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Zappa v. Oag Motorcycle Ventures, Inc.

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

September 10, 2014

MARY ZAPPA and RANDALL HAHN, Plaintiffs,
v.
OAG MOTORCYCLE VENTURES, INC., d/b/a CITY LIMITS HARLEY DAVIDSON, JEFFREY J. SMITH, GARRISON BENNETT, CARLOS GONZALEZ, individually and in his official capacity as a Palatine police officer, and THE VILLAGE OF PALATINE, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

THOMAS M. DURKIN, District Judge.

Mary Zappa ("Zappa") and Randall Hahn ("Hahn") (collectively, the "Plaintiffs"), filed a three-count amended complaint against OAG Motorcycle Ventures, Inc., d/b/a City Limits Harley Davidson ("City Limits"), Jeffrey J. Smith ("Smith"), and Garrison Bennett ("Bennett") (collectively, the "Harley Defendants"), Officer Carlos Gonzalez ("Officer Gonzalez"), and the Village of Palatine (the "Village"). R. 55. Count I, against Officer Gonzalez, is a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivation of property without due process. Id. ¶¶ 69-82. Count II, against the Harley Defendants, alleges a violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud & Deceptive Business Practices Act ("ICFA"), 815 ILCS 510/2. Id. ¶¶ 83-101. Count III is an indemnification claim against the Village pursuant to 745 ILCS 10/9-102. Id. ¶¶ 102-03. Officer Gonzalez and the Village filed a motion to dismiss, R. 57, as did the Harley Defendants. R. 59. For the following reasons, the Court grants with prejudice Officer Gonzalez and the Village's motion to dismiss Counts I and III, and declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the Illinois state law claim in Count II. The case is therefore dismissed, and the Harley Defendants' motion is denied as moot.

BACKGROUND

The Court has already discussed in detail the factual background behind this case, so another thorough explanation is unnecessary. See R. 52 at 2-5. In short, this case involves a dispute regarding the purchase of a motorcycle. In early July 2013, Hahn responded to an internet advertisement for a Black FLTHTC Harley-Davidson motorcycle ("Motorcycle One") at City Limits. R. 55 ¶¶ 10-15. The Plaintiffs later went to City Limits, test drove a motorcycle (a different motorcycle than the one in the advertisement, "Motorcycle Two"), and agreed to purchase the motorcycle from the Harley Defendants. Id. ¶¶ 15-31. In essence, the Plaintiffs thought they were purchasing Motorcycle Two-the motorcycle they test drove, examined, and took pictures with-when in actuality, the bill of sale Hahn signed listed the VIN number, year, and mileage for Motorcycle One. Id. ¶ 30. The following photo (taken by a City Limits employee, former-defendant Gary Umanski, on his iPhone on July 19, 2013, at approximately 6:50 p.m.) shows the Plaintiffs with Motorcycle Two at the dealership after reaching what they thought was an agreement to purchase that motorcycle:

Id. ¶ 32.

On July 22, 2013, the Plaintiffs returned to City Limits, provided the dealership with the remaining balance on the motorcycle, and then left the dealership with Motorcycle Two. Id. ¶¶ 33-38. On July 23, 2013, Hahn noticed the mix-up with the motorcycles (i.e., the VIN on the bill of sale did not match the VIN of Motorcycle Two) when he attempted to register Motorcycle Two with his insurance company. Id. ¶ 39. Hahn then called the dealership to notify it of the mix up. Id. ¶ 40. Bennett told Hahn he could keep Motorcycle Two if he paid an extra $1, 000. Id. ¶ 43. Hahn refused that offer, in addition to City Limits employee Tony Pisona's alleged demand of $2, 500 to "redo the paperwork" for Motorcycle Two. Id. ¶¶ 43-45. City Limits told Hahn that it would report the motorcycle as stolen if the Plaintiffs did not return it to City Limits. Id. ¶¶ 45, 47.

On July 24, 2013, Hahn received a phone call from Officer Gonzalez at approximately 7:16 p.m. Id. ¶ 48. Officer Gonzalez said that Hahn had been reported as stealing a motorcycle and that the Plaintiffs must return the motorcycle to City Limits or they would be arrested. Id. ¶ 49. Hahn attempted to explain the mix-up to Officer Gonzalez, stating that the allegation "was false, that he had stolen nothing, and that regardless of what the officer had been told, he (Hahn) did not have immediate access to the motorcycle since, at the moment, it was at a storage location owned by another." Id. ¶ 50. Hahn alleges that Officer Gonzalez again "threatened" to arrest him if he failed to return the motorcycle within the next five hours. Id. ¶ 51. Officer Gonzalez spoke to Hahn on the phone for a second time (approximately fifteen minutes later) and, according to Hahn, "made [a threat to arrest him] without even having probable cause to arrest Plaintiffs for theft of the motorcycle." Id. ¶ 60.

"Fearing imminent arrest, " Hahn returned Motorcycle Two to the Lake Zurich police station later that night after getting in touch with their friend who was storing the bike. Id. ¶ 62. At the station, Officer Mark Frey told the Plaintiffs that "the bike had not been reported stolen and there was not a warrant out for Hahn's arrest." Id. ¶ 63. Nevertheless, the Plaintiffs left Motorcycle Two at the police station. Id. ¶ 64. Officer Gonzalez and Smith subsequently went to the Lake Zurich police station to retrieve Motorcycle Two. Id. ¶ 65. The Plaintiffs allege that City Limits has not returned any of the money they paid for the motorcycle. Id. ¶ 68.

On September 16, 2013, the Plaintiffs filed a four-count complaint, alleging a constitutional rights violation under § 1983 against Gonzalez (Count I); a violation and conspiracy to violate the ICFA against City Limits, Umansky, Bennett, and Smith (Count II); defamation per se against City Limits and Smith (Count III); and an indemnification count against the Village (Count IV). R. 1 ¶¶ 52-76. On May 12, 2014, the Court issued an order granting Officer Gonzalez and the Village's motion to dismiss Counts I and IV for failure to state a claim. R. 52 at 10. The dismissal was without prejudice. Id. at 11. The Court also declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims in Counts II and III and, thus, denied as moot the Harley Defendants' motion to dismiss. Id. at 10-11.

On June 16, 2014, the Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint re-alleging the § 1983 claim against Officer Gonzalez (Count I); the violation and conspiracy to violate ICFA claim (Count II); and the indemnification claim against the Village (Count III). R. 55. The Plaintiffs' amended complaint does not include the defamation per se claim, which was Count III of their original complaint. Compare R. 1 ¶¶ 70-74, with R. 55.

LEGAL STANDARD

A Rule 12(b)(6) motion challenges the sufficiency of the complaint. See, e.g., Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). A complaint must provide "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), sufficient to provide defendant with "fair notice" of the claim and the basis for it. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). This "standard demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). While "detailed factual allegations" are not required, "labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The complaint must "contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'" Mann v. Vogel, 707 F.3d 872, 877 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). In applying this standard, the Court accepts all well-pleaded facts as true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Mann, 707 F.3d at 877.

ANALYSIS

I. Counts I and III - Officer Gonzalez ...


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