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Hildebrand v. United States

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

September 23, 2013



BYRON G. CUDMORE, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the Court for a Report and Recommendation on Defendant Freddy Garrido's Motion to Dismiss (d/e 23) (Motion). For the reasons set forth below, this Court recommends that Motion should be ALLOWED in part. The claims against Garrido should be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction, and the request to dismiss for improper venue should be denied as moot.


Plaintiff Tony Hildebrand alleges that on April 22, 2011, he injured his left knee while in federal custody awaiting sentencing and designation to a correctional facility. On June 23, 2011, an orthopedic surgeon evaluated his knee and recommended surgery. On July 6, 2011, Hildebrand was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution in Pekin, Illinois (FCI Pekin) operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Hildebrand stayed at FCI Pekin until January 12, 2012. Hildebrand alleges that the individual defendants who worked at FCI Pekin were deliberately indifferent toward his knee injury and refused to provide him with the recommended surgery.

On January 12, 2012, Hildebrand was transferred to Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky (FMC Lexington), also operated by the BOP. Defendant Garrido was the Health Services Administrator at FMC Lexington. Upon Hildebrand's arrival at FMC Lexington, Garrido "was responsible for obtaining the necessary medical treatment for Plaintiff." Complaint (d/e 1), ¶ 38. Hildebrand alleges, "Defendant Health Services Administrator Freddy Garrido was aware that Plaintiff was transferred to their facility due to his knee injury and the need for surgery." Id., ¶ 39. On June 12, 2012, the surgeons at FMC Lexington operated on Hildebrand's knee. Hildebrand alleges that the defendants waited too long to perform the necessary surgery, and as a result, the surgery was not successful and the damage to his knee is now irreparable. Id., ¶¶42-48.

Hildebrand brings a claim against Garrido and the other individual defendants for deliberate indifference to his serious medical condition in violation of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Hildebrand brings these claims pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics , 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Complaint, Count I. Hildebrand also brings claims against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq. Id., Counts II and III.

Hildebrand alleges that Garrido "is and was at all times mentioned in this complaint a citizen of Illinois and an employee [at FMC Lexington]." Id., ¶ 10. Hildebrand alleges that the other individual defendants are citizens of Illinois and are employed at FCI Pekin. Id., ¶¶ 6-9.

Garrido moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and for improper venue. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(3). Garrido submits a declaration in which he declares that he is a citizen of Kentucky, works at FMC Lexington, and has no connection to Illinois, "I have no connection with the state of Illinois. I do not own any real or personal property within Illinois. I do not, nor have I ever, worked or resided in the State of Illinois." Memorandum in Support of Defendant Garrido's Motion to Dismiss (d/e 24), attached Declaration of Freddy Garrido, ¶ 4.


Garrido moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Once Garrido makes this motion, Hildebrand bears the burden to establish that personal jurisdiction exists. Purdue Research Foundation v. Sanofi-Synthelabo, S.A. , 338 F.3d 773, 782 (7th Cir. 2003). The Court may consider matters outside the pleadings to determine whether personal jurisdiction exists. Nelson by Carson v. Park Industries, Inc. , 717 F.2d 1120, 1123 (7th Cir. 1983).

This Court's personal jurisdiction in this case is limited to the personal jurisdiction of the courts of the state in which this Court sits, Illinois. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(k)(1)(A); see Omni Capital Intern., Ltd. v. Rudolf Wolff & Co., Ltd. , 484 U.S. 97, 107 (1987). Under Illinois law, Illinois courts "may... exercise jurisdiction on any... basis now or hereafter permitted by the Illinois Constitution and the Constitution of the United States." 735 ILCS 5/2-209(c). No operative difference exists between the Illinois and United States Constitution with respect to the limits of personal jurisdiction. Thus, the limits on this Court's personal jurisdiction are governed by federal due process principles. See Mobile Anesthesiologists Chicago, LLC v. Anesthesia Assocs. of Houston Metroplex, P.A. , 623 F.3d 440, 443 (7th Cir. 2010).

Due process limits this Court's jurisdiction to parties who can reasonably foresee, as a result of their own actions, that they could be haled into this Court. A defendant must purposefully establish some minimum contacts with the forum state to make personal jurisdiction reasonably foreseeable, "[T]here must be some act by which the defendant purposely avails itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws." Hanson v. Denckla , 357 U.S. 235, 253 (1958). The Supreme Court later explained, "This purposeful availment' requirement ensures that a defendant will not be haled into a jurisdiction solely as a result of random, ' fortuitous, ' or attenuated contacts, or of the unilateral activities of another party or third person.'" Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz , 471 U.S. 462, 475 (1985) (internal citations and footnote omitted).

Personal jurisdiction can be general or specific. General personal jurisdiction means that a person can be sued in the forum based on any transaction that occurred anywhere. General personal jurisdiction exists over a defendant who has such "continuous and systematic contacts" with a forum state that he is "constructively present... to such a degree that it would be fundamentally fair" to subject the person to the forum's jurisdiction for resolution of any claim. Purdue Research Fund , 338 F.3d at 787. Specific personal jurisdiction exists when the plaintiff's claim arises out of or is related to the defendant's purposeful contacts with the forum state. In such situation, the defendant's contacts with the forum make it reasonably foreseeable that the defendant could be haled into the forum's courts to answer for his actions. See RAR, Inc. v. Turner Diesel, Ltd. , 107 F.3d 1272, 1277 (7th Cir. 1997).

Under these principles, Hildebrand has failed to establish that this Court has either general or specific personal jurisdiction over Garrido. Hildebrand alleges that Garrido is a citizen of Illinois, but Garrido states in his declaration that he is a citizen of Kentucky, has no connection to Illinois. Garrido states that he has never lived in Illinois, never worked in Illinois, and does not own any property in Illinois. Hildebrand does not dispute this evidence and does not present any other evidence that Garrido has engaged in any other type of continuous and ...

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