Moreover, no reasonable person would believe that the nurse and doctor were government agents, and that he was being coerced to answer the questions of the nurse and doctor and was not free to end his conversations with them. In fact, Copeland's complaint makes clear that he voluntarily answered the nurse's questions and expressly agreed to answer the doctor's questions.
Therefore, because Copeland was never in custody of the hospital, the hospital staff members' questioning of Copeland was not a "custodial interrogation" that implicated constitutional rights.
The hospital's and its staff members' actions were not taken under color of law and did not constitute the arrest, interrogation, or jailing of Copeland. Accordingly, Copeland has no claim against Northwestern under section 1983, and Count Four is dismissed as to Northwestern. Furthermore, because the allegations of Copeland's complaint preclude a section 1983 claim against Northwestern, the dismissal is with prejudice.
b. The City
Copeland claims that the City is liable to him under section 1983 because it deliberately and consciously failed to train its police officers, including the two police officer defendants, and by extension, Northwestern and its nurse and physicians, in making a warrantless arrest on behalf of the United States.
The court assumes that Copeland is attempting to allege that the City maintained a policy of not training its officers in making warrantless arrests.
A local government is liable under section 1983 only where the execution of an official government policy or custom causes the alleged constitutional injury. Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 694, 98 S. Ct. 2018, 2037-38, 56 L. Ed. 2d 611 (1978); see also Baxter by Baxter v. Vigo County School Corp., 26 F.3d 728, 734 (7th Cir. 1994). A municipality may maintain such a policy expressly; through custom or usage; or through the acts of a person with final policy-making authority. See Baxter, 26 F.3d at 734-35. Moreover, the enforcement of the government's policy must be the "moving force" behind the alleged constitutional violation. Cornfield by Lewis v. Consolidated High School Dist. No. 230, 991 F.2d 1316, 1324 (7th Cir. 1993) (citing City of Oklahoma City v. Tuttle, 471 U.S. 808, 823, 105 S. Ct. 2427, 2436, 85 L. Ed. 2d 791 (1985) (plurality opinion)).
It appears that Copeland is attempting to allege that the City maintains a de facto policy through custom or usage regarding warrantless arrests. However, his claim consists solely of conclusory, boilerplate assertions of such a policy, unsupported by any factual allegations.
"Claims based wholly on conclusory allegations of a de facto municipal policy, constitute one of the most prevalent forms of abuse in § 1983 actions." Boyd v. Venticinque, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13289, No. 93 C 6108, 1994 WL 516747, * 2 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 19, 1994) (citing Rodgers v. Lincoln Towing Service, Inc., 596 F. Supp. 13, 20 (N.D. Ill. 1984), aff'd, 771 F.2d 194 (7th Cir. 1985)). A section 1983 claim based on a policy or practice must contain factual allegations that indicate a specific, existing policy or practice that caused the deprivations alleged in the complaint. Bennett v. Holman, 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15615, No. 95 C 2472, 1995 WL 616817, * 2 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 17, 1995) (citing McTigue v. City of Chicago, 60 F.3d 381, 382-83 (7th Cir. 1995) (citing Baxter, 26 F.3d at 736)).
Copeland's policy claim amounts to a boilerplate assertion that the City has a policy of failing to train its officers in the ways of conducting lawful arrests. Copeland provides no details of this alleged policy to support his claim in any way. For this reason, he fails to state a claim against the City under section 1983 for failure to train. See id. (plaintiff "must point to a specific custom or policy ... and describe how it operated in this instance to deprive him of his civil rights").
As the Seventh Circuit has noted,
"boilerplate allegations of a municipal policy, entirely lacking in any factual support that a [municipal] policy does exist, are insufficient .... The absence of any facts at all to support plaintiff's claim renders the allegations mere legal conclusions of section 1983 liability devoid of any well-pleaded facts."
McTigue, 60 F.3d at 382-83 (quoting Baxter, 26 F.3d at 736 (citations omitted)). In the "absence of any facts at all to support" Copeland's claim that the City maintained a policy of failing to train its police officers in the ways of making lawful arrests, Copeland's allegations are "mere legal conclusions of section 1983 liability devoid of any well-pleaded facts." Id.
Consequently, Copeland has not stated a section 1983 claim against the City based on its alleged failure to train its police officers, and Count Four is dismissed against the City. However, since Copeland may be able to cure the defects in Count Four as to the City, the dismissal is without prejudice.
6. Count Five -- Section 1986
Section 1986 imposes civil liability on any person who had knowledge of a section 1985 conspiracy and power to prevent or aid in preventing the conspiracy but neglected or refused to do so. 42 U.S.C. § 1986.
In Count Five, Copeland alleges that the City and its two police officers, through communication with Harbaugh and Pena, had knowledge of the various section 1985 conspiracies alleged by Copeland and had power to prevent the overt acts constituting the bases of the conspiracies, and neglected or refused to prevent the section 1985 conspiracies.
