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Liska v. Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart

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

July 23, 2014

MICHAEL J. LISKA, Plaintiff,
v.
COOK COUNTY SHERIFF THOMAS DART and COOK COUNTY, Defendants

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For Michael J. Liska, Plaintiff: David Freydin, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Freydin Law Firm LLP, Skokie, IL; Timothy A Scott, Law Office of David Freydin, Ltd., Skokie, IL.

For Tom Dart, Defendant: Brenden Rae Bryant, LEAD ATTORNEY, Cook County State's Attorney's Office, Chicago, IL; Michael L. Gallagher, LEAD ATTORNEY, Cook County State's Attorneys Office (50 W), Chicago, IL.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Rubé n Castillo, Chief United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Michael J. Liska brings this action against Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart and Cook County (collectively, " Defendants" ) alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as state law claims of false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Presently before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss the second amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part.

RELEVANT FACTS

Liska is a resident of Cicero in Cook County, Illinois. (R. 35, Second Am. Compl. ¶ 2.) From approximately January 10, 2012, through March 16, 2012, Liska was held under home confinement while awaiting a court date for a charge of violating of a protective order. ( Id. ¶ 7.) Under the terms of his home confinement, Liska was required to remain within his residence and was subject to remote monitoring by the Cook County Sheriff's Department (the " Sheriff's Department" ) through the use of an ankle monitor. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 8-9.) The ankle monitor was connected by a wireless signal to a cell-box in Liska's home, ( id. ¶ 9); if Liska left his home, the signal between the ankle monitor and the cell-box would break and the Sheriff's Department would receive a call informing it that Liska had violated the terms of his home confinement, ( id. ¶ 10).

Liska alleges that during the term of his home confinement, the monitoring system in his home malfunctioned repeatedly. ( Id. ¶ 14.) Between January 10, 2012, and March 16, 2012, the cell-box placed numerous calls to the Sheriff's Department indicating that Liska had left his home. ( Id. ) As a result, Sheriff's Deputies called and visited Liska's home and threatened to incarcerate him for violating the terms of his home confinement on numerous occasions. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 35-36.) Liska alleges that he, in fact, never left his home other than for approved court appearances and medical appointments, ( id. ¶ ¶ 14, 33), and that the numerous calls to the Sheriff's Department were false alarms resulting from system malfunctions, ( id. ¶ 14).

Liska reported the malfunctions to the Sheriff's Department numerous times, ( id. ¶ ¶ 15, 30), and the system equipment in his home was repaired or replaced at least three times due to malfunctions, ( id. ¶ 19). The repaired and replaced equipment, however, continued to malfunction and send false signals. ( Id. ¶ 20.) Liska alleges that the type and brand of cell-box that was used in his home was prone to malfunctions and false signals and that this problem affected many other home detainees as well. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 12, 16.) Liska alleges that the Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Dart continued to use the system in Liska's

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home even though they were aware of the widespread issues with the system and knew that it consistently malfunctioned. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 13-21.)

Liska feared that the false signals would cause the Sheriff's Department to accuse him of violating the terms of his home confinement, so he began filming himself while at home in order to protect himself against such accusations. ( Id. ¶ 23.) Liska informed the Sheriff's Department that he possessed videos of himself at home when the cell-box reported him away and offered to show the Sheriff's Department the videos to prove that he had not violated his confinement. ( Id. ¶ 26.)

On March 16, 2012, Liska's monitoring device system again malfunctioned and sent a false signal to the Sheriff's Department indicating that Liska had left his home. ( Id. ¶ 37.) Sheriff's Deputies came to Liska's home that afternoon and informed him that he had violated the terms of his home confinement. ( Id. ¶ 38.) Liska explained to the Deputies that he had not left his home and had video to prove it. ( Id. ¶ 40.) Nonetheless, the Deputies handcuffed Liska and took him to the Cook County Jail. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 39, 41.) Liska spent the next twelve nights incarcerated in the Cook County Jail. ( Id. ¶ 43.)

Liska alleges that when he arrived at the Cook County Jail, a Sheriff's Deputy told him that someone would come to see him to discuss the circumstances of his alleged violation of the terms of his home confinement. ( Id. ¶ 42.) The Sheriff's Department failed, however, to send anyone to discuss this matter with Liska. ( Id. ¶ 44.) Liska alleges that while incarcerated, he was denied prescription medications for high-blood pressure and pain in his shoulder. ( Id. ¶ 46.) Instead, he was given medication for withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin addiction. ( Id. ¶ 47.) Liska alleges that he suffered extreme pain and discomfort as a result of the lack of proper medication. ( Id. ¶ 48.) Liska also alleges that he experienced acute intestinal distress and was unable to sleep as a result of the indignities and fear his incarceration caused. ( Id. ¶ 49.)

On March 27, 2012, Liska appeared in court on the charge of violating a protective order. ( Id. ¶ 50.) Liska alleges that he pleaded guilty to the charge of violating a protective order in order to be released from the Cook County Jail, and that were he not incarcerated at the time, he would have defended himself against the charge. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 50-52.) After he pleaded guilty, Liska was released from jail. ( Id. ¶ 52.) Liska alleges that he continues to have nightmares and suffers from severe emotional distress resulting from his incarceration at the Cook County Jail. ( Id. ¶ 53.)

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Liska initiated this action on March 14, 2013, by filing a three-count complaint against Sheriff Dart, the Sheriff's Department, and unknown Sheriff's Deputies. (R. 1, Compl.) On May 2, 2013, Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint against Sheriff Dart and the unknown Sheriff's Deputies for failure to state a claim, and to dismiss the Sheriff's Department as a " non-suable entity." (R. 8, Defs.' First Mot. Dismiss.) On May 15, 2013, the Court granted Defendants' motion, dismissing the complaint without prejudice and granting Liska leave to file an amended complaint. (R. 11, Min. Entry.)

Liska filed an amended complaint on August 5, 2013, naming Sheriff Dart, the Sheriff's Department, and Cook County as defendants. (R. 18, First Am. Compl.) On December 4, 2013, Defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint for failure to state a claim against Sheriff Dart, and to dismiss the Sheriff's Department as a

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" non-suable entity." (R. 31, Second Mot. Dismiss.) On December 9, 2013, the Court granted Defendants' motion, dismissing with prejudice the Sheriff's Department and granting Liska leave to file an amended complaint. (R. 34, Min. Entry.)

On January 8, 2014, Liska filed a second amended complaint against Sheriff Dart and Cook County. (R. 35, Second Am. Compl.) In Count I, Liska alleges that Defendants violated his constitutional rights by depriving him of his liberty without due process and by denying him prescription medications during the term of his incarceration. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 54-63.) In Count II, Liska alleges a state law claim for false imprisonment. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 64-75.) In ...


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