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Samantha Brown, Individually and As Mother and Next Friend of Dp, A v. Jesus Reyes

August 26, 2011

SAMANTHA BROWN, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND OF DP, A MINOR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JESUS REYES, ACTING CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER OF THE COOK COUNTY ADULT PROBATION DEPARTMENT, AND ACURIE COLLIER, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Virginia M. Kendall United States District Court Judge Northern District of Illinois

Judge Virginia M. Kendall

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Samantha Brown ("Brown") brought suit against Defendant Jesus Reyes ("Reyes"), the Acting Chief Probation Officer of the Cook County Adult Probation Department, for inadequately monitoring Acurie Collier ("Collier"), a convicted sex offender, while he was on probation. Reyes and his agents failed to notice that Collier violated curfew and computer use restrictions imposed by the Adult Sex Offender Program, and this oversight enabled Collier to target DP, a minor, over the internet, break into her residence, and sexually abuse her. He also physically assaulted Brown, DP's mother, as part of the same incident. The Complaint alleges that Reyes violated § 1983 by depriving Brown and DP of their "right to safety" (Count I); Reyes was negligent for failing to train and monitor probation agents to detect Collier's probation violations before the assault (Count II); and Reyes displayed willful and wanton conduct in managing the Cook County Adult Probation Department (Count III). Brown also asserts various state law claims against Collier in Counts IV-IX, but these are not before the Court because only Reyes has moved to dismiss those claims against him. For the following reasons, the Court grants Reyes's Motion to Dismiss Counts I, II, and III.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are taken from Brown's Complaint and are assumed to be true for purposes of this Motion to Dismiss. Murphy v. Walker, 51 F.3d 714, 717 (7th Cir. 1995).

As the Acting Chief Probation Officer of the Cook County Adult Probation Department, Reyes was responsible for supervising, training, and managing Cook County probation officers. (Compl. ¶ 7.) Collier, a convicted sex offender, was on probation and subject to the requirements of the Cook County Probation Department's Adult Sex Offender Program. (Id. ¶ 5.) This program imposed a curfew and prohibited Collier from possessing a computer. (Id. ¶ 8.) One unidentified probation officer, an agent of Reyes, was specifically responsible for ensuring that Collier complied with these conditions of probation. (Id.)

On the evening of July 30, 2010, Collier forced his way into Brown and DP's residence, and once inside he physically assaulted Brown and sexually assaulted DP. (Id. ¶ 13.) Before the attack, Collier violated the terms of his probation over forty times by using a computer and violating curfew. (Id. ¶¶ 12, 13.) In fact, it was through forbidden interactions over the computer that Collier met DP and obtained her home address. (Id. ¶ 13.) Neither Reyes nor the probation officer assigned to Collier discovered and disciplined Collier for these probation violations that enabled him to carry out the July 30 attack. (Id. ¶ 10.) The lack of diligence by Reyes and the probation officer enabled Collier to rape DP and physically assault Brown. (Id. ¶ 18.)

STANDARD OF REVIEW

To state a claim upon which relief can be granted, a complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). "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 Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In analyzing whether a complaint has met this standard, the "reviewing court [must] draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1950.

To withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) challenge, the complaint must overcome two obstacles. First, it must provide the defendant "fair notice" as to the character of the claim and the facts supporting the claim. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. In showing the grounds supporting relief, the plaintiff must provide more than "labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. Second, when there are well-pleaded factual allegations, the Court assumes their veracity, construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and then determines if they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief. Id.; see Estate of Davis v. Wells Fargo Bank, 633 F.3d 529, 533 (7th Cir. 2011).

DISCUSSION

Reyes asserts that Brown lacks standing because the Cook County Probation Department never had an affirmative duty to protect Brown and DP from Collier. Whether Reyes and the Cook County Probation Department had a duty under the Due Process Clause to protect Brown and DP's "right to safety," however, falls more appropriately under Rule ...


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