United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
For General Parker, Plaintiff: Richard S Fedder, LEAD ATTORNEY, FEDDER LAW FIRM, Carbondale, IL.
For Kevin Lyons, individually and in his official capacity as State's Attorney for Peoria County, Peoria County Government, Defendants: William W P Atkins, PEORIA COUNTY STATES ATTORNEY, Peoria, IL.
JOE BILLY McDADE, Senior United States District Judge.
ORDER & OPINION
This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (Doc. 30). Plaintiff filed a Response in opposition (Doc. 33). For the reasons stated below, Defendants' Motion is granted in part and denied in part.
Plaintiff filed his Complaint pro se on December 2, 2011, stating multiple claims against various defendants. (Doc. 1). Defendants all filed motions to dismiss, which resulted in most of the defendants and claims being dismissed from the case. (Doc. 28). The Court, noting numerous deficiencies in the original Complaint, ordered Plaintiff to file an amended complaint. In the interim, Plaintiff obtained counsel and is now represented. He filed the Amended Complaint through his attorney  on January 30, 2013. (Doc. 29). The
two remaining Defendants, Kevin Lyons and Peoria County Government,  filed a Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted on March 1, 2013. (Doc. 30).
Plaintiff, in his Amended Complaint, raises constitutional violations based on the actions relating to his ban from running for a school board seat and seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In 2010, Plaintiff, a black male, decided to run for a seat on the District 150 School Board in Peoria, Illinois. He filed a nominating petition on December 13, 2010, containing the requisite number of signatures. No objections were filed with the state Election Board; however, on February 21, 2011, less than a week before the ballots were to be printed, Plaintiff was served with a complaint for a state quo warranto  action against him, seeking to have his name removed from the ballot and preventing him from running for the school board. The complaint, filed by the Peoria County State's Attorney at the time, Defendant Kevin Lyons, alleged that because of Plaintiff's felony theft conviction from 1984, he was ineligible to hold a school board seat under Illinois law. Two days later, after a hearing, the Peoria County Circuit Court found Plaintiff was ineligible to hold a seat on the school board, enjoined him from running, and ordered his name off the ballot. Defendant Wolfmeyer, a white woman, later won the school board seat for which Plaintiff intended to run.
In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff raises three claims. In Count I, he brings a Fourteenth Amendment " Class-of-One" Equal Protection claim. He alleges Defendant selectively targeted Plaintiff for the quo warranto action, a rarely-used enforcement mechanism, presumably because of his reputation as an outspoken leader in the community. Count II is a Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection claim alleging racial discrimination. Plaintiff alleges he was targeted to be removed from the school board election to preserve a white majority on the school board, and that other white candidates for various local elected offices are or have been ineligible but were not subject to quo warranto actions or other challenges by the State's Attorney. In Count III, Plaintiff generally challenges the constitutionality of the state laws preventing someone with a prior felony conviction  from running for school
board, citing the First, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and ...