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Mark Geinosky v. City of Chicago

February 17, 2011

MARK GEINOSKY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge John W. Darrah

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Mark Geinosky, brought this § 1983 action against the City of Chicago and eight Chicago Police Officers, alleging that Defendants maliciously issued twenty-four baseless parking tickets to Geinosky during the fourteen-month period from October 2007 through December 2008. Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are drawn from Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint and are presumed true for purposes of this motion.

Plaintiff is a resident of Orland Park, Illinois. Defendant Officers are officers of the Chicago Police Department and members of Police Department Unit 253.

On October 6, 2007, Plaintiff separated from his wife of twenty years. As part of the separation, Plaintiff's wife was permitted to use one of the family vehicles, a Toyota, though the car remained registered in Plaintiff's name.

Shortly after the separation, Plaintiff began to receive parking tickets in the mail for the Toyota that his wife was using. The first batch of tickets received by Plaintiff contained four tickets -- all for violations allegedly occurring on October 19, 2007. Three of the tickets stated that the violations occurred at 4600 South Winchester in Chicago at 11:00 p.m. These tickets were for parking within fifteen feet of a fire hydrant, parking in a crosswalk and obstructing a roadway. The fourth ticket stated that the violation occurred at 11:20 p.m. at 1658 West 47 Street in Chicago (about half a mile away from the location listed on the other three tickets). The fourth ticket was for parking in a bus/taxi/carriage stand. The four tickets totaled $315.00. All four were issued by Defendant Officer Horst Hegewald.

Plaintiff had not committed these parking violations. Plaintiff's wife informed him that she had not committed the violations either.

Over the next fourteen months, Plaintiff received twenty more parking tickets for the Toyota. All were issued by officers who were assigned to Unit 253. The tickets continued to arrive after Plaintiff received possession of the Toyota from his wife in January 2008. The tickets continued even after the Toyota was no longer registered to Plaintiff. None of the violations set out in the tickets had any basis in fact, and Plaintiff was able to successfully contest all twenty-four tickets.

On March 3, 2010, Plaintiff filed suit against the City of Chicago and Defendant Officers. Plaintiff alleges a "class of one" equal-protection claim (Count I), a substantive due-process claim (Count II) and a claim for civil conspiracy (Count III).

LEGAL STANDARD

In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and draw reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Sprint Spectrum L.P. v. City of Carmel, Ind., 361 F.3d 998, 1001 (7th Cir. 2004). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires that the complaint contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." To meet Rule 8(a)(2)'s requirements, the complaint must describe the claim in sufficient detail to "give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964 (2007) (Twombly) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Plaintiff's allegations "must plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising that possibility above a 'speculative level'; if they do not, the plaintiff pleads itself out of court." E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Serv., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (Concentra) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S. Ct. at 1965, 1973 n. 14).

ANALYSIS

Statute of ...


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