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Martin v. Luckett

November 3, 2009

DOUGLAS W. MARTIN PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICER LUCKETT # 355, ROMEOVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge James B. Zagel

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Douglas W. Martin has brought a complaint against various officers, police departments and municipalities alleging violations of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Plaintiff filed an initial complaint with this Court on May 18, 2007. Subsequently, he filed his first amended complaint and second amendment complaint. On June 23, 2009 Plaintiff filed his third amended complaint which is the subject of this Order. Defendants Village of Woodridge and Woodridge Police Department filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint, and Defendant Will County was timely joined.

I. BACKGROUND

On May 25, 2005 Plaintiff was driving in the city of Joliet, Illinois. An unknown Joliet police officer noticed an alleged traffic violation committed by Plaintiff, activated emergency lights on his or her police vehicle and pursued Plaintiff's vehicle. During the pursuit, the vehicles entered the municipality of Crest Hill, Illinois. An unknown Crest Hill Police officer also activated emergency lights on his or her vehicle and joined in the pursuit. When the pursuit entered the Village of Romeoville, the Joliet and Crest Hill police officers abandoned their pursuit and informed certain Defendants, through police traffic radio, that they were abandoning their pursuit. Plaintiff stopped his vehicle at or near 744 Farragut, Romeoville, Illinois ending the pursuit.*fn1

After Plaintiff stopped his vehicle, he alleges that one Defendant broke the window of Plaintiff's door. Plaintiff alleges that he was then in "great fear for his personal safety" and subsequently drove his vehicle away from the area. Plaintiff stopped his vehicle again near Arcadia and Farragut streets, in Romeoville, Illinois. At that time and place Plaintiff alleges that he was attacked by a canine unit "owned and controlled by the Romeoville Police Department."*fn2

Plaintiff denies ever resisting arrest by Defendants.

Plaintiff alleges that he was then taken into custody by Defendants and was physically struck by certain Defendants resulting in injury. After being placed in custody and restrained by handcuffs, Plaintiff alleges that he was again injured by canine units and Defendants. Again, Plaintiff denies resisting his arrest.

Plaintiff was later arraigned and entered a plea of not guilty.*fn3 Plaintiff subsequently plead guilty to "one count of aggravated fleeing/attempting to elude Police." All other charges were dismissed.

Relevant to Defendants' motion, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Deputy James Akers and Sargeant Thomas Budde, both of Will County Sheriff's Police, used excessive force against Plaintiff in effecting arrest, violated the "Use of Force" policy of Will County Sheriff's Police, failed to protect Plaintiff from physical harm while in custody, and deliberately struck Plaintiff while Plaintiff was not resisting arrest. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Will County failed to instruct members of the Will County Sheriff's Police on proper use of force against individuals undergoing arrest and while in custody.

Plaintiff brings allegations against Defendants Officer James Luckett, Officer Brian Truhlar, Officer Gary Augustine, Officer Allen Downen, The Village of Romeoville, Illinois, Deputy James Akers, Sargeant Thomas Budde, Will County, Illinois, Officer Robert Chrusciel, Sargent Marema, the Village of Woodridge, Illinois, Unknown Officers and Agents of the Village of Romeoville, Illinois Police Department, Unknown Officers and Agents of the Will County Sheriff's Police, Unknown Officers and Agents of the Village of Woodridge, Illinois Police Department under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

Defendants Village of Woodridge and Woodridge Police Departments, timely joined by Defendant Will County, filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

For the following reasons Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiff's third amended complaint as to all claims against them is granted.

II. STANDARD

A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) requires that I analyze the legal sufficiency of the complaint, and not the factual merits of the case. Autry v. Northwest Premium Servs., Inc., 144 F.3d 1037, 1039 (7th Cir. 1998). I must take all facts alleged in Plaintiff's complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences from those facts in favor of the Plaintiff. Caldwell v. City of Elmwood, 959 F.2d 670, 671 (7th Cir. 1992). Plaintiff, for her part, must do more than solely recite the elements for a violation; she must plead with sufficient particularity so that her right to relief is more than a mere conjecture. Bell Atl., Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Plaintiff must plead her facts so that, when accepted as true, they show the plausibility of her claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). ...


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