United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
September 20, 2005.
CORNELL WATSON, Plaintiff,
THE CITY OF CHICAGO and the CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT, LANELL AUBERT, TIMOTHY MADISON and VINCENT BANNER, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID COAR, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Before this court is a joint motion to dismiss Plaintiff
Cornell Watson's complaint. The motion to dismiss was filed by
Defendant City of Chicago and Defendants Lanell Aubert, Timothy
Madison, and Vincent Barner, police officers in the City of
Chicago. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' joint
motion to dismiss is DENIED without prejudice to their right to
raise the issues presented here in a Rule 56 motion.
I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
On January 1, 2002, Chicago police officers Lanell Aubert,
Timothy Madison, and Vincent Barner arrested Plaintiff and
charged him with possession of a controlled substance with intent
to distribute and possession of a controlled substance within
1,000 feet of a school. On January 9, 2002, after a bench trial, Plaintiff was convicted of
these offenses. Plaintiff then filed a motion for a new trial
that was granted on August 5, 2004.
On October 26, 2004, Plaintiff filed suit in this Court,
alleging a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In Count I of
his Complaint, Plaintiff requests this Court to enter judgment in
his favor because false and misleading testimony by the police
officers led to a false conviction that deprived Plaintiff of his
constitutional and civil rights. In Count II of his Complaint,
Plaintiff requests this Court to enter judgment in his favor
because the Chicago Police Department maintained customs and
procedures that disregarded Plaintiff's constitutional and civil
rights and resulted in Plaintiff's false conviction. Defendants
seek to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint in its entirety under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b) provides, inter
alia, for the eventuality that matters outside the pleadings are
presented to the Court. When this happens, the Court may treat a
12(b)6) motion to dismiss "as one for summary judgment and
[dispose of the motion] as provided in Rule 56." Fed.R.Civ.P.
(12)(b). The parties are then "given reasonable opportunity to
present all material made pertinent to such a motion by Rule 56."
Defendants' motion to dismiss alleges that, after the state
court granted Plaintiff's motion for a new trial, Plaintiff
pleaded guilty on August 18, 2004 to the lesser-included charge
of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. This charge
arose from the same incidents that led to Plaintiff's arrest on
January 1, 2002. Defendants rest their argument for dismissing
Plaintiff's complaint on this fact. Plaintiff, however, did not
include this fact in his complaint. Thus, it would appear that matters outside the pleadings have
been presented to this Court. This Court declines to treat
Defendants' motion to dismiss as a motion for summary judgement.
Instead, Defendants' joint motion to dismiss is denied.
Defendants may elect to file a motion for summary judgment
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56.
For the foregoing reasons, Defendants' joint motion to dismiss
is DENIED without prejudice to their right to raise the issues
presented here in a Rule 56 motion.
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