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Baker v. McCarthy

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

April 11, 2014

LATOYA BAKER, (K85633), Plaintiff,
GARRY F. McCARTHY, Chicago Police Superintendent, Defendant.


AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge.

Defendant McCarthy's motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 17), is denied. McCarthy shall review the police files related to the October 3, 2012 incident at issue in this case. McCarthy is instructed to submit a filing naming the officers who arrested Plaintiff or otherwise had contact with her on October 3rd. McCarthy shall also file the police report and other relevant materials in support with this filing. McCarthy shall make this filing no later than May 2, 2014. Status hearing remains set for April 14, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.


Pro se Plaintiff Latoya Baker, an Illinois Department of Corrections inmate, has brought a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the Court is Defendant Chicago Police Superintendent Gary F. McCarthy's Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. (Dkt. No. 17).

Before turning to the merits of the motion to dismiss, the Court notes that the present motion to dismiss is brought by Defendant Superintendent McCarthy. McCarthy is not an individual Defendant in this case. Instead, the Court added McCarthy as a Defendant solely so that Plaintiff could conduct discovery to identify the presently unknown Chicago Police Officers. These unknown officers are the ones who allegedly violated Plaintiff's rights and are the proper Defendants. McCarthy had no personal involvement in the alleged constitutional violation and so will be dismissed once the proper officers are identified. McCarthy also provides no grounds for his right to assert merits arguments on behalf of Chicago police officers sued in their individual capacity. The present motion to dismiss is improper on this basis alone.

Additionally, the motion to dismiss fails on the merits. The following facts, drawn from Plaintiff's complaint (Dkt. No. 1), are accepted as true and all reasonable inferences are made in the light most favorable to Plaintiff. Parish v. City of Elkhart, 614 F.3d 677, 679 (7th Cir. 2010) (citing Johnson v. Rivera, 272 F.3d 519, 520 (7th Cir. 2001)). This Court also "construe[s] pro se complaints liberally and hold[s] them to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam); Obriecht v. Raemisch, 417 F.3d 489, 492 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008)).

Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain statement under Rule 8(a)(2) must "give Defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citation omitted). Under the federal notice pleading standards, Plaintiff's "factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Put differently, a "complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "In evaluating the sufficiency of the complaint, [courts] view it in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, taking as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and making all possible inferences from the allegations in Plaintiff's favor." AnchorBank, FSB v. Hofer, 649 F.3d 610, 614 (7th Cir. 2011).

Plaintiff alleges that on October 3, 2012, she was with a group of people standing on sidewalk when a unknown car pulled up. A man in the car asked if she would like to have a date with her. Plaintiff rode away in the man's car.

A police car then pulled up and the officers arrested Plaintiff. Plaintiff was handcuffed and put in the back of a squad car. She was in pain and sick but did not receive any medical attention. Plaintiff told the arresting officers of her medical needs, but nothing was done. Plaintiff stayed in the back of the squad car for many hours before receiving necessary medical treatment.

The Court's original 28 U.S.C. § 1915A screening order allowed Plaintiff to proceed with Fourth Amendment claims for false arrest, and failure to provide proper medical care. (Dkt. No. 4) (citing Maniscalco v. Simon, 712 F.3d 1139, 1143 (7th Cir. 2013) (false arrest); Ortiz v. City of Chicago, 656 F.3d 523, 530-31 (7th Cir. 2011) (failure to provide medical care)).

As mentioned above, the screening order also noted that Plaintiff named the police officers as John Does. The Court, on its own motion, added Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy as a Defendant solely so that Plaintiff could identify the John Does. The Court instructed Plaintiff that she needed to conduct discovery to identify the Does, and the Does needed to be named in an amended complaint prior to the expiration of the two-year statute of limitations.

Turning to the present motion to dismiss, McCarthy argues that the Fourth Amendment false arrest claim is barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 F.3d 477 (1994). because Plaintiff later plead guilty to prostitution for the October 3rd incident. This argument is incorrect.

As an initial matter, Defendant merely provides a docket sheet from Plaintiff's state criminal case. There is no copy of the indictment, guilty plea transcript, or any other information regarding the state court case. There is no information that the guilty plea is from the same incident at issue in this case. The docket sheet provides minimal information of the state case number and that the guilty plea occurred. The Court could not apply Heck based on this sparse and unhelpful information.

And more fundamentally, Defendant's argument is wrong as to the controlling case law. Wallace v. Kato , a case that Defendant neither cites to, nor contrasts, holds that (as a general rule) Heck does not apply to Fourth Amendment claims. 549 U.S. 384 , 394 (2007). In fact, Wallace, ...

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