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Jerry G. Markadonatos, and All Others Similarly Situated v. Village of Woodridge

June 11, 2012

JERRY G. MARKADONATOS, AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
VILLAGE OF WOODRIDGE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James F. Holderman, Chief Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On October 4, 2011, Jerry G. Markadonatos filed a class-action complaint alleging that the Village of Woodridge violated his right to procedural due process under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by requiring him to pay, without a hearing, a $30 booking fee following his arrest for shoplifting. (Dkt. No. 1 ("Compl.").) On January 6, 2012, the court granted the Village's Motion to Dismiss the complaint because "the Village's procedures for charging the $30 fee pass constitutional muster." (Dkt. No. 26, at 7.) Subsequently, the court allowed Markadonatos to amend his complaint. (Dkt. No. 33.) Markadonatos then filed a First Amended Complaint in which he raises both procedural due process and substantive due process challenges to the Village's booking fee under § 1983. (Dkt. No. 35 ("Am. Compl.").) Pending before the court is the Village's "Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint." (Dkt. No. 36.) For the reasons explained below, the Village's motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

The factual allegations in the First Amended Complaint are virtually identical to those in the original Complaint. Markadonatos was arrested on January 8, 2011, and charged with retail theft. (Am. Compl. ¶ 18.) He was taken to the Woodridge jail, where he was booked and required to pay a $30 booking fee under the Woodridge, Illinois, Municipal Code 5-1-12(A). (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 19-20.) Eventually Markadonatos received supervision for his retail theft charge. (Id. ¶ 21.) Under Illinois law, if he completes the supervision successfully, the charge will be dismissed "without adjudication of guilt." 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-6-3.1(f). When Markadonatos was released from jail, he did not receive a refund of the booking fee. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 22-24.) The Village's booking fee policy includes no provision for a refund regardless of the disposition of the arrestee's case. (Am. Compl. ¶ 26.)

LEGAL STANDARD

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint need only contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). The complaint must "give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). While "detailed factual allegations" are not required, "labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

The complaint must "include sufficient facts 'to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'" Cole v. Milwaukee Area Tech. College Dist., 634 F.3d 901, 903 (7th Cir. 2011) (quoting Justice v. Town of Cicero, 577 F.3d 768, 771 (7th Cir. 2009)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).

In ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court "construe[s] the . . . [c]omplaint in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, accepting as true all well-pleaded facts and drawing all possible inferences in his favor." Cole, 634 F.3d at 903.

ANALYSIS

To state a claim for relief under § 1983, Markadonatos must allege that he was "deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, and that the alleged deprivation was committed under color of state law." Am. Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40, 49-50 (1999). Markadonatos's First Amended Complaint claims that the Village's booking fee policy violates his constitutional rights to procedural due process and substantive due process. The court will address each in turn.

I. Procedural Due Process

The Village first contends that the court need not even consider Markadonatos's procedural

due process claim because it s foreclosed by the law of the case doctrine. The law of the case doctrine is "'not a limit on the[] power'" of district courts, but instead "'merely expresses the practice of courts generally to refuse to reopen what has been decided.'" Monfils v. Taylor, 165 F.3d 511, 520 (7th Cir. 1998) (quoting Messinger v. Anderson, 225 U.S. 436 (1912)). Because the court previously rejected Markadonatos's claim that the Village's booking fee violated his procedural due process rights, the Village contends that the court need not revisit it.

In response, Markadonatos argues that the issue before the court is different because he has added additional factual allegations to his First Amended Complaint. See Parts and Elec. Motors, Inc. v. Sterling Elec., Inc., 866 F.2d 228, 231 (7th Cir. 1988) ( "As a general rule, the [law of the case] doctrine does not extend to issues not presented or decided . . . ."). In particular, Markadonatos points to new allegations specifying that the Village does not provide any procedure either before or after the Village collects the booking fee. (See Am. Compl. ¶ 16 ("The policy does not provide for any hearing or any other opportunity for the arrestee to contest the seizure and conversion of his or her money. No such hearing is provided before the deprivation. No hearing is provided after the deprivation."); see also id. ¶ 20 ("At no time after Woodridge took his money was Mr. Markadonatos provided with a hearing or any other opportunity for the arrestee to contest the seizure and conversion of his money.").) The original complaint, however, included a substantially identical allegation when it alleged that "[t]he policy does not ...


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