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Yahnke v. County of Kane

December 20, 2012

YAHNKE
v.
COUNTY OF KANE



Name of Assigned Judge Amy J. St. Eve Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

The Court denies Defendant Patrick Perez's motion to dismiss [13].

O[ For further details see text below.] Notices mailed by Judicial staff.

STATEMENT

On June 27, 2012, Plaintiff Steven Yahnke filed the present three-count Complaint against Defendants Kane County and the Kane County Sheriff Patrick Perez ("Sheriff Perez" or "Perez") alleging a First Amendment political affiliation claim (Count I) and a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim (Count II). See 28 U.S.C. § 1331, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In the alternative, Yahnke brings a retaliatory discharge claim under Illinois law (Count III) pursuant to the Court's supplemental jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). On November 11, 2012, the Court granted Defendant Kane County's motion to dismiss. Nevertheless, Defendant Kane County remains in this lawsuit as an indemnitor to the Sheriff of Kane County in the event that the Sheriff of Kane County is liable. Before the Court is Defendant Sheriff Perez's motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the Court denies Sheriff Perez's motion.

Continued...

Courtroom Deputy KF

Initials:

LEGAL STANDARD

A Rule 12(b)(6) motion challenges the sufficiency of the complaint. See Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chicago Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain statement under Rule 8(a)(2) must "give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (citation omitted). Under the federal notice pleading standards, a plaintiff's "factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Put differently, a "complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "In evaluating the sufficiency of the complaint, [courts] view it in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, taking as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and making all possible inferences from the allegations in the plaintiff's favor." AnchorBank, FSB v. Hofer, 649 F.3d 610, 614 (7th Cir. 2011).

BACKGROUND

In the fall of 2001 both Perez and Yahnke -- who were Kane County Deputy Sheriffs at the time -- were interested in running against Sheriff Kenneth Ramsey, a Republican, for Sheriff of Kane County. (R. 1, Compl. ¶ 10.) Yahnke alleges that he would have run against Sheriff Ramsey in the Republican primary. (Id. ¶ 11.) Further, Yahnke maintains that he hired a campaign manager and had approximately $15,000 in money and pledges, but ultimately decided that he would not pursue the campaign. (Id. ¶ 12.) After Yahnke decided not to pursue his campaign for Sheriff, Perez, as a Democrat, ran against Sheriff Ramsey and lost in the general election. (Id. ¶ 13.)

After Sheriff Ramsey resigned in the spring of 2006, Perez planned to run unopposed as a Democrat. (Id. ¶ 14.) Also, Joe Pena ("Pena') announced that he would run on the Republican ticket for Sheriff of Kane County. (Id.) At that time, Yahnke tried to convince Perez to run as a Republican, but Perez refused to do so. (Id. ¶ 15.) Kevin Williams ("Williams") then announced that he was running against Pena in the Republican primary. (Id. ¶ 16.) At that time, Yahnke vocally supported Williams during the Republican primary. (Id. ¶ 17.) In the fall of 2006, Williams won the Republican nomination. (Id. ¶ 18.) Yahnke alleges that he continued to vigorously and vocally support Williams' campaign for Sheriff of Kane County after the primary, including, ...


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