The opinion of the court was delivered by: James H. Alesia, U.S. District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Currently before the court are: (1) a motion to dismiss defendants
Michael Nila and Valerie Brown from plaintiffs amended complaint or in
the alternative to dismiss Count V pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) ("Rule 12(b)(6)"), and (2) a motion to strike any
allegations concerning Valerie Brown from the amended complaint pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) ("Rule 12(f)"). For the
reasons set forth below, the court (I) grants defendants' motion to
dismiss Count V of the amended complaint and to dismiss defendants Nila
and Brown from the amended complaint in its entirety, and (2) denies
defendants' motion to strike portions of plaintiff's amended complaint.
Plaintiffs amended complaint makes the following allegations. On or
about May 29, 1998, while picking up her daughter from school, plaintiff
Helen Kies ("Kies") observed defendant City of Aurora police officer
Derrick Smith ("Smith") use force against Geovanni Perez, a minor child.
After observing the episode, Kies informed the child that she had
witnessed the event. Smith then told Kies the situation was none of her
business and struck Kies in the face.
Thereafter, Kies filed an excessive force complaint regarding Smith
with the Aurora Police Department. Sergeant Brian Leden ("Leden")
investigated the charges and sustained the charge of excessive force in
making an arrest. Subsequently, defendant Captain Michael Nila ("Nila")
rejected Leden's findings and instructed Leden to reopen his
investigation and ask new questions of various witnesses.*fn1
Meanwhile, Smith filed a criminal charge of disorderly conduct against
Kies. During the criminal proceedings, defendant Valerie Brown
("Brown"), the city attorney prosecuting the case against Kies,*fn2
filed a motion with the court seeking to withhold information from Kies*fn3
After a trial on the merits, the criminal charge against Kies was resolved
in her favor.
Defendants Brown and Nila have filed a motion to dismiss them from the
amended complaint in its entirety under Rule 12(b)(6) or in the
alternative to dismiss Count V pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). Defendants
Brown and the City of Aurora have filed a motion to strike all
allegations concerning Brown's conduct from the amended complaint under
Rule 12(f). The court will address each motion in turn.
A. Motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)
1. Standard for deciding a motion under Rule 12(b)(6)
When deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court
must accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and
draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. FED. R. CIV.
P. 12(b)(6). See Szumny v. Am. Gen. Fin., Inc., 246 F.3d 1065, 1067 (7th
Cir. 2000). if, when viewed in a light most favorable to the plaintiff,
the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,
the court must dismiss the case. Gomez v. Illinois State Bd. of Educ.,
811 F.2d 1030, 1039 (7th Cir. 1987). Dismissal is proper only if it is
clear from the complaint that no set of facts consistent with its
allegations would entitle the plaintiff to relief. Hishan v. King &
Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984). The federal rules do not require
detailed factual pleadings. FED. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Rather, a complaint
must contain only a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief." id. A complaint meets these
requirements when it provides fair notice of the nature of plaintiff's
claim and the ground upon which it relies. Starling v. Chicago Police
Officers, No. 98 C 7900, 2000 WL 1036301, at *5 (N.D. Ill. July 21, 2000)
(citing Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence &
Coordination Unit, 507 U.S. 163, 168 (1993)). The Supreme Court has
refused to apply a heightened pleading standard to § 1983 claims.
2. Count V — § 1983 Claim of Unconstitutional Cover-Up
Count V of Kies's amended complaint alleges that Nila violated Kies's
constitutional rights by participating in a conspiracy to cover-up
Smith's alleged misconduct. Specifically, Count V alleges that, after
Kies filed an excessive force complaint and Sergeant Leden investigated
and sustained the charge, Captain Nila ordered the investigation reopened
to allow for an avenue to reject the original finding of the
investigation. Defendants argue that Count V should be dismissed because
Kies did not sufficiently allege her constitutional rights were violated
as a result of the alleged cover-up. More specifically, defendants argue
that Kies failed to allege that the cover-up interfered with ...