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DOE v. COUNTY OF KANKAKEE

July 6, 2004.

JANE DOE and JOHN DOE, minors by their mother and next friend, CARLA SAULSBURY, and CARLA SAULSBURY, an individual, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE COUNTY OF KANKAKEE. et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs Jane Doe ("Daughter"), John Doe ("Son"), and Carla Saulsbury filed an amended complaint against Defendants County of Kankakee ("County"), Sheriff Timothy Bukowski ("Sheriff"), Charles Curwick, Chad Gessner, and others, alleging excessive force by County, Sheriff, and others in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count I), false arrest by County and others in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count II), discrimination in rental housing by County, Curwick, and others in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604 (Count III), neglect to prevent violation by County, Sheriff, Curwick and others in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1986 (Count IV), conspiracy by County, Sheriff, Curwick and others in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985 (Count V), common law battery by County, Sheriff, and others (Count VI), intentional infliction of emotional distress by County, Sheriff, and others (Count VII), negligent supervision, hiring, and promotion by County, Sheriff, Curwick, and others (Count VIII), and failure to train and discipline by County, Sheriff, and others in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count IX). These allegations arise mainly from events on December 4, 2002 and January 1, 2003. (R. 17-1, Am. Compl. ¶¶ 54-71.) Defendants County, Sheriff, Curwick, and Gessner (collectively "the County Defendants") have moved to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated herein, Defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part.

BACKGROUND

  This Court takes the following allegations from the amended complaint as true for the purposes of the motion to dismiss. Hishon v. King & Spaulding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984).

  Plaintiffs Daughter and Son are minors and children of Plaintiff Saulsbury. (R. 17-1, Am. Compl. 6.) Plaintiffs live in a collection of apartment buildings known as Crestlane Apartments, located in Kankakee, Illinois (the "Complex"). (Id. ¶ 5, 31.) Defendant County is a body politic and corporate in the State of Illinois, and Defendants Sheriff, Curwick, and Gessner are law enforcement officers employed by Defendant County's sheriff's department. (Id. ¶¶ 8-9; R. 26-1, Pls.' Mem. in Opp'n to Mots. to Dismiss at 1-2.) Other Defendants named in the lawsuit include the City of Kankakee ("City"); Michael Kinkade, the Chief of Police of Defendant City ("Chief"); Donald Green, the Mayor of the City ("Mayor"); Austin Bank of Chicago ("Trust"), the owner of the Complex; and Crestview Village Apartments, L.P., the management firm for the Complex ("Manager"). (Id. ¶¶ 10-15.) Defendant Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group ("KAMEG") is a joint venture of municipalities and is composed of members of law enforcement from both the City and County including, but not limited to, Defendants Sheriff, Curwick, Gessner. (Id. ¶¶ 9, 16-17.) Finally, Plaintiffs have designated as Unknown Defendants any additional potential defendants arising from the events of December 4, 2002 whose identity may become known in the future. (Id. ¶ 21.)

  I. Crestlane Apartment Complex

  The Complex consists of multiple residential units in several buildings and has at least three open areas, a playground, parking lot, and several common areas used by residents and their acquaintances. (Id. ¶¶ 31-34.) Most of the tenants of the Complex receive support from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Id. ¶ 35.) Most residents of the Complex are African-American. (Id. ¶ 36.)

  II. Law Enforcement at the Complex

  The main purpose of KAMEG is to combat the illegal drug trade and other crimes occurring in local jurisdictions. (Id. ¶ 38.) KAMEG has, through policy and procedure, used aggressive methods of law enforcement, including the prohibition of loitering for lawful purposes, conducting arrests without probable cause or warrant, random searches, and excessive force in making arrests. (Id. ¶¶ 39, 44, 52.) KAMEG employed these practices in low-income housing throughout the area, including the Complex. (Id. ¶ 39.)

  On January 1, 2000, Defendant City entered into an agreement ("Agency Agreement") with Defendants Trust and Manager giving authority to Defendant City to control any non-residents found in the common areas of the Complex. (Id., Ex. A.) Defendant City executed other agreements of this type with rental housing units in the City of Kankakee. (Id. ¶ 50.)

  III. Plaintiffs' Injuries

  On December 4, 2002 around 8:00 p.m., Daughter, Son, other residents, and guests were located in a hallway near Plaintiffs' apartment when they observed several KAMEG officers enter and instruct at least three persons to leave the common area. (Id. ¶ 57-58.) The officers attacked one man as he attempted to produce identification. (Id. ¶ 59.) While this was occurring, one or more officers threatened Plaintiff Daughter and instructed her not to move. (Id. ¶ 60.) At least one officer then discharged pepper spray in Daughter's vicinity, affecting her eyes, balance, and breathing. (Id. ¶ 61.) Son, seeking to avoid the pepper spray, entered Plaintiffs' apartment and there encountered an unknown man whom the officers had placed in the apartment. (Id. ¶ 62, 67.)

  Plaintiffs Son and Daughter suffered pain and emotional distress during the attack and since the incident have suffered from emotional distress and increased difficulty in feeling secure in their home. (Id. ¶¶ 64, 68.) Additionally, the incident impacted Plaintiff Daughter's relationships with friends and in school. (Id. ¶ 65.)

  Finally, the amended complaint alleges the presence of at least one law enforcement officer at an incident on January 1, 2003 during which someone was detained, interrogated, and searched outside of Plaintiffs' apartment. (Id. ¶¶ 16, 84.) The amended complaint does not, however, allege the specific names of those present nor does it allege the presence of or harm to any of the Plaintiffs. Only in subsequent pleadings is Defendant Gessner's name specifically connected with the incident on that date. (19-2, Defs.' Mem. in Supp. of Their Mot. ...


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