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Tracey M. Gragg v. Perry J. Skaggs

November 2, 2011

TRACEY M. GRAGG, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PERRY J. SKAGGS, ET AL. DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:

E-FILED

Wednesday, 02 November, 2011 04:06:55 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This matter is before the Court on the Motions to Dismiss filed by Defendants Sangamon County State's Attorney (see d/e 20) the Springfield Police Department (see d/e 23) and Plaintiff's Motions for Summary Judgment as to Defendant Perry Skaggs (see d/e 29) and Jeremiah Elugdibaldibo (see d/e 30). For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motions to Dismiss are GRANTED and the Motions for Summary Judgment are STRICKEN.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Tracey M. Gragg's, original Complaint (d/e 1), filed June 22, 2011, purported to allege claims under § 1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. On June 27, 2011, this Court dismissed the Complaint for failure to state a claim.

On July 25, 2011, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (d/e 5). The Amended Complaint, very liberally construed, alleges that Perry Skaggs sexually assaulted Plaintiff and that Jeremiah Elugdibaldibo helped cover it up. The Amended Complaint further alleges that the Sangamon County State's Attorney refused to bring charges and the Springfield Police Department failed to investigate the allegations. The Amended Complaint states that "the police department, State's Attorney, Jeremiah Elugdibaldibo, and Perry J. Skaggs should be Civil disciplined on neglect."

The Sangamon County State's Attorney and the Springfield Police Department have filed motions to dismiss.

On October 13, 2011, this Court raised the issue of whether Plaintiff's husband Michael Gragg should be substituted as the real party in interest because of an assertion in one of Plaintiff's filings with the Court that Michael Gragg had been appointed her legal guardian. This Court directed either Plaintiff or Michael Gragg to provide the Court with documentary evidence of Michael Gragg's guardianship of Plaintiff by October 25, 2011. See October 13, 2011 Text Order. Michael Gragg filed a response on October 21, 2011. See d/e 28. The response did not provide the required documentary evidence of Michael Gragg's guardianship of Plaintiff. However, Michael Gragg has filed Motions for Summary Judgment with respect to the claims against Skaggs and Elugdibaldibo.

JURISDICTION

Personal jurisdiction and venue requirements are satisfied because the relevant acts occurred in this judicial district. See World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297 (1980) (personal jurisdiction exists where a defendant "purposefully avail[ed] [himself or herself] of the privilege of conducting activities" in the forum state); see 28 U.S.C. §1391(b) (venue in non-diversity cases is proper in a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State). Because the Amended Complaint, liberally construed, arguably alleges federal constitutional claims, the Court has subject matter jurisdiction based on 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

ANALYSIS

A. The Motions to Dismiss are Granted To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim, the 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). That statement must be sufficient to provide the defendant with "fair notice" of the claim and its basis. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir.2008); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964, 167 L.Ed.2d 929, 940 (2007). This means that (1) "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" and (2) its allegations must plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising that possibility above a "speculative level." EEOC v. Concentra Health Services, Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir.2007). "A document filed pro se is to be liberally construed, and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007) (quotation marks and citations omitted).

1. Plaintiff's Claim Against the Springfield Police Department Plaintiff claims the Springfield Police Department failed to adequately investigate or charge Skaggs with a crime. Initially, the Court notes the police department is not a separate entity that can be sued under § 1983. Norman v. City of Evanston, 176 Fed. Appx. 666, 667 (7th Cir. 2006). The Springfield Police Department is a department of the City of Springfield and is not separately suable. See Jordan v. City of Chicago Dept. of Police, 505 F. Supp. 1, 3 (N.D. Ill. 1980). However, this ...


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