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Hernandez v. Dart

July 8, 2010

JAMIE HERNANDEZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COOK COUNTY SHERIFF TOM DART, COOK COUNTY SHERIFF INVESTIGATOR ROBERT ANDERSON, COOK COUNTY SHERIFF DEPUTIES CHRISTOPHER OLEJARZ, #4525, JOHNSON, #5079, SGT. JAMES MORRISSEY (THEN #4283), CHRISTOPHER DANGLES, #5257, SGT THOMS BOYD, #301, GREG GAYDEN, #2432, CHAD A. HARRIS, SGT. RANDY RODRIGUEZ, #267, PHILLIP D. MACKEY, CHRISTINE MIGLERI, #3220, ERIC GROSS, #4043, JASON REYNOLDS, #3403, ATTORNEY DAVID WESSEL, ATTORNEY RUSSELL STEWART, COOK COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE MARIA KURIAKOS-CIESIL, COOK COUNTY CIRCUIT JUDGE THOMAS MORE DONNELLY, COOK COUNTY ASSISTANT STATE'S ATTORNEYS ANDREA KIRSTEN, SARA KARR, PATRICK KELLY, PETER KRAMER (COOK COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE) AND UNKNOWN OTHERS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Robert W. Gettleman

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Jaime Hernandez has brought a rambling 13 count amended pro se complaint against defendants Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff Investigator Robert Anderson, Cook County Sheriff Deputies Christopher Olejarz, Johnson, Sgt. James Morrissey, Christopher Dangles, Sgt. Thomas Boyd, Greg Gayden, Chad A. Harris, Sgt. Randy Rodriguez, Phillip D. Mackey, Christine Migleri, Eric Gross, Jason Reynolds, Attorney David Wessel, Attorney Russell Stewart, Cook County Circuit Judge Thomas More Donnelly, Cook County Assistant State's Attorneys Andrea Kirsten, Sara Karr, Patrick Kelly, Peter Kramer (Cook County Sheriff's Office) and unknown others (collectively, defendants) alleging various civil rights violations and common law torts. Defendants have moved to dismiss all 13 counts pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). For the reasons described below, defendants' motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

According to the complaint, on February 2, 2007, plaintiff was operating as a self-proclaimed, unofficial court-watcher at Sheila Mannix's hearing in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. He was asked by Cook County Sheriff Deputy Eric Gross to exit the courtroom. Upon exiting plaintiff and his fellow court-watchers were allegedly confronted by several other deputies and were asked to vacate the building. Plaintiff asserts that he inquired multiple times about the reason for his expulsion, but never received an answer. Plaintiff was then arrested and charged with criminal trespass to state supported land, two counts of resisting arrest, aggravated assault, and battery. The trespassing and assault counts were dropped prior to trial. A jury found plaintiff guilty of both counts of resisting arrest and battery and he was subsequently sentenced to 30 days in the Cook County Department of Corrections. The convictions have not been overturned. Plaintiff's initial 13-count complaint was assigned to the Judge Aspen, who dismissed in part plaintiff's claims pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C. §1915. The case was then reassigned to this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §381.

Plaintiff has now filed a 13-count amended complaint again alleging: false imprisonment (Count I), false arrest (Count II), and malicious prosecution (Count III); violation of his First Amendment right for redress of grievances (Count IV); violation of his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights (Count V); violation of this Fourteenth Amendment equal protections rights (Count VIII), retaliation for the exercise of rights (Count VII); Alienation of Spousal Affections (Count VI); civil conspiracy pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1985 (Count IX); negligent failure to prevent civil conspiracy pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1986 (Count X); violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act (Count XI); negligent training and supervision (Count XII); and intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count XIII).*fn1 Plaintiff seeks a permanent injunction allowing him protection in and access to all Cook County courthouses for the purposes of his own litigation, all litigation of interest to him, all public events and visiting exhibits within Cook County courthouses, and full access to the Cook County law library. Plaintiff also seeks $50,000 in compensatory damages from each defendant, and all available punitive damages. Defendants have moved to dismiss all claims under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).

DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

When ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the court accepts the complaint's well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draws all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Sprint Spectrum L.P. v. City of Carmel, Indiana, 361 F.3d 998, 1001 (7th Cir. 2004). The complaint must describe the claim in sufficient detail to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds on which the claim rests. The allegations must plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising the possibility above the "speculative level."

Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-73, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007).

B. Counts IV, V, VI, VII, IX, X, and XI

After reviewing the original complaint as required under §1915, Judge Aspen dismissed counts IV (First Amendment violation for redress of grievances), V (violation of Fourteenth Amendment for due process), VI (alienation of spousal affections), VII (retaliation for the exercise of rights), IX (civil conspiracy), X (negligent failure to prevent conspiracy), and XI (violation of the RICO Act). Plaintiff has since repled each of these counts. Because none of the new allegations in the amended complaint cure the initial deficiencies found by Judge Aspen, the counts are again dismissed. For these reasons, defendants' motion to dismiss counts IV -- VII, and IX -- XI is granted.*fn2

C. Counts I-II (False Imprisonment and False Arrest)

In Counts I and II plaintiff alleges that he was falsely imprisoned and falsely arrested by defendants. Defendants have moved to dismiss these claims, arguing that plaintiff has failed to plead that his convictions have been overturned. "The essential elements of a cause of action for false arrest or false imprisonment are that the plaintiff was retained or arrested by the defendant[s], and that the defendant[s] acted without having reasonable grounds to believe that an offense was committed by the plaintiff." Meerbrey v. Marshall Field & Co., 139 Ill.2d 455, 474, 151 Ill.Dec. 560, 564 N.E.2d 1222, 1231 (Ill. 1990). However, "to recover damages for allegedly unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid, a § 1983 plaintiff must prove that the conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2254." Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-487 (U.S. 1994). Therefore, plaintiff must not only sufficiently plead the essential elements for false arrest and imprisonment, but must also allege that recovery for those claims would not invalidate any prior convictions.

On September 4, 2008, plaintiff was found guilty of two counts of resisting arrest and one count of battery and was subsequently sentenced to 30 days in the Cook County Department of Corrections. Plaintiff has not alleged anywhere in his pleading that those convictions have been reversed, vacated, or called into question by any court. Under Heck v. Humphrey, this court must dismiss any claim that would invalidate these convictions. Plaintiff argues that since he was found not guilty of trespassing on state supported land, his arrest was unlawful because defendants lacked probable cause. "In a § 1983 actions for false arrest, probable cause need not have existed for the charge for which the plaintiff was arrested, so long as probable cause existed for arrest on a closely related charge." Biddle v. Martin, 992 F.2d 673, 676 (7th Cir. 1993). A criminal trespass charge can sufficiently justify to a disorderly conduct charge. Biddle, 992 F.2d at 676 (citing Pfannstiel v. City of Marion, 918 F.2d 1178, 1183). Similarly, plaintiff's arrest for trespass was supplemented by his charge of resisting arrest and battery. These charges were entwined together under the same set of facts. Therefore, any ยง1983 claims made by plaintiff that relate to ...


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