United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
September 17, 2004.
LaSALLE NATIONAL BANK of CHICAGO, Trustee under Trust Agreement No. 10_034895, dated January 17, 1975, and LINCOLN MOTEL, a Limited Partnership, Plaintiffs,
THE CITY OF CHICAGO, RICHARD DALEY, individually and in his official capacity as a Mayor of the City of Chicago, OFFICER CAIN and his PARTNER, and other UNKNOWN OFFICERS of the Police Department of the City of Chicago, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: HARRY LEINENWEBER, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiffs LaSalle National Bank of Chicago (hereinafter,
"LaSalle") and Lincoln Motel, the legal owners and operators of
the "Lincoln Motel," (the "Motel") filed this suit for violations
of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment. The Defendants are The
City of Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley, Officer Cain, Officer
Cain's Partner, and other unknown officers of the Chicago Police
Department (the officers collectively, "Officers"). Plaintiffs
allege that for the past two years, Officers have been harassing
Plaintiffs' patrons and employees by making wrongful stops and interrogations of such individuals in the Motel parking lot,
registration office and guest rooms. Plaintiffs contend that the
Officers' unlawful activities have resulted in reputational harm,
revenue loss, and embarrassment to questioned persons, and that
such Officers' conduct violates the Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendments. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief and other relief
the Court deems proper. Defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss
under FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(1) for lack of jurisdiction and
12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted with respect to Defendant Daley. For the reasons that
follow, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
Plaintiff LaSalle is the trustee of a Trust Agreement and is
the legal owner of the property on which the Motel resides.
Plaintiff Lincoln Motel is the beneficiary of the trust and owns
and operates the Motel. For the past two years, Plaintiffs
contend that Officers have entered the premises of the Motel on
several occasions to stop and question guests and employees in
the Motel parking lot, guest rooms and registration office
without a warrant or reasonable cause. As a result of such
conduct, Plaintiffs claim that many persons questioned by the
Officers terminated the rental of their rooms and left the
premises, and other potential patrons did not rent rooms. Plaintiffs filed this action alleging that the Defendants,
through the Officers' conduct, violated the Fourth Amendment
constitutional rights of their guests, potential guests and
employees, and alternatively, that the Defendants violated
Plaintiffs' own Fourteenth Amendment rights. Plaintiffs seek a
permanent injunction barring the Officers from harassing or
otherwise making unlawful stops and interrogations of the Motel's
patrons and employees and such other relief that the Court deems
Defendants filed the Motion pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P.
12(b)(1), arguing that Plaintiffs do not have standing to bring
suit because Plaintiffs do not allege that Defendants violated
Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights. Defendants also seek to
dismiss Mayor Daley on FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6) grounds because
Plaintiffs have made no factual or legal allegations that Daley
violated the Plaintiffs' constitutional rights, and because he is
a redundant party.
II. LEGAL STANDARD
When considering a FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, a district court accepts
as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and draws reasonable
inferences from the allegations in favor of the plaintiff. United
Transp. Union v. Gateway Western Ry. Co., 78 F.3d 1208, 1210 (7th
Cir. 1996). In cases where a party challenges the existence of subject matter jurisdiction, the court may "look beyond the
jurisdictional allegations of the complaint and view whatever
evidence has been submitted on the issue to determine whether in
fact subject matter exists." Capital Leasing Co. v. F.D.I.C.,
999 F.2d 188, 191 (7th Cir. 1993).
In considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P.
12(b)(6), the court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts
and must draw all reasonable inferences from those allegations in
plaintiff's favor. MCM Partners, Inc. v. Andrews-Bartlett &
Assoc., 62 F.3d 967, 972 (7th Cir. 1995). The district court
shall only dismiss a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) if it is
beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no facts that would
entitle him to relief. Id.
A. Defendants' Rule 12(b)(1) Motion to Dismiss
1. Fourth Amendment
Defendants contend that Plaintiffs lack standing because the
Fourth Amendment claim is based upon the alleged violation of the
rights of guests, potential guests and employees, rather than
Plaintiffs' own Fourth Amendment rights. Defendants cite Supreme
Court authority holding that Fourth Amendment rights are personal
in nature, and that generally such rights cannot be asserted on
behalf of third parties. See Rakas et al v. Illinois,
439 U.S. 128, 139-40 (1978); Singleton v. Wulff, 428 U.S. 106, 107 (1976); Alderman v. United States, 392 U.S. 165, 174 (1969). Defendants
also contend that Plaintiffs do not have a personal reasonable
expectation of privacy in any of the three areas where Officers
purportedly conducted the unlawful conduct.
Plaintiffs attempt to distinguish Rakas and the other cases
cited by Defendants on the grounds that such cases dealt with the
"vicarious advantage of Fourth Amendment harm to another (by
seeking, for example, to suppress evidence, obtain money damages
for themselves, etc.) versus a party who seeks to act as a
surrogate to assert the right of another for the advantage of the
other," and on the grounds that they seek injunctive relief
rather than money damages (Pls. Mem. Opp. To Mot., at p. 6).
