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Ramirez v. City of Chicago

July 1, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Samuel Der-yeghiayan, District Judge


This matter is before the court on Defendant Richard A. Devine's (State's Attorney), and the County of Cook's (County) (collectively referred to as "County Defendants") motion to dismiss. For the reasons stated below, we grant the motion to dismiss.


Plaintiff Jose Ramirez (Ramirez) alleges that on December 10, 2003, the Defendant Chicago Police Officers J. Finnigan, J. McGovern, Maka, Murphy, Villareal, and Salinas (collectively referred to as "Defendant Officers") were acting on information received from an informant concerning an alleged "Mexican man" who was going to take part in a drug deal. (A. Compl. Par. 8). Defendant Officers allegedly arrested Ramirez when he was trying to enter his vehicle near his residence. Ramirez claims he was placed under arrest in the squad car and Defendant Officers searched his person and took his keys. Defendant Officers then allegedly searched Ramirez's residence without a warrant. Ramirez contends that, in order to cover up the alleged illegal arrest and search, Defendant Officers conspired to create false police reports. The reports stated that Ramirez ran from the police and that, while running, he threw away a green bag containing marijuana. Ramirez claims that Defendant Officers also allegedly filed false charges against Ramirez to further cover up the illegal search.

Ramirez also claims that the Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) that worked on the criminal case brought against Ramirez and the State's Attorney's Office knew of Defendant Officers' alleged corrupt practices and knew of an ongoing internal investigation of Defendant Officers. The ASA allegedly vouched for Defendant Officers' credibility at the motion to suppress hearing and proceeded with the trial while knowing that Defendant Officers were giving false testimony. The ASA also allegedly covered up the conspiracy and investigation of Defendant Officers, and failed to produce Brady materials during the criminal case brought against Ramirez. Ramirez contends that he was found not guilty and was acquitted for his alleged crime. Ramirez also specifically acknowledges in his amended complaint that he brought claims beyond the statute of limitations, but he argues that the accrual of the claims should have been tolled due to fraudulent concealment by Defendants.

In Ramirez's amended complaint, he includes claims brought against Defendant Officers under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Section 1983) alleging illegal search of person (Count I), Section 1983 illegal search of home claims brought against Defendant Officers (Count II), Section 1983 Fifth Amendment Brady violation claims brought against Defendant Officers and the State's Attorney (Count III), a Section 1983 Monell claim relating to Counts I-III brought against Defendant City of Chicago (City) (Count IV), state false arrest and imprisonment claims brought against Defendant Officers and the State's Attorney (Count V), state malicious prosecution claims brought against Defendant Officers and the State's Attorney (Count VI), a Section 1983 Monell claim brought against the City (Count VII), and indemnification claims brought against the City and County pursuant to 745 ILCS 10/9-102 (Count VIII). On June 1, 2009, Ramirez voluntarily dismissed pursuant to settlement all claims brought against Defendant Officers and the City. The only remaining claims are those brought against the State's Attorney and the County.


In ruling on a motion to dismiss brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6) (Rule 12(b)(6)), the court must draw all reasonable inferences that favor the plaintiff, construe the allegations of the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and accept as true all well-pleaded facts and allegations in the complaint. Thompson v. Ill. Dep't of Prof'l Regulation, 300 F.3d 750, 753 (7th Cir. 2002); Perkins v. Silverstein, 939 F.2d 463, 466 (7th Cir. 1991). In order to withstand a motion to dismiss, a complaint must allege the "operative facts" upon which each claim is based. Kyle v. Morton High Sch., 144 F.3d 448, 454-55 (7th Cir. 1998); Lucien v. Preiner, 967 F.2d 1166, 1168 (7th Cir. 1992). A plaintiff is required to include allegations in the complaint that "plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising that possibility above a 'speculative level'" and "if they do not, the plaintiff pleads itself out of court." E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Services, Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007)(quoting in part Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007)). Under the current notice pleading standard in federal courts a plaintiff need not "plead facts that, if true, establish each element of a 'cause of action. . . .'" See Sanjuan v. Amer. Bd. of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., 40 F.3d 247, 251 (7th Cir. 1994)(stating that "[a]t this stage the plaintiff receives the benefit of imagination, so long as the hypotheses are consistent with the complaint" and that "[m]atching facts against legal elements comes later"). The plaintiff need not allege all of the facts involved in the claim and can plead conclusions. Higgs v. Carver, 286 F.3d 437, 439 (7th Cir. 2002); Kyle, 144 F.3d at 455. However, any conclusions pled must "'provide the defendant with at least minimal notice of the claim,'" Kyle, 144 F.3d at 455(quoting Jackson v. Marion County, 66 F.3d 151, 153-54 (7th Cir. 1995)), and the plaintiff cannot satisfy federal pleading requirements merely "by attaching bare legal conclusions to narrated facts which fail to outline the bases of [his] claims." Perkins, 939 F.2d at 466-67. The Seventh Circuit has explained that "[o]ne pleads a 'claim for relief' by briefly describing the events." Sanjuan, 40 F.3d at 251; Nance v. Vieregge, 147 F.3d 589, 590 (7th Cir. 1998)(stating that "[p]laintiffs need not plead facts or legal theories; it is enough to set out a claim for relief").


I. Section 1983 Claims

County Defendants argue that the Section 1983 claims brought against them should be dismissed.

A. Statute of Limitations

County Defendants argue that Ramirez's Section 1983 claims are barred by the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for Section 1983 claims in Illinois is two years. Dominguez v. Hendley, 545 ...

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