The opinion of the court was delivered by: Moran, Senior District Judge.
M.C. is 14 years old and a resident of Chicago, Illinois. On
April 5, 1999, he was arrested at a Chicago public school,
charged with criminal trespass to land, and detained in custody
at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center of Cook County, of
which defendant Jesse Doyle serves as superintendent. Because the
state sought to hold M.C. in custody until his delinquency
hearing, the young suspect was brought before the juvenile court
the following day for a detention hearing pursuant to 705 ILCS
Under Illinois law a juvenile court may order a minor detained
pending his or her delinquency hearing if the state establishes
(a) probable cause to believe the minor is delinquent*fn1 and
(b) an immediate and urgent necessity for the protection of the
minor or other person or property. See 705 ILCS
405/5-501(2).*fn2 Under the amendments imposed by the Juvenile
Justice Reform Act of 1998 (the "JJRA"), the juvenile court may
consider, inter alia, "evidence by way of proffer based upon
reliable information offered by the State or the minor." Id.;
see also 405/5-501. According to plaintiff's complaint, once
these amendments went into effect on January 1, 1999, the
juvenile court has repeatedly found probable cause of delinquency
based solely upon a state's attorney's unsworn proffer of
Plaintiff, as next friend of M.C., complains that this practice
(and the statute which permits it) violates the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.*fn4 She
brings this class action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking
declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of herself and those
similarly situated.*fn5 Defendants have moved to dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6), arguing, inter alia, that the court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction pursuant to either the Younger abstention
doctrine*fn6 or the Rooker-Feldman*fn7 doctrine, that
plaintiff lacks standing to seek injunctive relief with respect
to future detention hearings to which he is not a party, and
that, in any case, the statute and practice are constitutional.
Finally, defendants argue that Superintendent Doyle should be
dismissed from the action because he is not responsible for
enforcing Section 5-501.
In ruling on a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, the court must accept as true each of the
allegations in the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences
in the plaintiff's favor. Ezekiel v. Michel, 66 F.3d 894, 897
(7th Cir. 1995). The motion should not be granted unless it
appears that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts entitling
him or her to the relief sought in the complaint. Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957).
Additionally, in ruling on a challenge to a federal court's
subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1),*fn8
courts are authorized to consider materials outside the pleadings
without converting the motion into one for summary judgment.
English v. Cowell, 10
856 F.3d 434, 437 (7th Cir. 1993); Ezekiel, 66 F.3d at 897.
Defendants first argue that the Younger abstention doctrine
bars the relief which plaintiff requests and prohibits the
exercise of federal jurisdiction in this matter. They argue that
M.C. may not use the federal court to litigate his defenses in a
pending state matter, and point to Nelson v. Murphy,
44 F.3d 497 (7th Cir. 1995), in which the court rejected an attempt by
dissatisfied state court litigants (mental health patients
challenging restricted treatment plans) to move adjudication of
their case to federal court.
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 91 S.Ct. 746, 27 L.Ed.2d 669
(1971), firmly established the principle that federal courts must
not interfere with pending state criminal (and civil
adjudicatory) proceedings absent extraordinary circumstances.
Younger serves as a cautionary reminder to federal courts that
while we are "anxious . . . to vindicate and protect federal
rights and federal interests, . . . [we must] endeavor to do so
in ways that will not unduly interfere with the legitimate
activities of the States." Id. at 44, 91 S.Ct. 746. Under the
Younger doctrine abstention is required if (1) there are
pending state judicial proceedings; (2) the state proceedings
implicate important state interests; and (3) the state
proceedings provide an adequate opportunity to raise federal
questions. Trust & Investment Advisers, Inc. v. Hogsett,
43 F.3d 290, 295 (7th Cir. 1994), citing Middlesex County Ethics
Committee v. Garden State Bar Association, 457 U.S. 423, 432,
102 S.Ct. 2515, 73 L.Ed.2d 116 (1982). When these criteria are
met, "a district court must dismiss the federal action . . .
[and] there is no discretion to grant injunctive relief."
Juidice v. Vail, 430 U.S. 327, 337, 97 S.Ct. 1211, 51 L.Ed.2d
376 (1977). Certainly, juvenile detention proceedings implicate
important state interests, among them the protection of the best
interests of the minor and the safeguarding of the community, and
plaintiff does not argue otherwise. She argues instead that
neither the first or third prerequisites for Younger abstention
are present. We agree.
In her responsive brief plaintiff clarifies that M.C.'s
detention hearing has already concluded: one day after the
federal complaint was filed M.C. entered into a plea agreement
and was found delinquent (plf. response at 9 & n. 8; cplt. ¶ 21).
Consequently, we need not abstain to avoid interfering with
ongoing state proceedings. This case is thus distinguishable from
Liedel v. Juvenile Court of Madison County, Alabama,
891 F.2d 1542 (11th Cir. 1990), cited by defendants, in which plaintiffs
sought to enjoin a state juvenile court from issuing any further
orders against them.
Alternatively, defendants argue that if M.C.'s juvenile court
trial has concluded and a final judgment has been entered, the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine*fn9 operates to bar this court from
reviewing the juvenile court's acceptance of the state's proffer
of facts during M.C.'s detention hearing. This argument, too, is
on these facts. As the Seventh Circuit recently explained, the
pivotal inquiry under Rooker-Feldman is whether the federal
plaintiff seeks to set aside a state court judgment or whether he
is, in fact, presenting an independent claim. Long v. Shorebank
Development Corp., 182 F.3d 548 (7th Cir. 1999). Plaintiff does
not seek to relitigate M.C.'s guilty plea or any necessary
component of the state judgment. In other words, plaintiff is not
attempting to "appeal" the state case through the back door of
the federal courts. Plaintiff instead challenges the pre-trial
detention procedures as an independent violation of M.C.'s due
process rights. Neither doctrine, Rooker-Feldman or Younger,
bars federal jurisdiction over plaintiff's individual claim.
But once plaintiff stipulates that the state case has
concluded, we must consider whether plaintiff has standing to
seek declaratory and injunctive relief in which M.C. has no
"personal stake." The case or controversy requirement imposed by
Article III, § 2, of the Constitution "`subsists through all
stages of federal judicial proceedings, trial and appellate. . .
. The parties must continue to have a `personal stake in the
outcome' of the lawsuit.'" Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7, 118
S.Ct. 978, 140 L.Ed.2d 43 (1998), quoting Lewis v. Continental
Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477-478, 110 S.Ct. 1249, 108 L.Ed.2d
400 (1990). "This means that, throughout the litigation, the
plaintiff `must have suffered, or be threatened with, an ...