encompasses the sorts of actions which concerned Congress when it enacted the civil rights statutes." Mulligan, 777 F.2d at 344. Similarly, the Eleventh Circuit found that the "essential nature" of § 1983 claims is more analogous to "trespass," which requires intentional causation of injury, than to "trespass on the case," which requires indirect harm. See Jones, 763 F.2d at 1254. Looking to legislative history, the Court stated: "The paradigmatic personal injuries covered by the statute, those that motivated the Congress to take action, were acts of intentional and direct violence on the part of the Ku Klux Klan." Id. at 1255. Finally, the Fifth Circuit reminds us that "most 1983 actions are predicated on intentional rather than negligent acts. Also, . . . 1983 was enacted for the purpose of redressing injuries from intentional misconduct. It follows that the 1983 action is more analogous to intentional torts . . . ." Gates, 771 F.2d at 920. This Court agrees with the Fifth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits that § 1983 claims, in the main, most closely resemble intentional torts. This conclusion is consistent with Judge Buckley's concurrence in Banks : "If Garcia governs this case, it requires us to borrow the local statute governing most intentional personal injury claims, D.C. Code § 12-301(4), rather than the catch-all statute of D.C. Code § 12-301(8)." Banks, 802 F.2d at 1416 (Buckley, J., concurring).
The alleged injury occurred on December 25, 1985, but plaintiff's complaint was not filed until March 24, 1987. Because this Court finds that the appropriate statute of limitations is D.C. Code § 12-301(4), which prescribes a one-year period, plaintiff's § 1983 claim is extinguished. Furthermore, as plaintiff has conceded that his other claims under Count One cannot be maintained, all claims under Count One of the complaint are dismissed with prejudice.
II. Counts Three and Four
Count Three of plaintiff's complaint alleges common law assault and battery; Count Four alleges false arrest and imprisonment. These causes of action are specifically enumerated in D.C. Code § 12-301(4) as having a limitation period of one year. Plaintiff asserts that the statute of limitations must be read with the notice requirements of D.C. Code § 12-309 (1981).
Plaintiff's reasoning is that because the right to maintain an action against the District does not "accrue" until notice has been given, the bringing of any such suit is statutorily "stayed" until the notice requirement is fulfilled. Thus, according to plaintiff, a claimant would in effect have 18 months within which to bring a suit governed by the one-year limitations period.
Plaintiff's argument is not persuasive. Plaintiff relies upon Gwinn v. District of Columbia, 434 A.2d 1376 (D.C. 1981), which states that "notice under § 12-309 is a 'condition precedent' to filing a suit against the District." Id. at 1378. However, Gwinn is careful to note that § 12-309 was enacted to "avoid . . . the pitfalls of the statute of limitations. Prior to its passage, suits could be brought within the statute of limitations period but so long after the event giving rise to the claim that it was impossible for the District of Columbia to obtain evidence for use in dealing with such claims." Id. Although the limitations period at issue is not a long one, it would be anomalous to use § 12-309 to lengthen it. To do so would "totally frustrate the legislative intent." Id. Therefore, because plaintiff did not file his complaint until approximately 15 months after the alleged injury, Counts Three and Four must also be dismissed.
III. Count Two
The District of Columbia urges that plaintiff's negligence claim under Count Two should be dismissed for failure to comply with the notice requirements of D.C. Code Ann. § 12-309. (See infra note 3 and accompanying text.) Plaintiff's injury occurred on December 25, 1985; the District received formal notice of his claim at the end of June 1986. Defendant's records show that the claim letter was received on June 27, whereas plaintiff has a certified mail receipt showing delivery on June 26. The one-day difference is crucial because the notice period includes the date of receipt, but not the date of injury. See DeKine v. District of Columbia, 422 A.2d 981, 985 (D.C. 1980). Thus, the last date for timely compliance with the requirement was June 26, 1986. MPD reports may also be considered adequate notice under some circumstances. The Court lacks sufficient information to determine whether reports made in connection with this case constituted notice. Because there is a genuine issue as to whether the notice requirements were met, the Court cannot dismiss plaintiff's negligence claim. Nevertheless, having dismissed the only federal claim in the suit at such an early stage, the Court finds it unwise to retain jurisdiction over this pendent issue. See United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 16 L. Ed. 2d 218, 86 S. Ct. 1130 (1966). Dismissal without prejudice seems especially appropriate here, as plaintiff has a full year within which to file his negligence claim in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
An appropriate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.
This matter is before the Court on defendant District of Columbia's motion to dismiss the complaint or, in the alternative, for summary judgment and on the motion of defendants Frederick Lewis and Joseph Harris to dismiss the complaint. For reasons explained in the accompanying Memorandum Opinion, after consideration of the parties' submissions and the entire record, the Court concludes that the defendants' motions should be granted. Accordingly, it hereby is
ORDERED, that Counts One, Three, and Four of the complaint are dismissed with prejudice. It hereby further is
ORDERED, that Count Two of the complaint is dismissed without prejudice.