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Jacoby v. Dupage County Illinois

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

June 26, 2013

MARK JACOBY, Plaintiff,
DUPAGE COUNTY ILLINOIS; JOHN E. ZARUBA, in his capacity as Sheriff of DuPage County, Illinois; and as yet UNKNOWN DUPAGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES in their official and individual capacities, Defendants.



Plaintiff Mark Jacoby filed a six-count first amended complaint against defendants DuPage County ("the County"), John Zaruba, in his capacity as Sheriff of DuPage County ("the Sheriff"), and as yet unknown DuPage County Sheriff's Department employees, alleging deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, [1] in addition to state law claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED"), battery, and negligence.[2] Jacoby also claims that the County is responsible for the actions of the Sheriff and unnamed defendants under the doctrine of respondeat superior and must statutorily indemnify the other defendants.[3] Jacoby seeks both compensatory and punitive damages, although he has agreed to withdraw his request for punitive damages against the County and the Sheriff. The County and the Sheriff have filed a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the following reasons, the motion [#18] is granted in part and denied in part.


On June 20, 2011, Jacoby was arrested in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and taken to DuPage County Jail. First Am. Compl. ¶ 1. He was met there by Unknown Correction Officers #1 ("UCO #1") and #2 ("UCO #2"), who partially dragged him into the building. Id. ¶ 15. Jacoby was then thrown into a holding cell and pressed into a mat where he could not see and had difficulty breathing. Id. ¶ 16. Jacoby felt weight on him and someone crushing and twisting his arm. Id. After someone called out to stop, the assault eventually ceased. Id. ¶¶ 16, 19. Jacoby then observed UCO #1, UCO #2, and additional unknown defendants #3-10 (collectively, "unknown defendants") on the scene. Id. ¶ 19.

Jacoby's arm was injured during the incident, and several inmates commented on the noticeable bruising that occurred. Id. ¶ 22. Jacoby complained about his injury to guards and jail employees that day and the next to no avail. Id. Ultimately, on June 22, two days after the injury, Jacoby was taken to Central DuPage Hospital where he received treatment for a spiral fracture of his right humerus . Id . ¶ 26.

Jacoby also encountered other medical issues during his 11-day stay at the jail. Id. ¶ 27. He claims to have been seen by a medical professional only once during that time . Id. Additionally, upon his detention, Jacoby requested access to the medication he takes for his diagnosed bipolar disorder. Id. ¶ 28. He was told to check with the jail pharmacy for it but found that they did not carry his medication and could only provide him with an unknown substitute. Id. ¶ 29. Thinking it unwise to switch medication without a physician's recommendation, Jacoby went without his medication during his stay. Id.


A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); Gen. Elec. Capital Corp. v . Lease Resolution Corp., 128 F.3d 1074, 1080 (7th Cir. 1997). In reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court takes as true all facts in the complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Dixon v . Page, 291 F.3d 485, 486-87 (7th Cir. 2002). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the complaint must not only provide the defendant with fair notice of the claim's basis but must also establish that the requested relief is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); see Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). The allegations in the complaint must be "enough to raise a right of relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. At the same time, the plaintiff need not plead legal theories. Hatmaker v . Mem'l Med. Ctr., 619 F.3d 741, 742-43 (7th Cir. 2010). Rather, it is the facts that count.


I. Deliberate Indifference Claim (Count I)

Jacoby alleges that the County, the Sheriff, and the unknown defendants deprived him of his constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment by acting with deliberate indifference to his medical needs. To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that he or she was deprived of a federal right, privilege, or immunity by a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48, 108 S.Ct. 2250, 101 L.Ed.2d 40 (1988). A municipality or local governmental entity, however, may not be held vicariously liable for the actions of its employees. See, e.g., Montano v. City of Chicago, 535 F.3d 558, 570 (7th Cir. 2008). But such an entity may be held liable under § 1983 when "execution of a government's policy or custom, whether made by its lawmakers or by those whose edicts or acts may fairly be said to represent official policy, inflicts the injury. Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 694, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). Liability may be based on (1) an express policy that, when enforced, causes a constitutional deprivation; (2) a widespread practice that, although not authorized by written law or express municipal policy, is so permanent and well settled as to constitute a custom or usage with the force of law; or (3) a constitutional injury caused by a person with final policymaking authority. Baxter v. Vigo Cnty. Sch. Corp., 26 F.3d 728, 734-35 (7th Cir. 1994) (citing Monell, 436 U.S. at 690-91).

A. Against the County

The County correctly argues that it cannot be held liable for any Monell claim because the Sheriff, and not the County, has sole control over the policies and practices of the jail. Illinois law provides that a county sheriff, and not the county itself, has "custody and care" of the county jail and its operations. 55 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/3-6017; see Ryan v. Cnty. of DuPage, 45 F.3d 1090, 1092 (7th Cir. 1995) (county not liable under § 1983 where "Illinois sheriffs are independently elected officials not subject to the control of the county"); Thompson v. Duke, 882 F.2d 1180, 1187 (7th Cir. 1989) (county not liable for failure to train policy claim where county had "no authority ...

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