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Michael Brown (#2010-0613145 v. City of Chicago

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois


February 16, 2011

MICHAEL BROWN (#2010-0613145)
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, ET AL.

Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge AMY J. ST. EVE than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE DOCKET ENTRY TEXT:

Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [5] is granted. The Court authorizes and orders Cook County Jail officials to deduct $15.80 from Plaintiff's account, and to continue making monthly deductions in accordance with this order. The Clerk shall send a copy of this order to the Supervisor of Inmate Trust Fund Accounts, Cook County Dept. of Corrections Administrative Office, Division V, 2700 S. California, Chicago, Illinois 60608. On the Court's own motion, the City of Chicago is dismissed as a Defendants on initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The Clerk is directed to issue summonses for Defendants Zayas and Vrentas only. The Clerk is also directed to send Plaintiff a magistrate judge consent form and filing instructions along with a copy of this order. The United States Marshals Service is appointed to serve Defendants.

O [For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.

STATEMENT

Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections has brought this pro se civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that Chicago police officers falsely arrested him and lodged fabricated charges against him.

Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), Plaintiff is assessed an initial partial filing fee of $15.80. The supervisor of inmate trust accounts at the Cook County Jail is authorized and ordered to collect, when funds exist, the partial filing fee from Plaintiff's trust fund account and pay it directly to the Clerk of Court. After payment of the initial partial filing fee, the trust fund officer at Plaintiff's place of confinement is directed to collect monthly payments from Plaintiff's trust fund account in an amount equal to 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the account. Monthly payments collected from Plaintiff's trust fund account shall be forwarded to the Clerk of Court each time the amount in the account exceeds $10 until the full $350 filing fee is paid. All payments shall be sent to the Clerk, United States District Court, 219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Illinois 60604, attn: Cashier's Desk, 20th Floor, and shall clearly identify Plaintiff's name and the case number assigned to this action. The Cook County inmate trust accountoffice shall notify transferee authorities of any outstanding balance in the event Plaintiff is transferred from the jail to another correctional facility.

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court is required to conduct a prompt initial review of prisoner complaints against governmental entities or employees. Here, accepting Plaintiff's factual allegations as true, the Court finds that the complaint states a colorable cause of action under the Civil Rights Act. An arrest without probable cause violates the arrestee's Fourth Amendment rights. See, e.g., Mustafa v. City of Chicago, 442 F.3d 544, 547 (7th Cir. 2006). While a more fully developed record may belie Plaintiff's claims, Officers Zayas and Vrentas must respond to the allegations in the complaint.

However, the City of Chicago is dismissed as a Defendant on preliminary review. A municipality cannot be held liable for a constitutional violation in the absence of a custom, policy or practice that effectively caused or condoned the alleged constitutional violations. See, e.g., Garrison v. Burke, 165 F.3d 565, 571 (7th Cir. 1999); Phelan v. Cook County, 463 F.3d 773, 789 (7th Cir. 2006). A municipality is not liable for damages merely on the basis of respondeat superior. Latuszkin v. City of Chicago, 250 F.3d 502, 504 (7th Cir. 2001); see also Monell v. New York Dept. of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978). Here, Plaintiff has not alleged an unconstitutional municipal policy or custom. To the contrary, a false arrest and fabricated charges would undoubtedly violate city policy. There is therefore no basis for liability on the part of the City of Chicago.

The Clerk shall issue summonses for service of the complaint on Defendants Zayas and Vrentas. The Clerk shall also send Plaintiff a Magistrate Judge Consent Form and Instructions for Submitting Documents along with a copy of this order.

The United States Marshals Service is appointed to serve Defendants. Any service forms necessary for Plaintiff to complete will be sent by the Marshal as appropriate to serve Defendants with process. The U.S. Marshal is directed to make all reasonable efforts to serve Defendants. If either officer can no longer be found at the work address provided by Plaintiff, the Chicago Police Department shall furnish the Marshal with Defendant's last-known address. The information shall be used only for purposes of effectuating service [or for proof of service, should a dispute arise] and any documentation of the address shall be retained only by the Marshal. Address information shall not be maintained in the Court file, nor disclosed by the Marshal. The Marshal is authorized to mail a request for waiver of service to Defendants in the manner prescribed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d)(2) before attempting personal service.

Plaintiff is instructed to file all future papers concerning this action with the Clerk of Court in care of the Prisoner Correspondent. Plaintiff is once again reminded that he must provide the Court with the original plus a complete judge's copy, including any exhibits, of every document filed. In addition, Plaintiff must send an exact copy of any Court filing to Defendants [or to defense counsel, once an attorney has entered an appearance on behalf of Defendants]. Every document filed with the Court must include a certificate of service stating to whom exact copies were mailed and the date of mailing. Any paper that is sent directly to the judge or that otherwise fails to comply with these instructions may be disregarded by the Court or returned to Plaintiff.

20110216

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