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Falyn Bruce v. Derek L. Guernsey

April 19, 2013

FALYN BRUCE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEREK L. GUERNSEY, TROY M. SWEENEY, JUSTIN HARRIS, SANGAMON COUNTY, ILLINOIS, AND ROCHESTER POLICE DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:

E-FILED

Monday, 22 April, 2013 11:47:52 AM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' 12(b)(6) Motions to Dismiss (d/e 13, 15). Defendants' Motions to Dismiss Count I against Rochester Police Officer Justin Harris, Count II against Sangamon County Deputy Derek L. Guernsey, and Count III against Sangamon County Deputy Troy M. Sweeney are GRANTED because Plaintiff has failed to plead the factual content to permit a plausible inference that Officer Harris, Deputy Guernsey, or Deputy Sweeney unreasonably seized Plaintiff. Defendants' Motions to Dismiss Plaintiff's claims against Sangamon County (Count V) and the Rochester Police Department (Count VI) are also GRANTED because Plaintiff has not adequately alleged that Sangamon County or the Rochester Police Department were deliberately indifferent to a need to train employees in order to avoid a deprivation of constitutional rights. Finally, Plaintiff agrees to the dismissal of her due process claim against Deputy Guernsey (Count IV). Plaintiff will be given an opportunity to file an amended complaint.

I.FACTUAL BACKGROUND

When considering a motion to dismiss, all well-pleaded factual allegations are accepted as true and all reasonable inferences are construed in the plaintiff's favor. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008) (internal quotations omitted). The well-pleaded factual allegations in this case are as follows.

On September 5, 2011, Plaintiff Falyn Bruce, then age 17, was talking to her former boyfriend, a minor, B.S., at his home in Riverton, Illinois. The two began to argue. Plaintiff tried to leave, but B.S. attempted to physically prevent Plaintiff from doing so. Plaintiff was eventually able to leave.

After leaving B.S.'s home, Plaintiff contacted a friend, D.F., a minor, who picked Plaintiff up and took Plaintiff to D.F.'s home in Rochester, Illinois. The two arrived at D.F.'s home at approximately 11:50 p.m. on September 5, 2011.

At about 8:00 a.m. on September 6, 2011, Plaintiff talked with her father and told him that she was with D.F. She also told her father that she was fine but did not feel like going to school. Plaintiff's father, her custodial guardian, said he understood and that he would contact the school to let them know.

Later on the morning of September 6, 2011, B.S. supposedly told Plaintiff's friends that Plaintiff had attempted to kill herself the night before at B.S.'s home. Plaintiff refutes that she ever attempted to kill or harm herself.

Plaintiff's friends spoke with the guidance counselor at Riverton High School about what B.S. had told them. At about 8:45 a.m. on September 6, 2011, the guidance counselor contacted the Riverton Police Department.

Riverton Police Officer, Andrew Landgrebe, responded to the guidance counselor's report. He was advised that other students had expressed concern about Plaintiff's suicidal behavior the previous evening. However, Plaintiff's father told Officer Landgrebe that Plaintiff was fine and that there was no need for concern.

At approximately 8:59 a.m. Officer Landgrebe contacted Sangamon County about Plaintiff. At around 10:17 a.m., Sangamon County contacted Rochester Police Officer Justin Harris. Officer Harris proceeded to D.F.'s house at 4430 Passfield, Rochester, Illinois.

Officer Harris arrived at D.F.'s residence and spoke with Plaintiff. Plaintiff demonstrated no signs of physical, mental, or emotional distress at the time. Officer Harris radioed Sangamon County to advise that no emergency medical services were required.

Next, Officer Harris told Plaintiff that she needed to leave D.F.'s house and wait outside until Sangamon County arrived to pick her up. Plaintiff questioned why she needed to go outside. Officer Harris responded by saying, "if you want to ask questions I can just handcuff you and take you out myself." See d/e 1 at ¶ 27. After Officer Harris' response, Plaintiff felt she had no choice but to go outside with Officer Harris.

Once outside, Plaintiff and her friends continued to ask why Plaintiff needed to wait outside. Officer Harris only told Plaintiff that she could not leave. During this exchange between Officer Harris and Plaintiff, Officer Harris never witnessed any behavior nor obtained any information to suggest Plaintiff required detention or hospitalization.

At 10:26 a.m. a Sangamon County dispatcher contacted Plaintiff's father and told him that he could pick Plaintiff up at 4430 Passfield, Rochester, Illinois. Plaintiff's father went to the address and arrived at about 10:54 a.m. Sangamon County Deputy Derek Guernsey also arrived around ...


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