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David Johnson v. Sangamon County of Illinois

December 8, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, U.S. District Judge:

E-FILED Thursday, 08 December, 2011 11:05:41 AM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD


Pending before the Court are the following motions: a motion to dismiss filed by Defendants County of Sangamon, Mark Kinnaman, and Andrew Van Meter; a motion to dismiss by Defendant Anthony Libri; and a motion for partial summary judgment filed by Plaintiff David Johnson.

It appears that the Plaintiff intended to file a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, wherein he alleges that Defendants on multiple occasions "intentionally neglected" to remove a conviction from his record after being instructed to do so. He alleges a number of claims:

(1) severe emotional distress; (2) intentional and reckless disregard; (3) outrageous conduct; (4) negligent infliction of emotional distress; (5) abuse of process; and (6) gross negligence.

The Defendants proffer a number of reasons as to why this action should be dismissed. The Court concludes that it lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter. The case will be dismissed on that basis.


In support of their motion to dismiss, Defendants Sangamon County, Andrew Van Meter and Mark Kinnaman have filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. First, the Defendants allege that the Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted because it lacks facts that are sufficient to suggest a plausible claim. Second, the Plaintiff has failed to properly allege the necessary constitutional violation in order to trigger § 1983 liability.

Moreover, the Defendants assert that § 1983 does not recognize a cause of action for abuse of process. The Defendants contend that the alleged 2005 and 2006 federal claims are barred by the two-year statute of limitations for § 1983 actions in Illinois, and any supplemental state law claims are barred by the one year limitations period. The Defendants further allege that Plaintiff cannot meet the elements for abuse of process under Illinois law. Moreover, negligence is not actionable under § 1983. Additionally, the Sangamon County Board Chairman, Andy Van Meter, has no legal duties with respect to the functions of the Office of the Circuit Clerk. Finally, the Defendants contend that to the extent the Plaintiff has named both Sangamon County and Chairman Van Meter in his official capacity, those claims are redundant. The same is true to the extent that he names Circuit Clerk Libri and Deputy Circuit Clerk Kinnaman officially.

Defendant Anthony Libri contends that Plaintiff has alleged only legal conclusions and does not state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Additionally, it appears that the claims asserted are state law claims. Mr. Libri alleges that Plaintiff has not identified a federal cause of action.

In his Motion for partial summary judgment,*fn1 the Plaintiff contends that Defendants acted with intentional and reckless disregard to the Plaintiff, with the intent to inflict financial injury and the realization that a financial injury would result from their conduct. The Plaintiff states that he is seeking $250,000 in compensatory damages and $750,000 in punitive damages.

Several attachments are appended to the Plaintiff's Motion, including

(1) a background report from HireRight, which provided the background/criminal check for the Plaintiff dated December 9, 2011; (2) email correspondence between the Plaintiff and Defendant Kinnaman; (3) case information (or docket report) for State of Illinois v. David M. Johnson, Case Number 2005-CM-002166, dated December 12, 2010; (4) email correspondence between the Plaintiff and retired Sangamon County Judge John Mehlick; and (5) a docket report for Case Number 2005-CM-002166, dated January 19, 2011.*fn2

In support of his Motion, the Plaintiff states that he entered into a plea agreement with the Sangamon County States Attorney. The Plaintiff states that he agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge for which he would receive six months supervision, plus payment of court costs. The Plaintiff alleges that it was agreed that this charge was never to show up on the his criminal/background record. He further asserts that Judge Mehlick informed the ...

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