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Ivy v. City of Chicago

July 14, 2009

TERRELL IVY, REGGIE MCDONALD, AND ELTON HOUSTON, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, JODY WEIS, ANITA ALVAREZ,*FN1 COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joan Humphrey Lefkow United States District Judge

Judge Joan H. Lefkow

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Terrell Ivy, Reggie MacDonald, and Elton Houston (collectively, "plaintiffs") filed a complaint against the City of Chicago, Superintendent of Police Jody Weis, in his individual and official capacity, and the Cook County State's Attorney, Anita Alvarez (formerly Richard Devine), (collectively, "defendants") under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivation of their rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343.

Before the court are defendants' motions to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The City and Weis have moved to (1) dismiss plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claims, (2) dismiss plaintiffs' claims for injunctive relief, (3) dismiss plaintiff Houston's due process claim, and (4) dismiss Weis as a defendant. Alvarez has moved to dismiss the Cook County State's Attorney as a defendant. For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motions will be granted in part and denied in part.

STANDARD

A defendant may bring a motion under Rule 12(b)(6) to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. EEOC v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007). On such a motion, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded allegations of the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-movant. Levenstein v. Salafsky, 164 F.3d 345, 347 (7th Cir. 1998). In order to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, - U.S. -, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed. 2d 929 (2007)).

BACKGROUND

In their Second Amended Complaint ("the complaint"), plaintiffs allege that defendants have a policy of inventorying money seized at arrest that deprives plaintiffs of their property without due process of law under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Plaintiffs' allegations are as follows.

In Count I, Ivy alleges that Chicago Police officers took $650 from him when he was arrested for battery. The money was inventoried, designated as "Hold for investigation and/or evidence," and deposited into a City of Chicago bank account. When the battery charge was dismissed, Ivy secured a court order directing the Chicago Police Department to return his inventoried money. Nevertheless, the Chicago Police Department refused to return Ivy's money, informing Ivy that his money was still under investigation.

In Count II, MacDonald alleges that Chicago Police officers arrested him without probable cause and seized $1,160 from him. The money was inventoried, designated "Hold for investigation," and deposited into a City of Chicago Bank account. When MacDonald requested the return of his money, a City of Chicago Police officer refused, informing MacDonald that his money was still under investigation.

In Count III, Houston alleges that Chicago Police officers seized and inventoried a total of $1,221 belonging to him while executing a search warrant at his place of residence. Houston's money was designated "hold for investigation and/or evidence" but, in fact, is not being investigated or held for evidence. The City of Chicago Police Department has refused to return the money to Houston.

Plaintiffs further allege that defendants never secured any court order to detain their property and that the State's Attorney has not filed forfeiture actions against their property.

All three plaintiffs request the same relief: (1) an injunction requiring defendants to return the seized money; (2) an injunction requiring defendants to "secure a court order within seven business days of any seizure, or return the ...


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