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ADKINS v. UNDERWOOD

January 16, 1974

LEVA ADKINS, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF EVERETT ADKINS, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE HON. ROBERT C. UNDERWOOD ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bauer, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This cause comes on the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint for want of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

This is an action seeking to redress the alleged deprivation of the plaintiff's civil rights as guaranteed by Article IV and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and protected by 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

This Court allegedly has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 1343.

The plaintiff, in the complaint, alleges, inter alia, the following facts:

  1.  The plaintiff Leva Adkins is a citizen of the
      United States and a resident of the State of
      Michigan.
  2.  Defendants, The Honorable Robert C.
      Underwood, The Honorable Walter V. Schaefer,
      The Honorable Daniel P. Ward, The Honorable
      Joseph H. Goldenhersh, The Honorable Thomas
      E. Kluczynski, The Honorable Charles H.
      Davis, The Honorable Howard C. Ryan are and
      were at all times relevant to this complaint
      residents of the State of Illinois, and
      Judges of the Supreme Court of the State of
      Illinois; and defendants, The Honorable Dan
      H. McNeal and The Honorable Charles J. Smith
      are and were residents of the State of
      Illinois, and Judges of the Circuit Court of
      the County of Rock Island, State of Illinois.
  3.  On January 16, 1968, as administratrix of her
      husband's estate, the plaintiff filed a civil
      action in the Circuit Court of Rock Island
      County, in the State of Illinois, against the
      Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
      Company, a Delaware corporation, doing
      business in Illinois, for damages resulting
      from the death of her husband when the
      tractor trailer he was driving was struck by
      defendant's train at a railroad crossing in
      Booneville, Iowa. Plaintiff, as
      administratrix of her husband's estate, had
      on October 18, 1966, filed a civil action in
      the Federal District Court for the Southern
      District of Iowa, Central Division, against
      the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
      Company for damages arising out of her
      husband's death. However, on November 9,
      1967, plaintiff and defendant in that action
      stipulated to dismissal without prejudice and
      the case was ordered dismissed without
      prejudice in the Federal District Court in
      accordance with Rule 41(a)(1)(i)(ii) of the
      Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  5.  The Appellate Court of the State of Illinois
      ordered a remittitur in the sum of one
      hundred ninety-nine thousand seven hundred
      fifty-seven ($199,757) dollars, and
      unanimously affirmed the judgment of two
      hundred fifty thousand ($250,000) dollars for
      plaintiff against all defendants.
  6.  On May 14, 1974 the Supreme Court of the
      State of Illinois reversed the verdict of the
      trial court and the Appellate Court in the
      action, on the grounds of forum non conveniens
      concluding, without a hearing on the issue,
      that plaintiff had joined the individual
      defendants in bad faith solely to gain access
      to the Courts of Illinois, and remanded the
      case to the trial court, with instructions to
      grant the defendant railroad's motion to
      dismiss for forum non conveniens. The Court in
      its opinion allegedly attached prejudice to
      plaintiff's earlier dismissal of a similar case
      upon order of the Federal Court that it was to
      be without prejudice. The Court denied
      rehearing on September 27, 1973.*fn1

7. If dismissal

      McNeal or Judge Smith, defendants herein,
      plaintiff will be denied such access to the
      Illinois court as is available to the
      citizens of Illinois allegedly in violation
      of the privileges and immunities clause of
      the Constitution of the United States
      (Article IV, Section 2) and denied the equal
      protection of the laws guaranteed by Section
      1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United
      States Constitution. If the motion to dismiss
      is granted, plaintiff will allegedly be
      denied the due process of law guaranteed by
      Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the
      Constitution of the United States in that:
      a. plaintiff has never had an adversary
      hearing on the question of her good faith in
      suing the individual defendants or on the
      ...

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