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Maduko v. State

September 17, 2008

SOLOMON MADUKO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF ILLINOIS AND MICHAEL J. RAJSKI, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Ronald A. Guzman United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Judge Ronald A. Guzmán

Plaintiff has sued his employer, the State of Illinois,*fn1 as well as his supervisor, Michael J. Rajski, in his individual capacity. Plaintiff alleges that defendants deprived him of his property and liberty interests in his job without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment (Counts I and II)*fn2 and infringed upon his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination without due process (Count III). Defendants have moved pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) to dismiss this action against the State of Illinois and to stay any remaining claims. For the reasons provided in this Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court grants in part and denies in part defendants' motion.

Background

According to the Amended Complaint, Maduko was employed as a Clinical Pharmacist for the State of Illinois at the Madden Mental Health Pharmacy. (Am. Compl. ¶ 6.) Michael Rajski was the Pharmacy Service Manager. (Id. ¶ 8.) On May 24, 2007, Rajski ordered plaintiff to provide a statement to two State of Illinois police investigators regarding events surrounding a prescription filled in the pharmacy department. (Id. ¶ 12.) Plaintiff provided a written statement to the investigators because he was led to believe he would face a disciplinary hearing and possible termination if he refused. (Id. ¶¶ 13, 14.) Plaintiff was arrested on June 25, 2007 and charged with official misconduct under 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/33-(3)(b) and computer fraud under 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/16(d)(5). (Id. ¶ 15.)

After his release from jail, plaintiff contacted Rajski, who informed him he had been placed on administrative leave with full pay and benefits. (Id. ¶ 19.) Plaintiff also received correspondence from the State of Illinois stating he would remain on administrative leave pending the result of their investigation. (Id. ¶ 24.) Rajski then scheduled a "pre-disciplinary meeting" on July 2, 2007, at which plaintiff appeared, but no meeting was conducted. (Id. ¶¶ 21, 23, 26.) Rajski later advised plaintiff that he was suspended without pay, effective July 16, 2007, pending the judicial verdict. (Id. ¶ 28.) Defendants also disseminated "disparaging information" to the public warning that plaintiff had been charged with criminal conduct. (Id. ¶ 29.)

Plaintiff brought this suit against the State of Illinois and Rajski and has alleged that defendants deprived him of his constitutional rights. In Counts I and II, plaintiff alleges deprivation of Fourteenth Amendment property and liberty interests in his job without due process. In Count III, plaintiff alleges infringement of his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The relief plaintiff seeks for these alleged violations includes compensatory damages, punitive damages against Rajski, costs of suit and attorney's fees, back pay and retroactive benefits, a declaration that the defendants' conduct violated the Constitution, injunctive relief in the form of reinstatement to his position or suspension pending a full hearing, as well as an order prohibiting defendants from reporting to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation that plaintiff has been charged with a crime.

Defendants have moved to dismiss the suit against the State of Illinois in its entirety. They also argue that this Court should abstain from exercising jurisdiction as to Counts I-III pursuant to the Younger doctrine and stay these claims pending the outcome of Maduko's state criminal proceedings.

The Legal Standard

Rule 12(b)(1) motions may attack either the factual basis for jurisdiction, i.e., a factual attack, or the sufficiency of jurisdictional allegations, i.e., a facial attack. Facial attacks, as in the present case, are subject to the same standard as motions pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). See United Phosphorus, Ltd. v. Angus Chem. Co., 322 F.3d 942, 946 (7th Cir. 2003). Thus, the standard for defendants' Rule 12(b)(1) and (b)(6) motions in this case is the same: a court accepts as true all well-pleaded factual allegations of the complaint, drawing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Id.; Forseth v. Vill. of Sussex, 199 F.3d 363, 368 (7th Cir. 2000). "[A] complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations," but plaintiff must make sufficient "[f]actual allegations . . . to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007) (quotation omitted). However, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving jurisdiction exists. United Phosphorus, 322 F.3d at 946.

Discussion

I. State of Illinois

Defendants have moved to dismiss this suit against the State of Illinois on the grounds that a state cannot be sued under 42 U.S.C. § ("section") 1983. (Defs.' Mot. 1.) Section 1983 provides that a "person" acting under color of law can be held liable for depriving a person of his "rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws." 42 U.S.C. § 1983. However, the Supreme Court has held that a state is not a "person" for the purpose of a section 1983 claim. Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 65 (1989); see Lapides v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. Sys. of Ga., 535 U.S. 613, 617 (2002). ...


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