made request for meeting rooms to "upper management" of CHA, located in downtown Chicago. This request was to no avail. Ms. Thomas further claims that, as time passed, the CHA became more hostile towards her activities, attempting to restrain Ms. Thomas from using the "playlot" at Cabrini-Green for children's social programs and fundraising benefits.
Further, Ms. Thomas alleges the CHA threatened group members with eviction if they continued their activities on federal property and that the CHA told Ms. Thomas her rent would be raised because she was making unreported income through fundraising benefits. Additionally, Ms. Thomas claims she organized a Cabrini-Green security "patrol" group, but that the CHA would not give her office space or equipment, although it had done so for other patrol groups.
As I noted in a previous opinion concerning Ms. Thomas' claims, the First Amendment protects individuals right to speak freely and to congregate in groups to further lawful interests. Smith v. Arkansas State Highway Employees, Local 315, 441 U.S. 463, 464-66, 60 L. Ed. 2d 360, 99 S. Ct. 1826 (1979). While the state may enforce some content-neutral restrictions on time, place, and manner, it may not do so unreasonably. Perry Educ. Ass'n v. Perry Local Educ. Ass'n, 460 U.S. 37, 45-46, 74 L. Ed. 2d 794, 103 S. Ct. 948 (1983). Ms. Thomas argues the CHA is unreasonably restricting her right to use Cabrini-Green common rooms and other areas. She also claims these restrictions are being applied inequitably against her as compared to others. If these allegations are true, Ms. Thomas may be entitled to relief. Accordingly, this claim will not be dismissed.
The CHA moves, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e), for a more definite statement of the First Amendment claim regarding the incidents that occurred, who was involved, and what was said. I agree that the complaint is very vague concerning who was involved in the events Ms. Thomas describes and who said what. Ms. Thomas simply states she talked to Cabrini "managers," that Cabrini-Green "managers" threatened her, and that Cabrini-Green "management" was hostile towards her. Without more, the CHA cannot meaningfully reply to Ms. Thomas' complaint. The motion for a more definite statement is, therefore, granted.
In Count V Ms. Thomas appears to reallege her claim that she has been the victim of an attempted fraudulent eviction by CHA. As noted earlier, Ms. Thomas was never evicted, her lease never terminated, and she did not lose any of her leasehold rights. To the extent Ms. Thomas asserts a due process claim or violation of Housing Act regulations, it is dismissed. Thomas, 919 F. Supp. at 1167-68; Herring v. Chicago Hous. Auth., 850 F. Supp. 694 (N.D. Ill. 1994).
Ms. Thomas alleges in Count VI that the CHA is demolishing Cabrini-Green buildings in violation of federal law. The building Ms. Thomas resides in is not being demolished. As I noted in a previous opinion involving Ms. Thomas, she does not have standing to bring this claim. Thomas, 919 F. Supp. at 1165-66. She has suffered no injury and she may not bring this suit on behalf of those people who reside in the buildings to be demolished.
Mr. Thomas also alleges in Count VI a conspiracy between HUD and the CHA to overcharge rent to tenants in Cabrini-Green. Ms. Thomas believes Cabrini-Green residents should be charged ten percent of their income for rent instead of thirty percent. As was discussed in Count I, the CHA may legally charge Ms. Thomas and others thirty percent of adjusted gross income for rent. Accordingly, this claim is dismissed.
Ms. Thomas requests $ 5,000,000.00 in punitive damages in Count IV of her complaint. The CHA requests the prayer for punitive damages be stricken. The CHA is a municipal entity. 310 ILCS 10/1 et seq. Municipal entities are not liable for punitive damages. City of Newport v. Fact Concerts, Inc., 453 U.S. 247, 267, 69 L. Ed. 2d 616, 101 S. Ct. 2748 (1981). Additionally, under the Illinois "Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act," local government entities are not liable for punitive damages. 745 ILCS 10/2-102. Accordingly, Ms. Thomas' request for punitive damages in Count IV is stricken.
Ms. Thomas's complaint alleges virtually identical claims as those before this court in Ms. Thomas' previous case. For the reasons stated above, Counts I, II, III, V, and VI are dismissed with prejudice. The CHA's motion to strike punitive damages is granted as is its motion for a more definite statement on Count IV. Ms. Thomas has 45 days from the filing of this order to provide a statement explaining, to the extent she knows, who the managers were that were involved, approximate dates of the incidents, and what was said. If she fails to do so, Count IV will be dismissed with prejudice.
Elaine E. Bucklo
United States District Judge
Dated: October 9, 1997