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Eastern Division Michael Moore, et al v. Larry Trent

December 16, 2010

EASTERN DIVISION MICHAEL MOORE, ET AL, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
LARRY TRENT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This case comes before the court on Defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. For the reasons stated below, the motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs Michael Moore, William Mallo, Emmett Harris, Lawrence Harmon and Julian Powell ("Plaintiffs") are all retired employees of the Cook County Sheriff's Department. Each Plaintiff served more than 20 years for either the Cook County Sheriff's Department of Corrections or the Department of Court Services and Civil Process. Throughout their employment, Plaintiffs were authorized to carry weapons except when working in a correctional facility.

Defendants Larry Trent, Jody Weis, Lisa Madigan, Anita Alvarez, Timothy J. Davlin, Bennett W. Dickmann, Brent A. Fischer, G. Nick Graff, Robert J. Hogan, David E. Livesay, Valerie L. Salmons, John H. Schlaf, Ted J. Street, H. Richard Watson, Dwight W. Welch, Thomas Dart, Karen E. Spangenberg, Judy Erwin, Krystal L. Fitzpatrick, and Roger E. Walker, JR., ("Defendants") are all members of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board ("Training and Standards Board") and are sued in their official capacities. The Training and Standards Board is a state agency charged with formulating training standards for law enforcement executives, officers, and county corrections officers in Illinois. The Board is also responsible for the certification of qualified retired law enforcement officers allowing them to carry concealed firearms.

Plaintiffs filed separate applications with the Concealed Carry Program, which is administered by the Training and Standards Board, seeking the right to carry concealed weapons as qualified retired law enforcement officers pursuant to the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, 18 U.S.C. 926C (2010) ("LEOSA"). The Concealed Carry Program denied Plaintiffs' applications. The Training and Standards Board sent each Plaintiff a letter stating as follows:

"Dear Mr. [Name of Plaintiff]:

The office of the Illinois Retired Officer Concealed Carry Program ["IROCC"] declines to certify that you meet certain criteria for being designated a "qualified retired law enforcement officer" under the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act of 2004, 18 U.S.C. § 926C as authorized by the Illinois Police Training Act, 50 ILCS 705/10.

Specifically, IROCC finds a lack of evidence that (you): ...

(2) before such retirement, was a certified Law Enforcement Officer as defined in the Illinois Police Training Act, and had statutory powers to arrest[.]" On March 19, 2009, Plaintiffs initiated this suit against Defendants alleging that the Training and Standards Board's failure to issue photographic identification cards and permits violated 18 U.S.C. § 926C, as well as their rights under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief against Defendants. Defendants now move for summary judgment.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A genuine issue of material fact exists when the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could find for the non-movant. Buscaglia v. United States, 25 F.3d 530, 534 (7th Cir. 1994). The movant in a motion for summary judgment bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact by specific citation to the record; if the party succeeds in doing so, the burden shifts to the non-movant to set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue of fact for trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). In considering motions for summary judgment, a court construes all facts and draws all inferences from the record in favor of the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). With these principles in mind, we turn to Defendants' motions.

DISCUSSION

Defendants move for summary judgment on the basis that LEOSA does not create an express or implied private right of action. According to Defendants, 18 U.S.C. § 926C merely grants immunity from state prosecution to retired officers who qualify under the statute's requirements to carry concealed weapons across state lines. Whether a federal cause of action exists depends upon the court's determination that the statute at issue displays an intent to create not just a private right but also a private remedy. Ind. Prot. and Advocacy Servs. v. Ind. Family and Social Servs., 603 F.3d 365, 375 (7th Cir. 2010). Statutory intent is determinative. Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U.S. 275, 287 (2001). To determine whether such an intent exists, the court must analyze the text and structure of the statute. Ind. Prot. and Advocacy Servs., ...


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