The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge
On August 27, 2007, Plaintiffs Robert Jones, individually and as the personal representative of Melvin Jones, and Kay Jones brought this suit alleging deprivation of their Fourth Amendment rights under 42 U. S. C. §§ 1983 and 1985 and alleging a wrongful death claim under Illinois law (Doc. 2). However, recently the Court dismissed all of Plaintiffs' claims raised under § 1985 (see Doc. 59).
On October 30, 2007, Defendants Lawrence, Wright, and Barr moved this Court to dismiss Plaintiffs' wrongful death claims in Count III pursuant to FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) (Doc. 27). On December 3, 2007, Plaintiffs submitted a response in opposition (Doc. 38). Finally, on December 21, 2007, Defendants filed their reply (Doc. 47).
Having reviewed the parties' filings, this Court now GRANTS the Defendants' motion to dismiss Count III (Doc. 27).
Dismissal is warranted under Rule 12(b)(6) of the FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE if the complaint fails to set forth "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face."Bell Atlantic Corp. V. Twombly, --U.S.--, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007); EEOC v. Concentra Health Services, Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007).
Stated another way, the question on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is whether the complaint gives the defendant fair notice of what the suit is about and the grounds on which the suit rests. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002); Mosely v. Board of Education of City of Chicago, 434 F.3d 527, 533 (7th Cir. 2006). Additionally, although federal complaints need only plead claims, not facts, the pleading regime created by Bell Atlantic requires the complaint to allege a plausible theory of liability against the defendant. Sheridan v. Marathon Petroleum Co., LLC, 530 F.3d 590, 596 (7th Cir. 2008); see also Limestone Dev. Corp. v. Village of Lemont, Ill.,520 F.3d 797, 803-04 (7th Cir. 2008).
In Tamayo v. Blagojevich, the Seventh Circuit emphasized that even though Bell Atlantic "retooled federal pleading standards" and "retired the oft-quoted Conley formulation," notice pleading is still all that is required. 526 F.3d 1074, 1083 (7th Cir. 2008). "A plaintiff still must provide only enough detail to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests and, through his allegations, show that it is plausible, rather than merely speculative, that he is entitled to relief." Id.; Accord Pugh v. Tribune Co., 521 F.3d 686, 699 (7th Cir. 2008) ("surviving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion requires more than labels and conclusions"; the allegations "must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level").
In making this assessment, the District Court accepts as true all well-pled factual allegations and draws all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor. Tricontinental Industries, Inc., Ltd. v. PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP, 475 F.3d 824, 833 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 128 S.Ct. 357 (2007); Marshall v. Knight, 445 F.3d 965, 969 (7th Cir. 2006); Corcoran v. Chicago Park District, 875 F.2d 609, 611 (7th Cir. 1989).
The compliant stems from events surrounding Melvin Jones's October 20, 2006 suicide. Construing the facts in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs, the following events occurred that afternoon. According to Plaintiffs, Melvin Jones went to his parents' backyard with a loaded .22 caliber rifle intending to engage in target practice. At around 2:15 p.m., Robert Jones, Melvin's father, went outside and learned that Melvin had called 911 to inform the emergency dispatcher of his suicidal intentions. Melvin requested an ambulance specifically because "Robert had heart trouble and Melvin did not want anything bad to happen to anyone else as a result of his conduct" (Doc. 2, ¶ 17). Robert then called Kay Jones, his wife and Melvin's mother, apprised her of the situation, and requested that she return home.
Sometime after the 911 call, local law enforcement officers arrived on the scene. The following Defendants were among those who responded to the emergency call: Bart Hileman, Ron Stamp, and Robbie McGee of the Union County Sheriff's Department; John Barr, John Wright, and Stephen Lawrence of the Illinois State Police; and Dale Foster and Bryan Watkins of the Anna Police Department. Many emergency vehicles arrived at the scene, which Plaintiffs say only raised the tension.
Defendant Barr, along with Robert, attempted to negotiate with Melvin while officers simultaneously attempted to gain control of the site. This included establishing "sniper positions," even though Melvin never pointed the gun at anyone and promised that he would not hurt them. ...