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Saiger v. City of Chicago

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

April 19, 2014

JOHN SAIGER, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO and EDDIE CHAPMAN, Defendants

Page 980

For John Saiger, Plaintiff: Patrick W Morrissey, LEAD ATTORNEY, Thomas Gerard Morrissey, Thomas G. Morrissey, Ltd., Chicago, IL.

For City Of Chicago, Eddie Chapman, Defendants: Andrew S. Mine, LEAD ATTORNEY, City of Chicago, Law Department, Corporation Counsel, Chicago, IL; Mary Eileen Cunniff Wells, City Of Chicago, Department Of Law, Chicago, IL.

Page 981

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

MATTHEW F. KENNELLY, United States District Judge.

John Saiger has sued the City of Chicago and Chicago police officer Eddie Chapman, asserting claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause, and under state law for violation of the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act, 730 ILCS 150/3. The defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Chapman also argues that he is entitled to qualified immunity. For the reasons stated below, the Court dismisses Saiger's federal claims against Chapman based on qualified immunity and also dismisses Saiger's equal protection claim against the City but otherwise denies defendants' motion to dismiss.

Background

The Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) requires convicted sex offenders to register with law enforcement authorities, providing, among other information, their current residence address. 730 ILCS 150/3(a). The registration must be made with the chief of police of the " municipality in which he or she resides or is temporarily domiciled for a period of time of 3 or more days," except if the municipality is Chicago, in which case the registration must be made at Chicago Police Department headquarters. 730 ILCS 150/3(a)(1). The statute differentiates between sex offenders who have a fixed residence and those who do not. A sex offender without a fixed residence must report weekly to police headquarters and identify all locations where he or she stayed during the previous seven days. 730 ILCS 150/3(a)(2)(ii). A sex offender who fails to register as required commits a felony and is subject to mandatory

Page 982

incarceration and a mandatory fine, among other penalties. 730 ILCS 150/10(a).

Saiger is a convicted sex offender who arrived in Chicago following his release from prison in August 2012. Shortly thereafter, he attempted to meet his SORA obligations by registering with the Chicago Police Department. At the time, Saiger was homeless. He alleges that Chicago police officer Eddie Chapman enforced a City of Chicago policy to deny registration to sex offenders who lack a fixed place of abode. Chapman allegedly recorded Saiger's attempt to register with the notation " bad add[ress]" and instructed him to secure a state identification card displaying a SORA-complaint address. Saiger was not able to secure housing and did not register.

In March 2013, Saiger was arrested for violating SORA. As of January 2014, he remained in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections, charged with two counts under SORA related to his failure to register.

Saiger alleges that it is the policy and practice of the City of Chicago to deny homeless sex offenders the opportunity to register under SORA. According to Saiger, the City requires persons without a fixed abode to secure accommodations in a shelter and obtain a state identification card with the address of the shelter before permitting such persons to register. Unless the homeless person presents state identification with a valid shelter address, ...


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