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Dedrick Jeffries v. City of Chicago

December 17, 2010


Name of Assigned Judge or Magistrate Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. Sitting Judge if Other than Assigned Judge



For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Defendant City of Chicago's motion to dismiss [35]. Plaintiff Jeffries' amended complaint is dismissed. Plaintiff is given 30 days in which to file a second amended complaint if he believes that he can cure any of the deficiencies in the federal claims asserted in his first amended complaint. The Court also notes that Plaintiff has not served Officer Peoria or any individual officers. If Plaintiff does not file a second amended complaint within 30 days, the Court will dismiss the claims against the unserved officer Defendants without prejudice (see Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m)) and enter judgment for the City of Chicago and against Plaintiff.

O[ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices. Notices mailed by Judicial staff.


I. Background

On November 18, 2009, Plaintiff Dedrick Jeffries submitted his original complaint, an application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP"), and a motion for the appointment of counsel. The judge previously assigned to this case granted Plaintiff IFP status, but twice denied motions for the appointment of counsel. Defendant then filed a motion to dismiss, and the Court gave Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff filed his amended complaint, and Defendant filed a second motion to dismiss, to which Plaintiff failed to respond. Noting the absence of a response brief, the magistrate judge assigned to this matter requested that Plaintiff come before the Court for a status to inquire as to whether Plaintiff intended to proceed with his case. Prior to the status hearing, Plaintiff filed a third motion for the appointment of counsel. At the status hearing on September 7, 2010, the magistrate judge denied Plaintiff's third motion for the appointment of counsel but granted Plaintiff an additional seven weeks, until October 29, to file a response to Defendant's motion to dismiss. Despite the extension, Plaintiff has not filed a response.

In his amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on December 8, 2007, Chicago Police officers were called to 6643 South Ashland Avenue. See Plaintiff's Amended Complaint ("Compl.") at ¶ 4. According to Plaintiff, he was told by an Officer Peoria to give keys to a Miss DeVille despite an alleged ordinance that states that a landlord is not to have keys to a tenant's apartment. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he gave Miss DeVille the keys because of a "mean look" that Officer Peoria gave him and the "way he was shouting" at Plaintiff, which caused Plaintiff to fear for his safety. Id. The amended complaint also alleges that Officer Peoria refused to give Plaintiff service or protection of the law. Id. at ¶ 5.

Plaintiff's amended complaint also describes a second incident, which allegedly occurred on December 24, 2007. On that date, Plaintiff claims to have experienced a break-in at 6643 South Ashland Avenue. Id. at ¶ 6. Plaintiff called 911 for "service", but alleges that he did not receive any "service." Id. at ¶ 7. Instead, Plaintiff alleges, without any additional information, that he was arrested. Id.

Plaintiff next alleges that on December 1, 2008, he was walking on 63rd Street near its intersection with Ashland Avenue. Id. at ¶ 8. According to Plaintiff, as he was walking westbound on 63rd Street, a blue and white Chicago Police car, Beat No. 753, came up behind him on his right side. Id. Plaintiff noticed that the officer operating that police car was "giving [him] a hard look." Id. at ¶ 9. According to Plaintiff, he stopped walking to allow the officer to drive by, but the officer made a sharp turn and came at him with the police car, almost hitting Plaintiff with the car. Id. Plaintiff claims he had to run for his life until the officer made another sharp turn and went back to his original position on 63rd Street. Id. at ¶ 10. According to Plaintiff, this same officer made another sharp turn returning to where Plaintiff was walking, exited the car, and "just stood there giving [Plaintiff] a hard look" as Plaintiff was walking on 63rd Street. Id. at ¶ 11.

In addition to these three specific incidents, Plaintiff also makes general complaints about the Chicago Police Department ("CPD"). For example, Plaintiff claims that he is being followed, watched, and harassed wherever he goes and that he has no privacy at home, on his phone, or with his ATM cards. Id. at ¶ 14. Plaintiff claims that both his car and phone are bugged. Id. According to Plaintiff, the alleged harassment by the CPD increased so much that he had no choice but to move out of the City of Chicago. Id. at ¶ 3. Plaintiff claims that the harassment has affected his health and that he is in need of a doctor's care, but that he does not have the money to obtain treatment. Id. at ¶ 15.

Based upon these facts, Plaintiff alleges false imprisonment and unlawful detention. Plaintiff also makes respondeat superior and indemnification claims against the City of Chicago.

II. Legal Standard

A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint, not the merits of the case. See Gibson v. City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint first must comply with Rule 8(a) by providing "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief" (Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)), such that the defendant is given "fair notice of what the * * * claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Second, the factual allegations in the complaint must be sufficient to raise the possibility of relief above the "speculative level," assuming that all of the allegations in the complaint are true. E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "Detailed factual allegations" are not required, but the plaintiff must allege facts that, when "accepted as true, * * * '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 555). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. ...

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