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Bamberg v. City of Evanston

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

April 16, 2014

JOHN A. BAMBERG, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF EVANSTON, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge.

The Court grants in part Defendants' motion to dismiss with prejudice and grants in part Defendants' motion to dismiss without prejudice [13]. The Court grants Plaintiff leave to file an Amended Complaint in accordance with this order. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is due on or before 5/6/14. Status hearing set for 5/22/14 is stricken and reset to 5/12/14 at 8:30 a.m.

STATEMENT

On October 24, 2013, Plaintiff John A. Bamberg filed the present seven-count Complaint against Defendants City of Evanston, Evanston police officers Wright and Nieman, and unknown Evanston police officers pursuant to the Court's original and supplemental jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1367(a). Before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the Court grants in part Defendants' motion to dismiss Counts I, III, and VII with prejudice and grants in part Defendants' motion to dismiss Counts II and IV without prejudice.

LEGAL STANDARD

"A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) tests whether the complaint states a claim on which relief may be granted." Richards v. Mitcheff, 696 F.3d 635, 637 (7th Cir. 2012). 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 the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (citation omitted). Under the federal notice pleading standards, a 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint under the plausibility standard, [courts] accept the well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true." Alam v. Miller Brewing Co., 709 F.3d 662, 665-66 (7th Cir. 2013). "[A] plaintiff is not required to plead facts in the complaint to anticipate and defeat affirmative defenses, " but "when a plaintiff's complaint nonetheless sets out all of the elements of an affirmative defense, dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate." Independent Trust Corp. v. Stewart Info. Serv. Corp., 665 F.3d 930, 935 (7th Cir. 2012).

BACKGROUND

On or about September 30, 2010, at approximately 10:00 p.m., someone shot and killed Marcus T. Davis while he was parked in his white Lincoln Town Car in Evanston, Illinois. (R. 1, Compl. ¶ 5.) Davis' fiance, Tawanda Smith, was in the passenger seat of the car during the incident. ( Id. ) At around 10:05 p.m. on that same day, an Evanston police officer, who is not a named Defendant in this lawsuit, arrived at the scene and observed Smith sitting over the top of Davis. ( Id. ¶ 6.) Another Evanston police officer at the scene observed Smith screaming for help. ( Id. )

On October 1, 2010, at approximately 12:30 a.m., at Evanston Hospital, Defendant Officers Nieman and Wright showed Smith a photo line-up. ( Id. ¶ 7.) Defendant Officers did not have Smith circle or initial the results of this line-up and did not follow-up, locate, or question the person Smith originally identified as the shooter. ( Id. ¶ 8.) Approximately twelve hours after the shooting, Defendant Officers Nieman and Wright showed Smith a second photo line-up at which point Smith identified Plaintiff as the shooter. ( Id. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff contends that Defendant Officers Wright and Nieman coached and coerced Smith into making this identification. ( Id. ) After the second photo line-up, Smith told friends that she did not know who shot Davis. ( Id. ¶ 11.) At the grand jury hearing, Smith allegedly testified that when the police arrived on the scene she was screaming and yelling "It was Bird. Bird did it." ( Id. ¶ 12.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Officers never followed up on this or any other leads and failed to investigate other possible suspects. ( Id. ¶ 15.)

Defendant Officers Wright and Nieman arrested Plaintiff on October 7, 2010. ( Id. ¶ 16.) On October 10, 2010, Plaintiff was charged with murder and attempted murder. ( Id. ¶ 17.) Plaintiff alleges that despite contradicting testimony, conflicting facts and statements, and Smith's misidentification of the lineup, Defendants continued to subject him to judicial proceedings without probable cause. ( Id. ¶ 18.) Plaintiff further alleges that he was detained at the Cook County Department of Corrections for twenty-six months resulting from his false arrest. ( Id. ¶ 19.) On November 30, 2012, a Circuit Court of Cook County judge acquitted Plaintiff after a three-day bench trial. ( Id. ¶ 20.)

In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges the following claims: (1) a Fourth Amendment false arrest claim against Defendant Officers (Count I); (2) a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim against Defendant Officers (Count II); (3) a Section 1983 conspiracy claim against Defendant Officers (Count III); (4) a claim pursuant to Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978), against Evanston (Count IV); (5) an indemnification claim against Evanston (Count V); (6) a malicious prosecution claim against Defendant Officers (Count VI); and (7) an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against Defendant Officers (Count VII).

In Defendants' motion to dismiss, they seek dismissal of Plaintiff's false arrest, conspiracy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims as time-barred. They further seek dismissal of Plaintiff's due process claim and Monell claim under the federal pleading standards. Last, Defendants ask the Court to relinquish its supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claim of malicious prosecution.

ANALYSIS

I. Statute of ...


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