A section 1986 claim is strictly derivative of a section 1985 claim; if no section 1985 claim exists, no section 1986 claim exists. See D'Amato v. Wisconsin Gas Co., 760 F.2d 1474, 1485 n.16 (7th Cir. 1985) (citing Williams v. St. Joseph Hosp., 629 F.2d 448, 452 (7th Cir. 1980); Tomkins v. Village of Tinley Park, 566 F. Supp. 70, 80 (N.D. Ill. 1983)). In this case, the court already has found that Copeland has failed to state claims under section 1985 against defendants. Thus, he has no claim under section 1986 against defendants.
More important, though, section 1986 has a one-year statute of limitations. See 42 U.S.C. § 1986. Copeland filed his complaint two years after the alleged wrongs occurred. Thus, his section 1986 claim was filed long after the limitation period passed. Accordingly, while none of the defendants raised the issue, the court finds that Copeland's section 1986 claim must be dismissed with prejudice as it was filed outside of the applicable limitation period.
7. Count Six -- Medical malpractice
In Count Six, Copeland brings a medical malpractice claim against Northwestern, two nurses, and two physicians. Copeland alleges that those defendants caused him psychological injury when they lied to him that they were admitting him to the hospital for treatment but instead arrested him and did not provide the treatment that he had requested. Copeland also alleges that those defendants violated his privacy rights by disclosing privileged psychotherapist-patient communications to the Chicago Police Department and/or United States government, thereby causing him psychological injury.
Copeland's medical malpractice is governed by Illinois law. As an initial matter, the court notes that Copeland has failed to plead any of the elements of a cause of action for medical malpractice in Illinois. See Carl Sandburg Village Condominium Ass'n No. 1 v. First Condominium Dev. Co., 758 F.2d 203, 207 (7th Cir. 1985) ("a complaint must state either direct or inferential allegations concerning all of the material elements necessary for recovery under the relevant legal theory"). For this reason, Count Six fails to state a medical malpractice claim.
Furthermore, even if Copeland properly had alleged a medical malpractice claim, he has failed to comply with the statutory requirements for filing a medical malpractice action. With his complaint, Copeland was required to file an affidavit of merit and a health care professional's report attesting that in his or her opinion, a "reasonable and meritorious cause" for filing the action exists. 735 ILCS 5/2-622(a). Failure to file the documents required by section 2-622 is cause for dismissal under 735 ILCS 5/2-619. 735 ILCS 5/2-622(g).
Copeland has failed to submit the documents required by 735 ILCS 5/2-622. However, he has moved to subpoena the records of two psychiatrists that Copeland saw while incarcerated at the MCC. Copeland claims that he saw these psychiatrists for the purpose of having either or both supply the documents required by 735 ILCS 5/2-622. Copeland also has submitted a psychiatric evaluation by Dr. Philip Pan, who evaluated Copeland's mental state at the time of his crime, presumably for Copeland's defense attorney in his criminal prosecution. Copeland asks the court to allow those records to substitute for the required affidavit.
These records do not constitute the affidavit or report required by 735 ILCS 5/2-622. Dr. Pan's evaluation does not even concern Copeland's medical malpractice claim. Therefore, the court will not allow those records to substitute for the required affidavit.
Accordingly, Count Six is dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim.
Copeland's complaint is replete with conclusory statements regarding defendants' alleged wrongs, but utterly lacking the factual allegations necessary to support Copeland's conclusions. Accordingly, the complaint is dismissed in its entirety for failure to state any claims upon which the court can grant relief. See FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6). Because Count Four against Northwestern and Count Five against all defendants cannot be cured by repleading, Count Four is dismissed with prejudice as to Northwestern and Count Five is dismissed with prejudice as to all defendants. Because the remaining counts suffer from a lack of allegations, rather than from affirmative allegations that defeat the claims, it is conceivable that Copeland can cure the defects by repleading. Therefore, those counts are dismissed without prejudice. The court will allow Copeland an opportunity to amend his complaint to state valid legal claims, as well as to submit the required documents with his medical malpractice claim.
Copeland is given 10 days from the date of this order to amend his complaint in accordance with this order. If he fails to do so, his cause of action will be dismissed with prejudice.
The court strikes Copeland's motions for leave to request initial disclosures, production of documents, and admissions of facts, and for an enlargement of time; and denies Copeland's motions for issuance of a subpoena, summary judgment against Pena, production of transcripts, and substitution of parties.
On its own motion, the court dismisses Copeland's complaint against the unknown defendants, and dismisses with prejudice the unknown defendants as party defendants.
The court grants defendants' motions to dismiss Copeland's complaint, and dismisses Count Four against Northwestern and Count Five against all defendants with prejudice, and the remaining counts of the complaint without prejudice, and with leave to amend, as set forth in this opinion.
Date: MAY 30 1997
JAMES H. ALESIA
United States District Judge