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WEBER v. VILLAGE OF HANOVER PARK

June 10, 1991

ROBERT M. WEBER, and JOHN W. WEBER, Plaintiffs,
v.
VILLAGE OF HANOVER PARK, a Municipal Corporation, COMMANDER GARY ALTERGOT, individually, THOMAS P. CHESTERS, individually, OTHER UNKNOWN OFFICERS, and OTHER UNKNOWN POLICE CHIEFS, Defendants


Ilana Diamond Rovner, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROVNER

ILANA DIAMOND ROVNER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 I. INTRODUCTION

 Plaintiffs Robert M. Weber ("Robert") and John W. Weber ("John") bring this action against defendants Village of Hanover Park (the "Village"), Commander Gary Altergot ("Altergot"), Thomas P. Chesters ("Chesters"), and other unknown officers and police chiefs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the common law of Illinois. Plaintiffs' fifteen-count complaint alleges a variety of claims against various of the defendants, all relating to an incident involving plaintiffs and defendant Chesters, a police officer for the Village. The majority of plaintiffs' claims are brought against Chesters pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs, however, also allege Section 1983 claims against the Village and Altergot for their alleged failure to properly train Chesters and the other unknown police officers purportedly involved in the incident. The Village, Altergot and Chesters have moved to dismiss certain counts of plaintiffs' complaint. For the reasons stated below, the motion of the Village to dismiss Counts VIII and XIV of plaintiffs' complaint will be granted, and those counts will be dismissed without prejudice. Altergot's motion to dismiss Counts IX and XV is granted, and those counts will be dismissed with prejudice. However, defendant Chester's motion to dismiss Counts III, IV, and VI will be denied.

 II. FACTS

 In considering the current motions to dismiss, the Court accepts as true the factual allegations of plaintiffs' complaint. *fn1" On April 20, 1989, on or about 4:45 p.m., Robert was operating his 1100 Yamaha motorcycle on Maple Street in Hanover Park, Illinois. John was a passenger on Robert's motorcycle. Robert was operating the motorcycle in accordance with the laws and/or ordinances of the Village and the State of Illinois. Defendant Chesters, who was employed as a full-time police officer by the Village, stopped plaintiffs' motorcycle and proceeded to arrest Robert for disorderly conduct. Chesters had neither probable cause nor a valid reason to stop or to arrest Robert. While making the arrest, Chesters hit Robert in the groin with a flashlight, kicked him in the ankles, and repeatedly pushed, shoved, and threatened to beat him. As a result, Robert sustained severe and permanent damage to his groin, ankles, and wrists. Other unknown police officers purportedly were present during this incident and watched these events.

 Criminal charges for disorderly conduct were brought against Robert. When the case was called for a hearing in the Criminal Court Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County on May 11, 1989, Robert moved to dismiss the charges against him. The prosecutor responded by pleading nolle prosequi, meaning that the State no longer would prosecute its case against Robert. Thus, the case subsequently was stricken from the court calendar. The criminal charges against Robert were never reinstated.

 In conjunction with the arrest of Robert, John Weber also was detained and searched by defendant Chesters. Chesters kicked John in the ankles and repeatedly pushed, shoved, and threatened to beat him. As a result, John also sustained severe and permanent damage to his ankles and legs. During the incident, John was not free to leave, and he effectively was under arrest. Chesters had neither probable cause nor a valid reason to stop or detain John.

 Counts I through IX of plaintiffs' complaint are brought by Robert. Counts I through IV are brought against Chesters pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for, respectively, false arrest, excessive force, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. In Count V, Robert alleges that defendant Chesters is liable under Illinois law for assault and battery. Count VI alleges that Chesters defamed Robert by making the above-described telephone call to the Blockbuster Video store. Count VII is brought against other unknown police officers pursuant to Section 1983, also alleging false arrest, excessive force, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. That count alleges that the other unknown police officers failed to intervene on plaintiffs' behalf to prevent the injuries inflicted by Chesters. In Count VIII, Robert alleges that the Village also is liable pursuant to Section 1983 for failing to properly train its police officers. Count IX makes similar charges against Altergot and other unknown police chiefs.

 Counts X through XV are brought by John. Counts X and XI are brought against Chesters pursuant to Section 1983, alleging false arrest and excessive force. Count XII is a state law claim against Chesters for assault and battery. Count XIII mirrors John's other Section 1983 claims but is brought against other unknown police officers who purportedly failed to intervene. Counts XIV and XV allege Section 1983 claims against the Village, Altergot, and other unknown police chiefs. These claims against the municipality and certain supervisory authorities are identical to Robert's claims against those defendants.

 Chesters has moved to dismiss Counts III, IV, and VI of plaintiffs' complaint for failure to state a claim. The Village and Altergot, moreover, have moved to dismiss all claims brought against them. The Court addresses each of the motions in turn.

 III. ANALYSIS

 On a motion to dismiss, the Court must assume the truth of all well-pleaded facts in plaintiffs' complaint and view them in the light most favorable to plaintiffs. See Ed Miniat, Inc. v. Globe Life Ins. Group, Inc., 805 F.2d 732, 733 (7th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 482 U.S. 915, 107 S. Ct. 3188, 96 L. Ed. 2d 676 (1987). Dismissal is improper "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." See Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-6, 78 S. Ct. 99, 102, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1957). However, conclusory allegations that lack an underlying factual basis are insufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. Briscoe v. LaHue, 663 F.2d 713, 723 (7th Cir. 1981), aff'd, 460 U.S. 325, 103 S. Ct. 1108, 75 L. Ed. 2d 96 (1983).

 A. SECTION 1983 CLAIMS AGAINST ...


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