The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kocoras, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on the motion of Defendant City
of Chicago (the "City") to dismiss portions of the complaint. For
the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted in part and
denied in part.
For purposes of the motion to dismiss, we must accept the
well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true. On three
occasions in November 1998, December 1998, and March 1999,
unknown officers of the Chicago Police Department (the "Police
Department") arrested Plaintiff Kenneth H. Gray on an outstanding
DUI warrant for a man by the name of Kenneth R. Gray. On each
occasion, Plaintiff informed the arresting officers that he was
not Kenneth R. Gray, that Kenneth R. Gray had a different middle
name than Plaintiff, and that Kenneth R. Gray had a different
driver's license number than Plaintiff. At the time of the March
1999 arrest, Plaintiff additionally showed the police officers a
court order stating that he was not the person wanted on Kenneth
R. Gray's warrant. Nevertheless, after each stop the officers
placed Plaintiff in custody, where he remained until an Illinois
court dismissed the charges against him.
Plaintiff alleges that on all three occasions, the officers
arrested him without probable cause and without an arrest warrant
or a search warrant in his name. He attributes his arrests to
practices and patterns of the City and/or the Police Department,
including: (1) inadequately correcting and keeping accurate
records of court-generated information regarding incorrectly
executed warrants for dissemination to its police officers in the
field; (2) failing to train police officers to fully identify
persons before arrest pursuant to warrants and to follow the Cook
County court's orders; and (3) inadequately supervising and
training police officers, including failure to require
appropriate in-service training and re-training of officers who
make arrests without probable cause, thereby failing to
discourage constitutional violations by police officers.
Plaintiff further alleges that on each occasion he was stopped
because of his race, African-American, pursuant to a practice and
pattern of the City and/or the Police Department.
On November 3, 2000, Plaintiff filed suit against the City, the
Police Department, and unnamed Chicago Police officers
individually and in their official capacities. The complaint
alleges violations of Plaintiff's rights under the Fourth, Fifth,
and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. It
also contains state law claims for malicious prosecution, false
arrest, and false imprisonment. The City has moved pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to dismiss
portions of Count I of the complaint, as well as the requests for
punitive damages and for attorneys fees on Counts II and III.
The purpose of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) is
to test the sufficiency of the complaint, not to decide the
merits of the case. Triad Associates, Inc. v. Chicago Housing
Authority, 892 F.2d 583, 586 (7th Cir. 1989). In ruling on a
motion to dismiss, the Court must construe the complaint's
allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and all
well-pleaded facts and allegations in the plaintiff's complaint
must be taken as true. Bontkowski v. First National Bank of
Cicero, 998 F.2d 459, 461 (7th Cir. 1993). The allegations of a
complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim
"unless it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no
set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to
relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2
L.Ed.2d 80 (1957); see also Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v.
California, 509 U.S. 764, 113 S.Ct. 2891, 125 L.Ed.2d 612
(1993); Sherwin Manor Nursing Center, Inc. v. McAuliffe,
37 F.3d 1216, 1219 (7th Cir. 1994). Nonetheless, in order to
withstand a motion to dismiss, a
complaint must allege facts sufficiently setting forth the
essential elements of the cause of action. Lucien v. Preiner,
967 F.2d 1166, 1168 (7th Cir. 1992).
I. Claims against the Chicago Police Department
Plaintiff has sued the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police
Department on identical grounds. The Police Department is not a
suable entity, but merely a department of the City of Chicago
which does not have a separate legal existence. See Jordan v.
City of Chicago, Department of Police, 505 F. Supp. 1 (N.D.Ill.
1980) (citing Ellis v. City of Chicago, 478 F. Supp. 333
(N.D.Ill. 1979)); Bonilla v. City Council of City of Chicago,
809 F. Supp. 590 (N.D.Ill. 1992). The claims against the Chicago
Police Department are therefore dismissed and the name stricken
from the caption.
II. § 1983 claims against the City of Chicago
Section 1983 "is not itself a source of substantive rights but
merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights elsewhere
conferred." Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144, n. 3, 99
S.Ct. 2689, 2694, n. 3, 61 L.Ed.2d 433 (1979) (quotation marks
omitted). The first step in analyzing a § 1983 claim is to
identify the specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 394, 109 S.Ct. 1865, 1870, 104
L.Ed.2d 443 (1989). In paragraphs 7, 8, and 9 of the complaint,
Plaintiff alleges various violations of his rights under the
Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States