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Beley v. City of Chicago

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

June 27, 2013

MICHAEL BELEY AND DOUGLAS MONTGOMERY Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOHN W. DARRAH, District Judge.

Plaintiffs Michael Beley and Douglas Montgomery filed this lawsuit against Defendant, the City of Chicago, on behalf of themselves and a putative class of sex offenders in Chicago who are required to register as sex offenders and are homeless and were or will be refused registration. (Am. Comp. ¶¶ 1, 46.) Plaintiffs assert four claims against the City: (1) violation of due process (Count I); (2) violation of equal protection (Count II); (3) violation of freedom of association (Count III); and (4) violation of Illinois law (Count IV).

The City has moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' injunctive relief and declaratory judgment claims for lack of standing under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). The City has also moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' federal constitutional claim for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Finally, the City requests that the Court decline to extend supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' state law claim.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are drawn from Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint and are accepted as true for purposes of the Motion to Dismiss. See Reger Dev., LLC v. Nat'l City Bank, 592 F.3d 759, 763 (7th Cir. 2010). Plaintiffs Michael Beley and Douglas Montgomery are convicted sex offenders required to register pursuant to the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act ("SORA"). (Am. Compl. at ¶¶ 20, 31.) Under SORA, Plaintiffs must, among other things, register in person with the appropriate law enforcement agency where they live; pay an initial registration fee of $100; and provide a photograph and current address. 730 ILCS 150/3(a). A sex offender is also required to report in person to the appropriate law enforcement agency within three days of starting school or changing addresses, places of employment or temporary domicile. 730 ILCS 150/3(b). SORA permits sex offenders without a fixed address to register every seven days, in person, with their local law enforcement agency. (Am. Compl. at ¶14.) Convictions for failure to register under SORA carry certain legal consequences, such as the possibility of serving at least seven days' confinement in a local county jail and a mandatory minimum fine of $500. (Am. Comp. ¶ 9; 730 ILCS 150/10(a)).

Plaintiffs allege the City has a policy and/or practice to refuse to register homeless sex offenders. (Am. Compl. at ¶ 19.) Plaintiffs further allege the City conditions a homeless sex offender's ability to register upon first locating a homeless shelter and acquiring a state issued identification, reflecting the homeless shelter as their permanent address. ( Id. at ¶ 18.) This policy causes all sex offenders listing a homeless shelter as their "fixed residence" to be in violation of SORA since a homeless shelter merely provides overnight accommodations. ( Id. at ¶¶ 26-28.)

Plaintiff Montgomery attempted to register as a sex offender with the Chicago Police Department on January 27, 2011, but was told by a police officer that the City was "no longer registering homeless people, " but he would be registered if he found a "homeless shelter" and paid the $100 registration fee. ( Id. at ¶ 35.) Because he was unable to locate a homeless shelter with room that accepted sex offenders, plaintiff Montgomery was unable to register. ( Id. at ¶ 36.) Sometime later, Montgomery was arrested and charged with violating the SORA's registration requirements. ( Id. at ¶ 37.) Montgomery has been incarcerated at the jail since July 14, 2011, awaiting trial for allegedly violating SORA. ( Id. at ¶ 38.)

Plaintiff Beley attempted to register on November 20, 2012, with the Chicago Police Department, but was refused his right to register because he was homeless. ( Id. at ¶ 22.) Over the next several weeks, Beley was unable to locate a homeless shelter, was denied registration numerous times by the Chicago Police Department, and was eventually labeled as "noncompliant" by the Illinois State Police. ( Id. at ¶¶ 23-26.) As a result, Beley's registration period will be automatically extended for a period of ten years from the date of his next registration. ( Id. at ¶ 29.) Beley was eventually registered by the Chicago Police Department on December 11, 2012, after locating an emergency shelter and showing a police officer his state identification card reflecting the shelter as his address. ( Id. at ¶¶ 26-28.) Because Beley has been convicted of violating the SORA, he is required to register with the Chicago Police Department every 90 days, assuming he has a fixed residence. ( See id. at ¶¶ 21-28; 730 ILCS 150/6.)

LEGAL STANDARD

To properly assert a claim in a complaint, the plaintiff must present: "(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for the relief sought." Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 "does not require detailed factual allegations, ' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). While a court is to accept all allegations contained in a complaint as true, this principle does not extend to legal conclusions. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a defendant to raise the defense that the plaintiff failed "to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To defeat a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a plaintiff must plead sufficient factual matter to state a claim for relief that is "plausible on its face." Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950. A threadbare statement of a claim supported by a conclusory statement is insufficient. Id. at 1949 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) allows a party to raise as a defense, by motion, a federal court's lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. As with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the district court must "accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff." St. John's United Church of Christ v. City of Chicago, 502 F.3d 616, 625 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Long v. Shorebank Dev. Corp., 182 F.3d 548, 554 (7th Cir. 1999)). However, when a defendant challenges subject-matter jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing jurisdiction. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992). The nonmoving party must support its allegations with competent proof of jurisdictional facts. Kontos v. U.S. Dep't of Labor, 826 F.2d 573, 576 (7th Cir.1987). If necessary, a district court may also look beyond the jurisdictional allegations to evidence outside of the pleadings to determine whether federal subject-matter jurisdiction exists. St. John's, 502 F.3d at 616.

ANALYSIS

Plaintiffs' Standing for Prospective ...


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