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JONES v. TAKAKI

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION


September 20, 1993

KEITH JONES, KIMBERLY JONES, MARCY JONES and VOTIS WILBORN, on their behalf and on behalf of all similarly situated persons, Plaintiffs,
v.
ROSS TAKAKI, THREE UNKNOWN POLICE OFFICERS, COOK COUNTY and JACK O'MALLEY, State's Attorney of Cook County, Defendants.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARVIN E. ASPEN

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

 MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge:

 Plaintiffs Keith Jones, Kimberly Jones, Marcy Jones and Votis Wilborn bring this five-count civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 against Officer Ross Takaki, three unknown police officers, the County of Cook and the State's Attorney of Cook County, Jack O'Malley. This court previously dismissed Counts I-IV of plaintiffs' complaint, leaving only Marcy Jones and Votis Wilborn as plaintiffs. On September 14, 1993, counsel for plaintiffs acknowledged that defendants were entitled to summary judgment if the court were to apply the due process standard set forth in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 33 L. Ed. 2d 101, 92 S. Ct. 2182 (1972), as we have twice stated that we would. Accordingly, this court announced that it would grant summary judgment to defendants. Counsel for both parties, however, requested that we rule in the alternative on defendants' additional contention that defendants are entitled to summary judgment because plaintiffs lack standing. We now do so.

 I. Marcy Jones

 Defendants contend that Marcy Jones lacks standing because the Chicago Police Department authorized the release of her automobile to her on October 20, 1992, three days before plaintiffs filed their complaint. (Rule 12(m) Statement of Material Uncontested Facts P 5). We agree. The standing doctrine requires that Jones "allege personal injury fairly traceable to the defendant's allegedly unlawful conduct and likely to be redressed by the requested relief." Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 751, 82 L. Ed. 2d 556, 104 S. Ct. 3315 (1984). Jones is clearly unable to meet these requirements. Because her car was made available to her before the complaint was filed, a successful outcome for Jones in this litigation would have had no practical effect. At the time of filing, there was no longer an existing injury that could have been redressed. See County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44, 114 L. Ed. 2d 49, 111 S. Ct. 1661, 1667 (1991) (noting that arrested persons seeking probable cause determination had standing because they were still in custody at the time of filing, and were suffering a "current injury . . . at that moment capable of being redressed through injunctive relief"). *fn1"

 Furthermore, Jones is not entitled to seek prospective relief. Absent continuing injury, her standing to seek the injunction requested depends on whether she is likely to suffer from the same alleged constitutional violation in the future. City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 105, 75 L. Ed. 2d 675, 103 S. Ct. 1660 (1983). Jones has not alleged that such injury is likely to recur to her, likely because that possibility is highly speculative. Such speculation is insufficient to satisfy the standing requirement and establish the actual controversy necessary to allow Jones' suit to proceed. Id. Accordingly, we grant defendants motion for summary judgment against Jones.

 II. Votis Wilborn

 Defendants claim that Votis Wilborn also lacks standing, and that they are therefore entitled to summary judgment against him. We grant defendants' motion for summary judgment, not because Wilborn lacks standing, but because his claim is moot. *fn2" In County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44, 114 L. Ed. 2d 49, 111 S. Ct. 1661 (1991), the plaintiffs were persons who had been arrested without warrants and, at the time of filing the complaint, were being held in custody without having received probable cause determinations. In considering whether the plaintiffs' claims were justiciable, the Court noted that "the claims of the named plaintiffs have since been rendered moot; eventually, they either received probable cause determinations or were released." 111 S. Ct. 1661 *fn3" The same is true here; Wilborn prevailed in his forfeiture trial, and his car has been returned to him. (Rule 12(m) Statement of Material Uncontested Facts P 11). Wilborn's claim is therefore moot.

 Furthermore, Wilborn can not demonstrate that he falls into the exception to the mootness doctrine, harms "capable of repetition yet evading review." Southern Pacific Terminal Co. v. ICC, 219 U.S. 498, 515, 55 L. Ed. 310, 31 S. Ct. 279 (1911). Although other persons will undoubtedly have their property seized pursuant to the Illinois forfeiture law, the exception requires that there be a "reasonable expectation that the same complaining party would be subjected to the same action again." Weinstein v. Bradford, 423 U.S. 147, 149, 46 L. Ed. 2d 350, 96 S. Ct. 347 (1975) (emphasis added). Wilborn has not alleged, nor is it likely, that his car will again be seized and held subject to a forfeiture proceeding. Because Wilborn's claim is moot, defendants are entitled to summary judgment. *fn4"

 III. Conclusion

 For the reasons set forth above, we grant defendants' motion for summary judgment, and deny plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. It is so ordered.

 MARVIN E. ASPEN

 United States District Judge

 Dated 9/20/93


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