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Jeremy Johnson v. Kenyatta Harper

April 25, 2011

JEREMY JOHNSON
v.
KENYATTA HARPER, ET AL.



Name of Assigned Judge Matthew F. Kennelly Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

(#M-02872)

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

Plaintiff may proceed only against defendants Chibicki, Bratton, Baader, Brown, and the City of Chicago on Counts 1, 4, 5, 7, 12, and 13, as described below. The Clerk is directed to issue summonses for service on these defendants by the U.S. Marshal. The complaint is dismissed on initial review as to all other claims and defendants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The Clerk is further directed to send plaintiff a Magistrate Judge Consent Form and Instructions for Submitting Documents along with a copy of this order.

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

STATEMENT

Plaintiff, a state prisoner, has filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges that a private citizen and police officers violated his constitutional rights by conspiring to falsely arrest him, police supervisors wrongfully approved charges, lock-up officers held him without investigating whether the charges were valid, prosecutors maliciously prosecuted him, defense attorneys provided ineffective assistance at the preliminary hearing, a judge improperly found probable cause, and a parole officer wrongfully charged him with having violated his parole. The Court has reviewed the complaint as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

Plaintiff alleges that on January 1, 2010, Kenyatta Harper, his girlfriend, falsely reported that he had committed domestic battery against her, when in fact she had attacked plaintiff in a jealous rage. Chicago police officers Chibicki, Bratton, Baader, and Brown responded to the call. Plaintiff alleges that one or more of the officers planted narcotics in a pair of his pants that they handed him to wear to the police station. Plaintiff alleges that the officers arrested him for battery without probable cause and did not advise him of his rights.

Plaintiff alleges that police supervisors Coleman, McMahon, and O'Donnell approved the charges even though they were allegedly aware that probable cause was lacking, and that officers Ford, Scott, Carter, and Lee, who were in charge of the police station lockup, held him without verifying the validity of the charges.

Plaintiff alleges that Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez and assistant state's attorney Dan Piwowarczyk declined to drop the charges against plaintiff even though they allegedly knew the charges were without basis and that the arresting officers had engaged in misconduct. He alleges that Cook County Public Defender Abishi Cunningham and assistant public defender Colleen Halliman provided ineffective representation by failing to attack the domestic battery charge at the preliminary hearing. He also alleges that Judge Michelle Jordan improperly found that probable cause existed. Finally, plaintiff alleges that his parole agent, named Donna, improperly charged him with violating his supervised release without independently investigating the validity of the charges.

The domestic battery charge was ultimately dismissed. Plaintiff is serving a prison term, but the complaint does not identify the charge on which he was convicted.

The Court assesses plaintiff's claims as follows:

STATEMENT

1. Plaintiff cannot maintain a claim against Harper. To be liable under section 1983, a defendant must have acted under color of state law. Providing false information to the police - as plaintiff claims Harper did -does not make a private person a state actor. See Moore v. Marketplace Restaurant, Inc., 754 F.2d 1336, 1352 (7th Cir. 1985). Plaintiff's allegations are insufficient to support a claim that Harper conspired with state actors, thus subjecting her to liability under section 1983. In assessing the sufficiency of a complaint, a court is "not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009); see also Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 554-55 (2007) (rejecting an unsupported allegation of conspiracy). All ...


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