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Gonzalez v. Town of Cicero

February 21, 2008

RAMIRO GONZALEZ, ANNA SAUCEDO, ADALBERTO GONZALEZ, GUSTAVO GONZALEZ, EURIDICE BRITO AND FAMILY BANK AND TRUST, AS TRUSTEE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
TOWN OF CICERO, LARRY DOMINICK, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PRESIDENT OF THE TOWN OF CICERO, MICHAEL DEL GALDO, JOSEPH GIGLIO, GIGLIO AND DEL GALDO LLC, LARRY HIPPERT AND FRANK AGULAR, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs Ramiro Gonzalez, Anna Saucedo, Adalberto Gonzalez, Gustavo Gonzalez, and Family Bank and Trust (hereinafter, collectively, the "Plaintiffs") have filed suit against Defendants Town of Cicero, Larry Dominick, Michael Del Galdo, and Joseph Giglio (hereinafter, collectively, the "Defendants"). Plaintiffs assert a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 as well as pendent state law claims. Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss all counts of the amended complaint under Rule 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated below, the Motion to Dismiss is granted in part and denied in part.

I. FACTS

The Court derives the following facts from the Complaint, accepting all well-pleaded allegations as true and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the Plaintiffs. See McMillan v. Collection Professionals, Inc., 455 F.3d 754, 758 (7th Cir. 2006).

Plaintiff Ramiro Gonzalez is the former President of the Town of Cicero and the political opponent of Defendant Larry Dominick, Cicero's current President. Plaintiff Anna Saucedo is the wife of Ramiro Gonzalez and the owner of the beneficial interest in a trust holding property in the Town of Cicero. Plaintiffs Gustavo and Adalberto Gonzalez are the brothers and political supporters of Ramiro Gonzalez. They too own individual parcels of property in Cicero. Defendants Michael Del Galdo and Joseph Giglio are attorneys employed by the Town of Cicero and are political advisors and confidants of Dominick.

Plaintiffs allege that, following his election as President of Cicero, Defendant Dominick conspired with Del Galdo, Giglio, and unknown others to injure the Plaintiffs in order to silence Ramiro Gonzalez. Gonzalez criticized Defendants for charging excessive legal fees, engaging in political patronage, and awarding no-bid contracts to friends and supporters. In order to silence Gonzalez, the Complaint alleges that Defendants:

(a) withheld and delayed wages owed by the Town of Cicero to Ramiro Gonzalez;

(b) prevented Ramiro Gonzalez and Anna Saucedo from completing the construction of their house;

(c) cited Adalberto Gonzalez for his failure to construct a fence around vacant property while simultaneously refusing to issue a building permit to construct such a fence; and

(d) refused to allow issuance of an occupancy permit for the home constructed by Gustavo Gonzalez.

Plaintiffs further allege that the home of Ramiro Gonzalez and Anna Saucedo was being built pursuant to properly issued building permits and that the home constructed by Gustavo Gonzalez was in full compliance with all applicable ordinances, codes and inspections.

Based on these facts, Plaintiffs have filed an amended five count complaint. Defendants move to dismiss all five counts under Rule 12(b)(6).

II. ANALYSIS

In reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court only requires a Plaintiff to file "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a). It is not necessary for the complaint to plead extensive facts or identify the legal theories justifying relief. See Marshall v. Knight, 445 F.3d 965, 968 (7th Cir. 2006). It is enough that the complaint describes the claim in sufficient detail to "plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief" and give the defendant "fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Services, Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007). Thus, the complaint must allege facts, either directly or inferentially, which are sufficient to set forth the essential elements of the cause of action. See Looper Maintenance Service Inc. v. City of Indianapolis, 197 F.3d 908, 911 (7th Cir. 1999); Glatt v. Chicago Park Dist., 847 F.Supp. 101, 103 (N.D. Ill. 1994). Mere vagueness or lack of detail will not compel dismissal, see Strauss v. City of Chicago, 760 F.2d 765, 767 (7th Cir. 1985), but pleading which places "undue burden on the court and counsel to determine how plaintiff is here and why" is impermissible. Kappus v. Western Hills Oil, Inc., 24 F.R.D. 123, 128 (E.D. Wis. 1959). As an initial matter, the Court notes that there are a number of parties named in the caption of the amended complaint whose inclusion is unjustified under even such a forgiving standard of pleading. Plaintiffs attribute the inclusion of Plaintiff Brito and Defendants Aguilar, Hippert, and Del Galdo and Giglio LLC to an inadvertent typographical error, and they appear to concede that these parties should be dismissed from the case. (Pls.' Resp. 3.) In the absence of such a concession, the Court independently finds that Plaintiff Brito has failed to state any grievance or injury and that the remaining Plaintiffs have failed to allege any action or wrongdoing ...


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