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PEMPEK v. EDGAR

June 6, 1984

RAYMOND PEMPEK, ET AL., ETC., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
JIM EDGAR, SECRETARY OF STATE OF ILLINOIS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Raymond Pempek (Pempek) and Gary Sternberg (Sternberg) brought this section 1983 action against the City of Chicago (the City) and Jim Edgar, the Illinois Secretary of State (Edgar or the Secretary). The complaint alleges that the City violated Pempek's constitutional rights in connection with his arrest for twenty delinquent parking tickets and that Edgar deprived him of his constitutional rights when Edgar suspended his driver's license. Sternberg charges that the suspension of his driver's license deprived him of his constitutional rights. Both the City and Edgar move to dismiss.

I. Factual Background

On August 26, 1983, Pempek "was arrested pursuant to [a] warrant issued by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, charging the Plaintiff with twenty (20) outstanding municipal automobile parking violation notices against him." Amended Complaint at ¶ 1. The same day, he paid $400.00 as a bail bond. The clerk issued a bail order demanding Pempek's appearance on October 6, 1983 at 321 North LaSalle Street, Room 103, Chicago, Illinois. On that date, Pempek "appeared before a State Court Judge . . . as required by his bail bond conditions, and demanded a trial." Id. at ¶ 4. The City was not ready, and the judge granted a continuance over Pempek's objection.

On October 5, 1983, Pempek received notice that Edgar had suspended his license under Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 95 1/2;, § 6-306.1 (section 6-306.1). Edgar also suspended Sternberg's license under this provision.

Section 6-306.1 requires Edgar to suspend anyone's license when Edgar receives notice that the person has an outstanding warrant against him. The suspension occurs without a hearing. Section 6-306.1(a). The Secretary cannot reinstate the license until Edgar receives notice that the licensee has satisfied the warrant. Id. Before the Secretary suspends the license, however, he must also receive notice that the court clerk mailed the licensee notice of the warrant at his last known address sixty days before the suspension. Id. The Secretary must also know the licensee's full name, date of birth, sex, and driver's license number as well as the registration number of the motor vehicle registered to the alleged violator. Id.

Plaintiffs claim that these actions by Edgar and the City deprived them of due process under the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution and that the statute and the City's actions are a bill of attainder prohibited by article I of the Constitution. The complaint seeks injunctive and declaratory relief as well as attorneys' fees, costs, and the money "collected by the City of Chicago pursuant to the authority of Illinois." Amended Complaint at 5. Both the City and Edgar move to dismiss on various grounds.

II. Discussion

On a motion to dismiss, the court must "take [the plaintiffs'] allegations to be true, and view them, together with reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom, in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Powe v. City of Chicago, 664 F.2d 639, 642 (7th Cir. 1981). "[A] complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 102, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957). The complaint, however, must "contain either direct allegations on every material point necessary to sustain a recovery on any legal theory, even though it may not be the theory suggested or intended by the pleader, or contain allegations from which an inference fairly may be drawn that evidence on these material points will be introduced at trial." Sutliff, Inc. v. Donovan Companies, 727 F.2d 648, 654 (7th Cir. 1984).

  A. Constitutionality of Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 95 1/2;, §
     6-306.1

Section 6-306.1 provides in relevant part:

  Failure to pay fines for traffic and parking violations. (a)
  The Secretary of State, upon receipt of a form prescribed by
  him that there is a warrant outstanding in any one county in
  Illinois for the arrest of a violator for ten or more parking
  violations . . . shall immediately suspend the drivers license
  of said violator without a hearing, and shall not remove such
  suspension, nor issue any license or permit to said violator
  until notified by the Clerk of the Court in said county that
  the violator has appeared and satisfied the outstanding warrant
  against him. (b) The form prescribed by the Secretary shall be
  certified by the Clerk of the Court and shall contain the
  following information:
    (1) That the violator against whom the warrant is outstanding
  has been notified of said warrant by mailing it to his last
  known address at least 60 days prior to certification to the
  Secretary of State by the Clerk.
    (2) The full name, date of birth, sex, and drivers license
  number of the violator, and in the case of parking violations
  the registration number of the motor vehicle registered to
  the violator.

Plaintiffs interpret this section to prohibit the Secretary from ever holding a hearing regarding a suspension. Edgar notes that after a suspension, a driver may apply under Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 95 1/2;, ΒΆΒΆ 2-118(a) and 2-118(e) for an administrative hearing subject to ...


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