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Marcavage v. City of Chicago

December 16, 2009

MICHAEL MARCAVAGE, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority ("Authority") has brought a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 12(c), following this Court's issuance of its July 20, 2009 memorandum opinion and order ("Opinion," 635 F.Supp.2d 829).*fn1 For the reasons stated here, Authority's motion is granted.

Standard of Review

Courts review Rule 12(c) motions under the same standard as motions brought under Rule 12(b)(6) (GATX Leasing Corp. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co., 64 F.3d 1112, 1114 (7th Cir. 1995)): Judgment on the pleadings in a defendant's favor will not be granted unless defendant establishes "beyond doubt that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts that would support his claim for relief" and "that there are no material issues of fact to be resolved" N. Ind. Gun & Outdoor Shows, Inc. v. South Bend, 163 F.3d 449, 452 (7th Cir. 1998)).*fn2

To that end a court must accept as true all facts alleged by plaintiff and must draw all reasonable inferences from the pleadings in plaintiff's favor (id.; Gillman v. Burlington N. R.R., 878 F.2d 1020, 1022 (7th Cir. 1989)). But because such inferences must be reasonable, they cannot be brought into play if they are contrary to the clear and unambiguous words or actions of the parties (N. Ind. Gun & Outdoor Shows, 163 F.3d at 452, explaining that the court is "not obliged to ignore any facts set forth in the complaint that undermine the plaintiff's claim").

As with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the aptly named motion for judgment on the pleadings restricts the parties and the court to the contents of the pleadings themselves (id.). But to defeat such a motion a plaintiff may supplement the complaint with an affidavit or brief with additional facts, as long as those facts are consistent with the allegations in the complaint (Help at Home, Inc. v. Med. Capital, L.L.C., 260 F.3d 748, 752-53 (7th Cir.2001)).*fn3

Background

Because the Opinion has already described the principal facts in this case in detail, this opinion will minimally reiterate only those facts relevant to Authority's present motion. That will be followed by a description of the case's earlier procedural history.

Key Facts

Navy Pier is owned by Authority, an Illinois governmental unit (First Amended Complaint ["FAC"] ¶6). Gateway Park is located just west of Navy Pier and provides a dramatic entrance to the Pier's facilities (see id. ¶12). As stated in Authority's "Policy for Public Expression at Navy Pier and the Headlands," anyone wishing to engage in public expression on Navy Pier or in Gateway Park must first obtain a permit from Authority (id. ¶14).

On July 16, 2006 plaintiffs went to Navy Pier to engage in public expression of their religious message (see FAC ¶21). Plaintiffs did not obtain a permit before doing so (Opinion at 835). When they arrived at Navy Pier, they were told by Navy Pier security and by Chicago police officer Adam Andrews ("Andrews") that they could not remain on Navy Pier without a permit (id.). Andrews later also told them they could not remain in Gateway Park without a permit (id. at 835-36). During the course of plaintiffs' interactions with Andrews, James Deferio was arrested for criminal trespass and taken to the police station (FAC ¶¶24-25). He was not charged and was released from police custody (id. ¶27). Plaintiffs later filed this action.

Procedural History

Plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment against Andrews and the other individual officers named in this action. At the same time, the City and individual officers moved for summary judgment against plaintiffs. Plaintiffs framed their motion and briefing regarding the events at Navy Pier around Andrews' actions and did not refer to Authority's permit policy. In contrast, the City and its officers expressly structured their arguments with reference to the constitutionality of Authority's policy.

In granting the City's and the officers' motion and denying plaintiffs', the Opinion noted that plaintiffs did not respond to the City's and the officers' arguments about the policy until their reply brief, and even then they "left it unclear whether they were challenging the permit requirement on its face or as applied" (Opinion at 840). This Court ...


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