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Wallace v. City of Zion et al

July 28, 2011

WALLACE
v.
CITY OF ZION ET AL



Name of Assigned Judge Amy J. St. Eve Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

The Court denies Defendants' motion to dismiss [31] and grants Plaintiffs leave to file a Second Amended Complaint in compliance with this order by no later than 8/11/11.

O[ For further details see text below.] Notices mailed by Judicial staff.

STATEMENT

On May 27, 2011, Plaintiffs Lamont Wallace, Danielle Russ, and their minor daughter, C.W., filed the present eleven-count First Amended Complaint against the City of Zion, Illinois, certain Zion police officers, the Zion-Benton Public Library District (the "Library District"), and the Board of Trustees of the Library District (the "Board"). In their First Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs allege the following constitutional claims: false arrest/unlawful detention (Count I); excessive force (Count II); interference with the parent-child relationship (Count III); denial of medical attention (Count IV); conspiracy (Count V); and failure to intervene (Count VI). See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs also bring state law claims of malicious prosecution (Count VII); intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count VIII); conspiracy (Count IX); respondeat superior (Count X); and indemnification (Count XI) pursuant to the Court's supplemental jurisdiction. See

28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). Before the Court is Defendants A. Thomas Jones', the Library District's, and the Board's motion to dismiss Counts III, V, VII, VIII, IX, X, and XI pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the Court denies Defendants' motion in its entirety. The Court grants Plaintiffs leave to file a Second Amended Complaint in compliance with this order by no later than August 11, 2011. Courtroom Deputy KF

Initials:

LEGAL STANDARD

"A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chicago Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). Pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain statement under Rule 8(a)(2) must "give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47, 78 S. Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957)). Under the federal notice pleading standards, a plaintiff's "factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Put differently, a "complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to '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 570). "[W]hen ruling on a defendant's motion to dismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007).

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Lamont Wallace is a 51-year-old Illinois native, who during the relevant time period was working as a youth mentor. (R. 30, First Am. Compl. ¶ 4.) His partner, Plaintiff Danielle Russ, is a 43-year-old professor, and Plaintiff C.W. is their four-year-old daughter. (Id.) Also during the relevant time period, Defendants Jason Adams, Alan Lother, Michael Gildea, Jon Meyers, Agustin Cabalquinto, and the unknown Zion Police Officers ("Defendant Police Officers") were police officers employed by the City of Zion and acting under the color of law and within the scope of their employment for the City of Zion. (Id. ¶ 8.)

On August 5, 2009, Wallace and Russ took their then two-year-old daughter to the Zion-Benton Public Library to check out some children's videos. (Id. ¶ 10.) While Russ was collecting the videos her daughter wanted, Wallace and C.W. perused the children's books and played with the toys that the library had set out for children. (Id. ¶ 12.) Defendant A. Thomas Jones, the security supervisor at the library, noticed Wallace and his daughter and began following them around the library. (Id. ¶¶ 9, 12.) When Wallace sat down with his daughter at a games table in the children's section, Jones told them that they could not sit there after which Wallace and his daughter moved. (Id. ¶ 12.) Plaintiffs allege that Jones approached Wallace and C.W. three separate times at which time Jones verbally harassed them. (Id. ¶ 13.)

Russ then approached Wallace, after which Plaintiffs decided to report Jones' behavior to the library supervisor. (Id. ¶ 14.) While Plaintiffs were speaking with the supervisor, Jones went into the staff office, called the Zion Police Department, and asked for police officers to come to the library. (Id.) Shortly thereafter, Defendant Zion Police Officer Jason Adams entered the library and Wallace tried to explain that Jones had been harassing his family. (Id. ¶ 15.) Adams, however, would speak only with Jones and ordered Wallace to leave the library to which Wallace complied. (Id.) Plaintiffs allege that Russ then tried to explain what had happened to Adams, who refused to speak with her. (Id. ¶ 16.) Instead, Adams put his hand in Russ' face and said, "Shut your mouth -- I don't want to hear another word from you!" or words to that effect. (Id.) Wallace observed this incident and then re-entered the library lobby to tell Adams that he should not speak to his family ...


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