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Smith v. State

May 27, 2009

RONALD DEWAYNE SMITH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF ILLINOIS; STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA; OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL; RICHARD CAUBLE AND MARK DELIA, INVESTIGATORS FOR THE OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL; ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE; LARRY G. TRENT, DIRECTOR; JOHN SALEMME; HERMINIO FLORES, JR.; FUGITIVE APPREHENSION TASK FORCE OF THE UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE IN THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS; THOMAS DART, SHERIFF OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS; ANITA ALVAREZ, STATES ATTORNEY OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS; JENNIE SCHECK, COOK COUNTY ASSISTANT STATE'S ATTORNEY; JEFFERSON COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, BOARD OF EDUCATION; DAVID DIDDEN; GREGORY DIDDEN; MARGARET DIDDEN; BRAUN HAMSTEAD; AND MICHAEL D. THOMPSON, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Matthew F. Kennelly, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Ronald Smith has sued various individuals and government entities for damages and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985. Smith alleges that the defendants have violated his constitutional rights in connection with his arrest and indictment in Illinois state court. Smith also petitions the Court for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3), naming as respondents the State of Illinois and Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart. The defendants have moved the Court to dismiss Smith's claims.

Background

The Court "construe[s] the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accepting as true all well-pleaded facts alleged, and drawing all possible inferences in [his] favor." Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008) (citations omitted).

Smith alleges that starting in July 1992, David Didden conspired with his parents, Gregory and Margaret Didden; Braun Hamstead, attorney for the Jefferson County Board of Education and a family friend to the Diddens; and Jefferson County Prosecutor Michael Thompson to bring false criminal charges of sodomy against Smith based on David Didden's false claim of a repressed memory of sexual abuse allegedly made so that he could evade military service. Didden accused Smith of sexually abusing him in 1975, when Didden was a minor. Smith alleges that the crime with which he was charged, "crimes against nature (to wit: sodomy)," was not a crime under West Virginia law in 1975. Compl. at 12.

At the time of the West Virginia criminal charges, Smith was a teacher in Jefferson County. He alleges that he was forced to resign his position due to the pending charges and an administrative proceeding based on Didden's allegations.

Smith was formally charged in West Virginia with six counts of "crimes against nature (to wit: sodomy)." Smith alleges that he maintained his innocence and refused to plead guilty. He alleges that Thompson, Hamstead, the Diddens, and the Jefferson County Board of Education agreed that Thompson would "obtain Smith's conviction by offering Smith's public defender an agreement where in (sic) Smith would make no plea and that [Thompson] would represent to the Jefferson County Circuit Court an agreement for probation." Compl. at 13. Smith alleges that on February 28, 1995, he was forced into a plea agreement in which he would receive three years probation in return for a plea of nolo contendre. Smith alleges that he tried to withdraw from the agreement, but that, upon the urging of Thompson, the Diddens, and Hamstead, the judge refused. On July 7, 1995, the judge sentenced Smith to one to ten years of suspended prison time and three years of probation. The judge further barred Smith from employment with any organization that works with young people and required him to register as a sex offender.

Smith alleges that the conspiracy continued when the Diddens, Hampstead, and Thompson agreed to get Smith's probation revoked on August 23, 1996. Due to the revocation, Smith was incarcerated from November 29, 1996 until October 12, 2001.

On August 24, 2001, Smith initiated state habeas corpus proceedings in West Virginia. After an evidentiary hearing, Smith indicated that he would forego many of the claims in his petition if the state would amend his criminal record and his sex offender status. On January 2, 2003, the State of West Virginia agreed to amend Smith's criminal record to reflect that he was charged and convicted with "crimes against nature," eliminating the reference to sodomy. The state also agreed to limit the time Smith would be required to register for inclusion in the West Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry for a period of ten years from his release from incarceration-in other words, until October 12, 2011.

In the fall of 2003, Smith enrolled in a course of study at the Moody Bible Institute using funds granted to him by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and he moved to Chicago, Illinois. On November 1, 2005, Mark Delia, an investigator for the Illinois Attorney General, received from a West Virginia assistant prosecuting attorney a request for assistance in locating and arresting Smith. Delia requested assistance from the United States Marshals' Service. Smith alleges that the U.S. Marshal deputized Chicago Police Officers John Salemme and Herminio Flores, Jr. to effectuate Smith's arrest.

The Court recounted Smith's allegations regarding his arrest, detention, and Illinois prosecution in a previous ruling on certain defendants' motions to dismiss. Smith v. Illinois, No. 07 C 7048, 2008 WL 4951232, *1-*2 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 17, 2008) ("Smith I").

Smith alleges that Jenni Scheck, a Cook County assistant state's attorney, caused Salemme and Flores to re-arrest Smith on June 4, 2007 for failing to register as a sex offender. During this re-arrest and interrogation, Smith alleges that he was mistreated and forced to sit in cramped spaces for long periods of time, which he says "inflamed" his "continuing infirm health situation." Compl. at 32. Although he asked to speak to his lawyer, Smith was not released for another three and one-half hours.

Smith is currently out on bail, awaiting his criminal trial in Illinois state court for failure to register as a sex offender in this state.

On November 17, 2008, this Court granted the State of Illinois', Madigan's, Devine's, and Dart's motions to dismiss Smith's claims against them. The Court denied Smith's motion for reconsideration of its ruling on January 8, 2009. Smith v. Illinois, No. 07 C 7048, 2009 WL 65449 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 8, 2009) ("Smith II"). On January 7, 2009, Smith filed a second amended complaint in which he repeated most of the allegations from his prior complaint and made some new allegations. The Court granted the State of Illinois', Madigan's, Anita Alvarez's,*fn1 and Dart's renewed motions and dismissed Smith's claims against them with prejudice. Smith v. Illinois, No. 07 C 7048, 2009 WL 10066277 (N.D. Ill. April 20, 2009) ("Smith III").

All of the remaining defendants likewise moved the Court to dismiss the second amended complaint. The Court set briefing schedules on the various motions, but Smith failed to respond in a timely manner to any of them. Rather, he asked for two extensions of time, which the Court granted. Smith responded to the motions by David Didden, Michael Thompson, and the Jefferson County Board of Education, but he did not respond to any of the others. After an admonishment that the Court would not entertain any further requests for extension, Smith moved the Court to schedule a discovery conference. In that motion, he said that certain of the defendants' motions were improper motions to dismiss and suggested that he needed discovery to respond to some of them. Smith did not identify, however, any particular discovery he legitimately required. The Court dismissed Smith's motion-which appeared to be a delaying tactic-telling him that if he believed he needed particular discovery to respond to particular motions, Smith should file a motion so stating. He filed nothing further and did not request another extension of time. Smith has thus forfeited the right to respond to the remaining motions.

Discussion

A. West Virginia ...


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