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SIMACK v. CITY OF CHICAGO

March 5, 2003

LINDA SIMACK, RONALD PORTIS, MARDRIC LANCE AND EMMETT LYNCH, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF A CLASS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT, TERRY G. HILLARD, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT, JOSEPH GRIFFIN, JOHN RISELY, FRANCIS KEHOE AND EVERT L. JOHNSON, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert W. Gettleman, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs Linda Simack, Ronald Portis, Mardric Lance, and Emmett Lynch, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, have brought a three count second amended putative class action complaint against the City of Chicago, Chicago Police Department ("CPD"), Terry G. Hillard, Joseph Griffin, John Risely, Francis Kehoe, and Evert L. Johnson pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The complaint alleges generally that the City and the CPD have a policy and practice of unconstitutionally detaining for excessive periods of time, individuals arrested for non-violent ordinance violations, punishable by fine only, with no period of incarceration. Count I, brought against all defendants, seeks injunctive relief Counts II and III, brought against the City and individual defendants respectively, seek monetary damages on behalf of the putative class. Defendants have moved to dismiss all three counts for lack of standing and failure to state a claim. For the reasons stated below, the court grants defendants' motion in part and denies it in part.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs, each at separate times and on separate dates, were arrested for non-violent, non-jailable misdemeanor offenses. Plaintiffs' offenses included disorderly conduct, peddling without a license, ticket scalping and soliciting donations. After arrest, each plaintiff was then taken to a Chicago police station where standard administrative procedures were completed. After completion of all these administrative procedures incident to an arrest, plaintiffs claim they were detained for anywhere from 5.5 to 15 hours.

Plaintiffs allege they were each eligible for release on an I-Bond pursuant to Rule 553(d) of the Illinois Supreme Court, Ill. Sup.Ct. R. 553(d), because each were arrested for a non-jailable misdemeanor, had no pending arrest warrants and were unable to meet the amount of bail set for each respective offense.

STANDARD FOR MOTIONS TO DISMISS

A complaint should not be dismissed for lack of standing unless the plaintiff can not prove the necessary allegations. When asking for injunctive relief, the plaintiff is required to allege a "real and immediate danger that the alleged harm will occur." City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 102 (1983). As a result, in determining whether plaintiffs have standing, the court accepts as true all well-pled allegations in the complaint, but can also consider information beyond the complaint. Perry v. Village of Arlington Heights, 186 F.3d 826, 829 (7th Cir. 1999) (citing Warth, 422 U.S. at 501); see also United Transp. Union v. Gateway Western Ry. Co., 78 F.3d 1208, 1210 (7th Cir. 1996).

A complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless "it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Hartford Fire Insurance Co., et al. v. California et al., 113 S.Ct. 2891, 2917 (1993). The court accepts as true all of the plaintiff's well pled factual allegations, and gives the plaintiff the benefit of every reasonable inference that it may draw from these facts. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1979); Powe v. City of Chicago, 664 F.2d 639, 642 (7th Cir. 1981).

DISCUSSION

Defendants move to dismiss all counts generally, asserting that plaintiffs have failed to state a claim for violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. Plaintiffs allege that they were entitled to release on bond, but were detained, and were not released on an I-Bond until hours later. Plaintiffs claim this violates their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable detention. Defendants, on the other hand, claim the police officers have the right to detain these individuals for a period of time before their release.

First, under Illinois law,

"persons arrested for or charged with an offense covered by Rules 526, 527 and 528 who are unable to secure release from custody under these rules may be released by giving individual bond (in the amount required by this article) by those law enforcement officers designated by name or office by the chief judge of the circuit, except when the accused is (1) unable or unwilling to establish his identity or submit to being fingerprinted as required by law, (2) is charged with an offense punishable by imprisonment and will pose a danger to any person or the community, or (3) elects release on separate bail under Rule 503(a)(3) or 503(a)(4) . . .
Ill. Sup.Ct. R. 553(d).

Plaintiffs claim that according to this statute, even if an individual arrested for a nonviolent misdemeanor offense cannot post bond, they are entitled to immediate release on I-Bond. Defendants claim, however, that because this statute states the individual "may" be released on bond, they have discretion and can hold the individual for a reasonable time before going to an officer who is able to authorize release.

The Illinois Appellate Court in Lampe v. Ascher, 376 N.E.2d 74, 77 (4th Dist. 1978), held, however, that there is no such police discretion, and that police are required to issue a bond to misdemeanor detainees. The court stated that while the statutes regulating the use and acceptance of bond use the word "may" in discussing when an officer is to accept bail, the intent of the drafters "must be determined not simply and automatically from the words themselves but from all of the circumstances before the court including the presence of a public interest which is deserving of protection." Id. The court then stated the purpose of accepting bond from misdemeanor defendants was to avoid undue delay in detentions. Id. Therefore, the court held that the ...


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