Plaintiffs claim that they have standing to proceed on their
Fourth Amendment claim because they are acting as "surrogates" to
"enforce the Fourth Amendment rights of the[ir] guests and
employees to protect these guest and employees from the
unconstitutional conduct of defendant police officers, conduct
which is causing specific harm to plaintiffs." Id. Plaintiffs
contend that as a motel-innkeeper, they bear a special
relationship to its guests and employees which is "more than
adequate to give them surrogate standing." Id. at 9. In support
of their contention, Plaintiffs cite several cases regarding the
special duty of care that motel-operators have to protect their
guests from physical harm on motel premises. See, e.g., Wassell
v. Adams, 865 F.3d 849, 854 (7th Cir. 1989). The Court finds Plaintiffs'
arguments unpersuasive. The Court notes that the cases cited are
not on point in this case and do not extend the special duty of
care to constitutional challenges.
Plaintiffs contend that there is a "surrogate standing"
exception to the general rule disallowing standing on behalf of
third parties in Fourth Amendment claims, principally relying
upon Hang On v. City of Arlington, 65 F.3d 1248 (5th Cir. 1995).
The Court finds that this case, which deals with a First
Amendment challenge to a no-touching ordinance, as well as the
others cited by Plaintiff are distinguishable. In holding that
the bar owner had standing to challenge the ordinance, the Fifth
Circuit recognizing the close relationship of the parties in the
case and the practical difficulties that nude dancers and bar
patrons could encounter in asserting their own First Amendment
challenge to the ordinance. See id. at 1252. The Fifth Circuit
also recognized that the facts of the case put it in a distinct
exception to the "general rule prohibiting such surrogate
claims." Id. at 1251, and noted that such general rule "is
As discussed, the Supreme Court has ruled that Fourth Amendment
rights are personal in nature. See Rakas et al v. Illinois,
439 U.S. 128, 139-40 (1978). The narrow "surrogate standing"
exception in the cases cited by Plaintiffs does not exist here:
there is no evidence that the patrons or employees would have a difficult or impractical time asserting the Fourth
Amendment claims themselves if such persons believed a Fourth
Amendment violation occurred. Indeed, the persons with the
greatest interest, and, presumably, willingness to assert such
violations would be the harassed patrons and employees
themselves. Further, there is no evidence that the Motel had a
significantly close relationship with its patrons, potential
patrons and employees to justify Plaintiffs' having standing to
assert third party Fourth Amendment claims. Accordingly, the
Court grants Defendants' Motion To Dismiss as to Plaintiff's
Fourth Amendment claim.
2. Fourteenth Amendment
In the alternative, Plaintiffs "state that their own Fourteenth
Amendment rights have been, and are being violated by the
unconstitutional misconduct of defendant police officers . . . In
other words, plaintiffs are being deprived of their property in
violation of their substantive due process rights." (Pls. Mem. In
Opp., at p. 15).
It is unclear whether Plaintiffs have even raised an
independent Fourteenth Amendment challenge to the Officers'
conduct on behalf of their own rights in the Complaint. In the
violation of rights segment of the Complaint, the Plaintiffs
merely state that "[t]he Fourth Amendment is made applicable to
the defendant police officers and the other defendants pursuant
to the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States." (Complaint, at ¶ 14). Further, The Court notes that Plaintiffs have not
invoked or even mentioned 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in their Complaint or
The State of Illinois provides various state law remedies to
address interferences with business, such as the cause of action
for tortious interference with business expectancy. The Supreme
Court has previously stated "some questions of property,
contract, and tort laws are best resolved by state legal systems
without resort to the federal court, even when a state actor is
the alleged wrongdoer." Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 284,
114 S.Ct. 807, 818 (1994), explaining Parratt v. Taylor,
451 U.S. 527, 101 S. Ct. 1908, 68 L.Ed.2d 393 (1984)). The Supreme Court
further elaborated, "the Parratt principle respects the delicate
balance between state and federal courts and comports with the
design of § 1983, a statue that reinforces a legal tradition in
which protection for persons and their rights is afforded by the
common law and the law of the States, as well as by the
Constitution." Albright, 510 U.S. at 284, 114 S. Ct at 818-19
(citing Parratt, 451 U.S. at 531-32, 101 S. Ct. at 1910-1911).
Accordingly, given Supreme Court precedent and the state law
remedy, Plaintiffs Fourteenth Amendment claim, if it has even
been raised as a separate claim in the Complaint, need not be
invoked in this case. Thus, the Court also grants Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss as to Plaintiffs' alternative Fourteenth
Amendment claim. B. Defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss Mayor Daley
Defendants also seek to have Defendant Mayor Daley dismissed on
FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b) (6) grounds because Plaintiffs did not
assert any allegations or facts that Mayor Daley has by his own
conduct caused or participated in the alleged constitutional
violations. Additionally, Defendants contend that Mayor Daley is
a redundant party because Plaintiffs have also named the City of
Chicago as a Defendant in the suit. Although the Court agrees
with Defendants, the Court need not reach this issue due to its
disposition of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss on FED. R. CIV. P.
12(b) (1) grounds.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss. This case is dismissed in its entirety.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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