The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES FOREMAN, District Judge
Before the Court is a motion to strike and dismiss claims and
prayers for damages from plaintiffs' amended complaint, (Doc.
36), filed by Cecil Todd Emery, Mickey Rodgers, and the Village
of Pulaski, (Doc. 47), and plaintiffs' response (Doc. 54). Also
before the Court is plaintiffs' motion to strike and dismiss
affirmative defenses (Doc. 49) and defendants' response (Doc.
51). These motions are discussed below.
The following allegations are from plaintiffs' complaint. On
June 9, 2003, plaintiff Perry Foulks went inside his house and
told his father, Arthur Foulks, that Police Officer Mickey
Rodgers was looking for one of Arthur's other children, Jamel
Foulks. Arthur told Perry to tell Officer Rodgers that Jamel was
not at home. Perry did, and Officer Rodgers apparently
disbelieving Perry, called Officer Todd Emery to the scene. When
Officer Emery arrived, the two officers decided to call for
backup from both the Illinois State Police and the Pulaski County
Sheriff's Department. Shortly thereafter, the Foulks' residence was surrounded by
Illinois State and Village of Pulaski police officers. Master
Sergeant Jon Wright asked if he could enter the residence, and
Arthur Foulks asked if he had a warrant. Sergeant Wright
responded no. Thereafter, Sergeant Wright entered the residence
by climbing through a bedroom window. Shortly thereafter, Officer
Emery kicked open the front door and entered the residence. All
of the defendant officers then entered and searched the residence
for Jamal Foulks.
Thereafter, officers arrested Perry Foulks, took him to a
detention center and detained him for several days. They then
placed him on house arrest and released him. The Pulaski County
State's Attorney charged Perry Foulks with aggravated battery,
obstructing justice, resisting a police officer, and aggravated
assault. Perry Foulks pleaded guilty to aggravated battery,
resisting a police officer and aggravated assault, and the
obstruction of justice charge was dismissed.
Based on these events, plaintiffs have sued all of the
defendants for violating their constitutional rights under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Counts I, III). Plaintiffs have also sued the
individual defendants for false arrest, illegal imprisonment,
illegal search of residence, illegal search and seizure of
person, and malicious prosecution under Illinois law (Count II).
The pending motions are discussed below.
II. Defendants' Motion to Strike and Dismiss.
Defendants Cecil Todd Emery, Mickey Rodgers, and the Village of
Pulaski have filed a motion to strike and dismiss certain claims
and prayers for damages from plaintiffs' amended complaint. This motion is discussed below.
A. Plaintiffs' Claims for False Arrest/Imprisonment.
Defendants Emery, Rodgers, and Village of Pulaski state that
plaintiffs have failed to state a claim for either false arrest
or false imprisonment. Specifically, citing Williams v.
Schario, 93 F.3d 527, 528-29 (8th Cir. 1996), defendants argue
that the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
has held that a conviction pursuant to a guilty plea is a
complete defense to a civil rights action alleging that an arrest
was made without probable cause. Here, however, plaintiffs allege
that defendants arrested Perry after they illegally entered the
residence. As such, even if the officers did have probable cause
to arrest Perry, a warrantless entry into the home would be per
se unreasonable unless the police can show that it falls within
an exception based on exigent circumstances. United States v.
Richardson, 208 F.3d 626, 629 (7th Cir. 2000) (citations
omitted); see also Thurmond-Green v. Hodges, 128 Fed.Appx. 551
(8th Cir. 2005) (citations omitted) (distinguishing
Williams v. Schario on the grounds that: 1) the arrestee
apparently did not plead guilty to, and was not convicted of, the
offense for which he was arrested; and 2) the arrestee alleged he
was arrested after officers had illegally entered his home). See
also Sheik-Abdi v. McClellan, 37 F.3d 1240 (7th Cir. 1994)
(citations omitted) (an unconstitutional entry into the home
will vitiate the legitimacy of any search or seizure effected on
that occasion because the privacy and solitude of the home are at
the core of the Fourth Amendment's protection). As such,
plaintiffs' claim for false arrest and imprisonment survives
defendants' motion to dismiss. Defendants' motion to dismiss the false arrest and imprisonment claims on these grounds is denied.
Defendants also argue that under Heck v. Humphrey,
512 U.S. 477 (1994), plaintiffs' § 1983 claims would necessarily imply the
invalidity of his Perry Foulks' convictions and/or sentences,
thus, this lawsuit cannot go forward unless his convictions or
sentences have already been invalidated. While it is true that
Heck held that a § 1983 plaintiff seeking damages for an
allegedly unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, (or for
other harms caused by unlawful actions that would render a
conviction or sentence invalid), has no cause of action until the
conviction or sentence is reversed, (or otherwise expunged or
invalidated), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh
Circuit has noted that "a wrongful arrest claim, like a number of
other Fourth Amendment claims, does not inevitably undermine a
conviction; one can have a successful wrongful arrest claim and
still have a perfectly valid conviction." Booker v. Ward,
94 F.3d 1052, 1056 (7th Cir. 1996) (citations omitted). Here,
the Court finds that Perry Foulks' convictions for aggravated
battery, resisting a police officer, and aggravated assault could
be supported by other evidence and are not necessarily undermined
by plaintiffs' § 1983 claims. Accordingly, defendants' arguments
are to no avail, and defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs'
federal and state law claims for false arrest and false
imprisonment is denied.
B. Plaintiffs' Claims For Malicious Prosecution.
Defendants have moved to dismiss plaintiffs' federal and state
law claims for malicious prosecution. As noted by defendants,
plaintiffs may not maintain a federal action under 1983 for
malicious prosecution. Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 684
(7th Cir. 2003) (citing Newsome v. McCabe, 256 F.3d 747, 750-51 (7th Cir.
2001)). To state a claim for malicious prosecution under Illinois
law, plaintiffs are required to allege facts showing: (1)
commencement or continuation of a judicial proceeding by the
defendants, (2) termination of the prosecution in Perry Foulks'
favor in a manner indicative of his innocence, (3) the absence of
probable cause for the proceeding, (4) the presence of malice,
and (5) resulting damages. Allen v. Berger, 784 N.E.2d 367, 369
(Ill.App. 1st Dist. 2002) (citations omitted). Plaintiffs
concede that they cannot establish these elements with respect to
the charges other than the obstruction of justice. With regard to
the obstruction of justice charge, however, plaintiffs allege
that defendants made knowingly false police reports that were
supplied to the Pulaski County State's Attorney who initiated the
charge against Perry Foulks. "When a person makes a knowingly
false report to a prosecuting officer, the resulting prosecution
is attributable to that person." Allen, 784 ...