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Third Circuit: Little League Pins Lawsuit Time-Barred

By Robyn Hagan Cain | Last updated on

Little League pins are a big deal in Pennsylvania.

Trading pins is the biggest activity at the Little League World Series outside of actual baseball, according to The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News. It can even form the basis of a federal lawsuit.

Randy and Janete Shrey sued Williamsport, Pa., Police Capt. Raymond O. Kontz III in 2010, accusing him of seizing more than 600 pins they'd designed for trading at the 2008 Little League World Series. This week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the claim as time-barred under Pennsylvania's statute of limitations.

The pins in question resembled a city police badge with the Little League logo, reports the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. It seems that Little League officials alerted authorities about the pins out of concern that someone might use a pin to pose as a cop at the series.

Kontz allegedly confiscated the pins from the Shreys at their home, but did not log them in the police property records. That oversight led to accusations of civil conspiracy and fraudulent concealment.

The problem, of course, was the amount of time that the Shreys waited to file their claim.

State law applies to civil rights claims when determining the appropriate statute of limitations. Here, both parties agreed that the two-year Pennsylvania statute of limitations for personal injury actions applied.

The filing deadline for a civil rights conspiracy claim "runs from each overt act causing damage." The Shreys alleged that Kontz and local officials committed acts in furtherance of the conspiracy in July 2008, but they filed their suit Sept. 1, 2011, well beyond the two-year statute of limitations period.

The calendar is king of your claim. If you want to hold local law enforcement officials accountable for improperly seizing your Little League trading pins -- or any other property -- you have to file within the statute of limitations.

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