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Johnson v. Village of Maywood

November 19, 2012

JOHNSON
v.
VILLAGE OF MAYWOOD, ET AL.



Name of Assigned Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

For the reasons below, Defendants' motion to dismiss [23] is respectfully denied. The stay on oral discovery is lifted and all fact discovery may proceed.

O[ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.

STATEMENT

I. Background

Plaintiff alleges that on or about October 29, 2011, he was arrested by Defendant Maywood Police Officers Adamidis and Guzman. Plaintiff was taken to the Maywood Police Department, and Defendant Adamidis sat Plaintiff in a chair so that he could begin the booking process. "Shortly thereafter, [Defendant] Guzman arrived at the Maywood Police Department in what can only be described as an angry rage." Compl. ¶ 15. "Without any provocation from Plaintiff, [Defendant] Guzman * * * punch[ed] him multiple times in the head and face." Compl. ¶ 16. Plaintiff alleges that he called out for help from two Unknown Maywood Paramedics, but that they "ignored his pleas." Compl. ¶ 17. In addition to the paramedics, "[t]he attack was witnessed by multiple Defendant Officers. Despite the fact that Plaintiff was not resisting in any way and was being injured, none of the Defendant Officers came to his aid." Compl. ¶ 19.

Based on those factual allegations, Plaintiff asserts a variety of claims under federal and state law. In their motion to dismiss, Defendants challenge only the sufficiency of the complaint as to certain Defendants: Commander Willis, Officer Adamidis, Detective Porter, and Detective Vargas. In addition, Defendants argue that the complaint fails to state a claim for conspiracy under federal or state law (Counts III and VII) against any defendant.

II. Legal Standard

The purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss is not to decide the merits of the case; a Rule 12(b)(6) motion tests the sufficiency of the complaint. Gibson v. City of Chi., 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). In reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court takes as true all factual allegations in Plaintiff's complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in his favor. Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nev., N.A., 507 F.3d 614, 618 (7th Cir. 2007). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the claim first must comply with Rule 8(a) by providing "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief" (Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)), such that the defendant is given "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)). Second, the factual allegations in the claim must be sufficient to raise the possibility of relief above the "speculative level," assuming that all of the allegations in the complaint are true. E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "A pleading that offers 'labels and conclusions' or a 'formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). However, "[s]pecific facts are not necessary; the statement need only give the defendant fair notice of what the * * * claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555) (ellipsis in original). The Court reads the complaint and assesses its plausibility as a whole. See Atkins v. City of Chi., 631 F.3d 823, 832 (7th Cir. 2011); cf. Scott v. City of Chi., 195 F.3d 950, 952 (7th Cir. 1999) ("Whether a complaint provides notice, however, is determined by looking at the complaint as a whole.").

III. Analysis

A. Plaintiff Has Stated Claims Against All Named Defendants

Defendants argue that the complaint fails to allege that Commander Willis, Officer Adamidis, Detective Porter, and Detective Vargas "had any interaction with Plaintiff that led to a deprivation of his constitutional rights." Accordingly, Defendants conclude, Plaintiff has failed to state a federal claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against these Defendants and they should be dismissed from the case.

Defendants are correct that "[a]n individual cannot be held liable in a ยง 1983 action unless he caused or participated in an alleged constitutional deprivation." Wolf--Lillie v. Sonquist, 699 F.2d 864, 869 (7th Cir. 1983); see also Grieveson v. Anderson, 538 F.3d 763, 778 (7th Cir. 2008); Townsend v. Fuchs, 522 F.3d 765, 775 (7th Cir. 2008). In this case, however, Plaintiff has alleged with sufficient ...


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