provides a sufficient basis to conclude that he agreed to deprive Brown of his constitutional rights. We disagree. First, that Altman and O'Connor contacted Krumke regarding a violation of the terms of Brown's probation in no way indicates voluntary participation in a conspiracy to deprive Brown of his constitutional rights. Indeed, this type of communication between state law enforcement officers and the United States Probation Office is not only commendable, but essential to the supervision of probationers. Second, Krumke's conduct of reporting Brown's arrest to this court is likewise nonprobative of Krumke's agreement to participate in a conspiracy. To the contrary, Krumke was mandated by law to notify the sentencing court of Brown's transgression. See 18 U.S.C. § 3603(2) (Supp. 1991). Accordingly, we dismiss all claims against defendant Ronald Krumke.
Cutting through the various conclusory statements of retaliation and fabrication, the factual allegations against Altman and O'Connor can be summarized as follows: Altman and O'Connor directed Perkins and Lufti to break into Brown's apartment after his arrest on June 26, 1990, for the ultimate purpose of stealing plaintiff's property. Presumably, the officers' desire to pilfer is attributable to their initial opportunity to survey the premises during the original search conducted under the authority of a valid warrant. The fundamental question before this court is whether this alleged behavior could possibly support a deprivation of constitutional magnitude.
Of the various constitutional amendments haphazardly referenced in Brown's amended complaint, the Fourth Amendment as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment provides the standards against which Altman and O'Connor's action must be appraised. Clearly, the intrusion into Brown's apartment constitutes a search for Fourth Amendment purposes. There can be no question that Brown possesses a reasonable expectation of privacy in his home. As stated in Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 589-90, 100 S. Ct. 1371, 1381-82, 63 L. Ed. 2d 639 (1980):
The Fourth Amendment protects the individual's privacy in a variety of settings. In none is the zone of privacy more clearly defined than when bounded by the unambiguous physical dimensions of an individual's home--a zone that finds its roots in clear and specific constitutional terms: "The right of the people to be secure in their . . . houses . . . shall not be violated."
See also Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 511, 81 S. Ct. 679, 683, 5 L. Ed. 2d 734 (1961) ("At the very core [of the Fourth Amendment] stands the right of a man to retreat into his home and there be free from unreasonable government intrusion."). Moreover, "it is a 'basic principle of Fourth Amendment law' that searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable." Payton, 445 U.S. at 586, 100 S. Ct. at 1380. The invasions as alleged in Brown's amended complaint were not only warrantless, but were for the exclusive purpose of perpetrating a crime (i.e., theft). To the extent that Brown can prove these allegations, he most certainly would be entitled to relief under the Fourteenth Amendment.
The fact that Altman and O'Connor were not the actual parties who invaded Brown's apartment does not relieve them of personal liability for such a violation. While it is well settled that an individual can be held liable under § 1983 only if "he caused or participated in an alleged constitutional deprivation " see Rascon v. Hardiman, 803 F.2d 269, 273 (7th Cir. 1986) (quoting Wolf-Lillie v. Sonquist, 699 F.2d 864, 869 (7th Cir. 1983)), an official's direct participation need not be alleged. As the court stated in Smith v. Rowe, 761 F.2d 360, 369 (7th Cir. 1985): "An official satisfies the personal responsibility requirement of section 1983 if she acts or fails to act with deliberate or reckless disregard of plaintiff's constitutional rights, or if the conduct causing the constitutional deprivation occurs at her direction or with her knowledge and consent." In the instant case, Brown has pleaded facts which, if true, are sufficient to establish that the alleged deprivation occurred at Altman and O'Connor's direction, or at the very least with their knowledge and consent. See First Amended Complaint at 5a-b, para. 12 ("O'Connor then contacted the building owner and stated: 'Now that Brown (plaintiff) is charged with new crimes, for which he can not win, I will have Perkins and Lutfi stop breaking in and victimizing you."); id. at 5a, para. 8 (To cover up the removal of Brown's property, "Perkins and Lutfi arrived, accompanied by six (6) men, wearing Cook County Sheriffs' jackets, having orders and permission from Altman and O'Connor, to remove what items they cared to."); id. at 5a, para. 5 ("Plaintiff contends that these break-ins were perpetrated with the knowledge of Altman and O'Connor.").
Brown's effort, however, to hold Altman and O'Connor liable in their official capacities is to no avail. A suit against a state officer in his official capacity is essentially an action against the state entity by which the officer is employed. Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166, 105 S. Ct. 3099, 3105, 87 L. Ed. 2d 114 (1985); Brandon v. Holt, 469 U.S. 464, 471, 105 S. Ct. 873, 877, 83 L. Ed. 2d 878 (1985); Burmeister v. Stone, 751 F. Supp. 759, 760 (N.D. Ill. 1990). Government entities, such as Cook County, cannot be held liable unless an official policy or custom caused the constitutional violation asserted in the complaint. Monell v. Department of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691, 98 S. Ct. 2018, 2036, 56 L. Ed. 2d 611 (1978); Thompson v. Duke, 882 F.2d 1180, 1187 (7th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 495 U.S. 929, 110 S. Ct. 2167, 109 L. Ed. 2d 496 (1990). Brown makes no claim of an official policy or custom. Nor has he attempted to establish "a pattern of conduct or a series of acts violative of constitutional rights . . . [that might give rise to] an inference of municipal policy." Powe v. City of Chicago, 664 F.2d 639, 651 (7th Cir. 1981); see also Strauss v. City of Chicago, 760 F.2d 765, 767 (7th Cir. 1985). Accordingly, we dismiss all claims against Altman and O'Connor in their official capacity.
For the reasons as set forth above, we grant Krumke's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Altman and O'Connor's motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part. Remaining in this action is Brown's unlawful search and seizure claims against Altman and O'Connor in their individual capacities. It is so ordered.
MARVIN E. ASPEN
United States District Judge