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McCauley v. City of Chicago

September 18, 2009

BREWSTER MCCAULEY, AS SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF MERSAIDES MCCAULEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Amy J. St. Eve, District Court Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On February 13, 2009, Plaintiff Brewster McCauley, as a special administrator of the Estate of Mersaides McCauley, filed the present action in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Law Division, against Defendants City of Chicago, the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC"), various IDOC officers, and the Estate of Glenford J. Martinez. After Plaintiff filed his fourteen-count Second Amended Complaint at Law, which added alleged violations of the United States Constitution, Defendants removed Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint to federal district court on April 29, 2009. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441(b), (c), 1446.

Before the Court are the IDOC Defendants' and the City's motions to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the Court grants in part the City's and IDOC's motions to dismiss. Because the Court dismisses Plaintiff's constitutional claims with prejudice, the Court does not have original jurisdiction, and thus declines to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). Therefore, the Court remands Plaintiff's state law claims to the Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division, and dismisses this lawsuit in its entirety.

LEGAL STANDARD

"A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chicago Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). Pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). As the Seventh Circuit recently explained, this "[r]ule reflects a liberal notice pleading regime, which is intended to 'focus litigation on the merits of a claim' rather than on technicalities that might keep plaintiffs out of court." Brooks v. Ross, ___ F.3d ___, 2009 WL 2535731, at *4 (7th Cir. Aug. 20, 2009) (quoting Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 514, 122 S.Ct. 992, 152 L.Ed.2d 1 (2002)). This short and plain statement must "give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957)). Also, under the federal notice pleading standards, a plaintiff's "factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Put differently, 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570); see also Limestone Dev. Corp. v. Village of Lemont, Ill., 520 F.3d 797, 803 (7th Cir. 2008) (amount of factual allegations required to state a plausible claim for relief depends on complexity of legal theory). "[W]hen ruling on a defendant's motion to dismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007).

BACKGROUND

On May 24, 1993, Glenford J. Martinez was found guilty of murder and attempted murder based on a 1992 drug-related incident and the trial court sentenced him to 28 and 14 years' imprisonment, respectively, to be served concurrently. (R. 1-2, Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 9, 10.) On or about May 25, 2006, IDOC released Martinez from his incarceration at Lawrence Correctional Center in Sumner, Illinois to mandatory supervised release. (Id. ¶ 11.) Martinez's release was contingent upon his participation in anger management counseling. (Id.) Martinez's discharge date from his mandatory supervised release was set for May 25, 2009. (Id. ¶ 12.)

On November 3, 2007, Martinez, an ex-boyfriend of decedent Mersaides McCauley, physically abused McCauley by choking her until she lost consciousness. (Id. ¶ 14.) Thereafter, the Chicago Police arrested Martinez for domestic violence battery. (Id. ¶ 15.) On November 5, 2007, McCauley obtained an Emergency Order of Protection against Martinez prohibiting him from committing physical abuse, harassment, interference with personal liberty, stalking, and contacting McCauley by any means. (Id. ¶ 16.)

On November 7, 2007, the Circuit Court of Cook County issued a subpoena for McCauley to appear in court on November 19, 2007 for Martinez's battery case. (Id. ¶ 17.) On November 19, 2007, the Circuit Court entered a Plenary Order of Protection on behalf of McCauley against Martinez, which the court later extended to February 25, 2008. (Id. ¶ 18.) After the entry of the Order of Protection, Martinez continued to harass McCauley. (Id. ¶ 24.) The Chicago Police, however, never arrested Martinez for violating the Order of Protection, although the police were aware of such violations. (Id. ¶ 25.)

On December 18, 2007, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office telephoned Martinez's parole officer to inform him of Martinez's November 3, 2007 domestic violence battery charge. (Id. ¶ 19.) Likewise, on January 9, 2008, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office contacted Martinez's assigned IDOC parole officer to notify him of the domestic violence battery charge. (Id. ¶ 21.) IDOC never issued a parole violation warrant for Martinez's domestic battery that would have mandated Martinez to be held without bail until his trial on the battery charge. (Id. ¶¶ 22, 23.)

Meanwhile, on February 25, 2008, Martinez's domestic battery case was to be heard in court, but the judge continued it until April 17, 2008. (Id. ¶ 22.) Following a church service on April 6, 2008, McCauley was in her vehicle at the church parking lot with her friend. (Id. ¶ 26.) Martinez used his vehicle to block McCauley's vehicle in the parking lot, preventing her from exiting. (Id. ¶ 27.) Martinez then shot McCauley several times. (Id. ¶ 28.) Shortly thereafter, McCauley was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital due to multiple gunshot wounds. (Id. ¶ 29.) Later that evening, Martinez shot and killed himself. (Id. ¶ 30.)

ANALYSIS

I. Equal Protection and Due Process Claims Against the City -- ...


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