit Servs. of Am. v. Am. State Bank, 339 F.3d 764, 767 (8th Cir. 2003). The facts alleged in the complaint are accepted as true and construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. ...


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