The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Defendants City of Chicago (the "City"), Richard Brzeczek
("Brzeczek"), M. Michel-borough ("Michelborough") and J.
Baldridge ("Baldridge") have moved to dismiss the Second
Amended Complaint (the "Complaint") of plaintiff Ramon
Magayanes ("Magayanes"). For the reasons stated in this
opinion and order, the motions of the City and Brzeczek are
granted and the motion of defendants Michelborough and
Baldridge is denied.
Magayanes alleges that on November 13, 1979 he was arrested
and beaten by Terrance and Sullivan, both Chicago police
officers, solely because of their belief that he was Iranian.
Michelborough and Baldridge, also Chicago police officers,
drove the squadrol in which Magayanes was transported to jail
following his arrest. Their alleged liability is predicated on
Magayanes' assertion that he was injured during the drive to
jail. Magayanes claims that injury was due to all four
officers' "failure to prevent plaintiff from being injured"
because of their belief he was Iranian (Complaint ¶ 32-33).
Brzeczek and the City are alleged to have "knowingly,
intentionally, maliciously with deliberate indifference and
gross negligence" (Complaint ¶ 24, 40, 52) "failed in their
duty to control, supervise, and in any way train their agents
in dealing with anti-Iranian sentiments by their agents or the
public" (Complaint ¶ 10, 27, 46), thereby directly and
proximately causing Magayanes' injuries.
Magayanes claims various constitutional violations, and
entitlement to relief against all defendants under the Civil
Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1985.
In its motion to dismiss, the City relies chiefly on
Magayanes' alleged failure to plead actions by the City
sufficient to meet the standard established in Monell v.
Department of Social Services of the City of New York,
436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). In Monell a class of
female employees sued under Section 1983, alleging that New
York's Board of Education and Department of Social Services
had, as a matter of official policy, compelled pregnant
employees to take unpaid leaves of absence before such leaves
were medically necessary. Overruling Monroe v. Pape,
365 U.S. 167, 81 S.Ct. 473, 5 L.Ed.2d 492 (1961), the Court held that a
municipality was a "person" subject to liability under Section
1983 for unconstitutional action that (436 U.S. at 690-91, 98
S.Ct. at 2035-36):
implements or executes a policy statement,
ordinance, regulation, or decision officially
adopted and promulgated by that body's officers
[or that constitutes a] governmental "custom"
even though such a custom has not received formal
approval through the body's official
decision-making channels. . . .*fn1
It is difficult to perceive how the actions allegedly giving
rise to the City's liability in this instance (failure to
control, supervise or train the City's agents to deal with
anti-Iranian sentiment) could be construed to constitute an
"officially adopted policy" or "governmental custom" thereby
satisfying the Monell requirement. Magayanes alleges a single
instance of individual officers' misconduct that, however
reprehensible if true, does not indicate systematic,
city-supported abuses of the nature to which Monell makes
Magayanes' principal arguments in opposition to the City's
motion are two-fold:
First, Magayanes contends that some language in Owen v. City
of Independence, 445 U.S. 622, 100 S.Ct. 1398, 63 L.Ed.2d 673
(1980), dictates that municipal liability is proper here
(Plaintiff's Brief at 2-3). However, Owen, which involved
direct actions by a City Council and a City Manager pursuant to
the Council's orders, did not suggest a modification of the
Monell standard. In fact, Owen expressly recognized the
respondeat superior limitation suggested by Monell; 100 S.Ct.
at 1418 n. 39.
Second, Magayanes claims that the Complaint's allegations
against the City reflect sufficient specificity and
probability of success that, under the general principles
governing the disposition of motions to dismiss, Magayanes is
entitled to "his day in court" (Plaintiff's Brief 3-4). This
Court concurs in the views expressed by Judge Grady in
Thedford v. Joyce, supra, dealing with circumstances quite
similar to those in this case. Judge Grady recognized that the
principle "that an action should not be dismissed on the
pleadings unless it appears that plaintiffs can `prove no set
of facts in support of their claim'" applies in the Section
1983 context. Nonetheless he held that allegations against a
municipality will not suffice if they are so conclusory as not
to support "any possible Monell-type claim against the City or
the head of the Police Department." Specifically, he noted that
plaintiffs must "explain the ...