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Barrow v. City of Chicago

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

September 11, 2014

JOHN BARROW, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge.

The Court grants Defendant City of Chicago's motion to dismiss without prejudice [32] and grants Defendant Officers' motion to dismiss with prejudice [34]. Defendant Officers are no longer Defendants to this lawsuit. Plaintiff must file a Second Amended Complaint in accordance with this Order by no later than October 3, 2014.

STATEMENT

After the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants' original motions to dismiss on April 21, 2014, Plaintiff John Barrow filed the present three-count Amended Complaint against Defendants City of Chicago and certain individual Chicago police officers alleging that Defendants violated his constitutional rights. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court presumes familiarity with its April 21, 2014, Order. Before the Court are Defendants' newly-filed motions to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendants City's motion without prejudice and grants Defendant Officers' motion with prejudice. The Court also grants Plaintiff leave to file a Second Amended Complaint in accordance with this Order.

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), and draw "reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiffs." Teamsters Local Union No. 705 v. Burlington No. Santa Fe, LLC, 741 F.3d 819, 823 (7th Cir. 2014).

BACKGROUND

On November 23, 2011, around 8 p.m., Plaintiff, who was an employee of Reliance Security Services ("Reliance"), had just completed his shift working as a security officer at a Foot Locker store on the south side of Chicago. (R. 26, Am. Compl. ¶ 7.) Sometime after 10:00 p.m. on that same date, Reliance dispatched Plaintiff to a facility named "Cold Storage" located in McCook, Illinois to perform armed security services. ( Id. ¶ 8.) Reliance advised Plaintiff that he was to cover the 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. night shift. ( Id. ) While en route to Cold Storage, Defendant Officers stopped Plaintiff although he had not committed any traffic violations. ( Id. ¶ 9.) At that time, Defendant Officers demanded that Plaintiff produce his driver's license, proof of insurance, and registration. ( Id. ¶ 10.) Plaintiff alleges that he complied with Defendant Officers' commands and did not exhibit suspicious or threatening behavior. ( Id. )

Plaintiff further asserts that Defendant Officers then ordered him out of the car at which time they unlawfully searched him and his car without justification or probable cause. ( Id. ¶ 11.) Upon exiting his vehicle, Plaintiff informed Defendant Officers that he was a security guard, that he was on his way to work, and that he lawfully had a firearm in his possession. ( Id. ¶ 13.) According to Plaintiff, Defendant Officers ignored his explanation and stated that they "locked up" security guards solely for the inconvenience it causes them and that they know the case will "be tossed out." ( Id. ¶ 14.) Defendant Officers then arrested Plaintiff on the criminal charge of Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon ("AUUW"). ( Id. ¶ 15.) Plaintiff, however, alleges that as a professional security guard he has completed the requisite training courses and at all relevant times he was licensed and authorized to carry his firearm in Illinois. ( Id. ¶ 12.) Moreover, at the time of his arrest, Plaintiff alleges that he was in possession of documentation attesting to the same, including but not limited to, his Firearm Owners Identification card, his Permanent Employee Registration card, his Fire Arm Control card, and his Reliance Security Services Employee card. ( Id. ) Plaintiff asserts that he produced these documents to Defendant Officers prior to his arrest. ( Id. )

After arresting Plaintiff, Defendant Officers transported him to jail. ( Id. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff further asserts that he had to pay bail to be released while awaiting trial and was forced to hire an attorney to defend against false charges. ( Id. ) Also, Plaintiff's car was towed and stored at Plaintiff's expense. ( Id. ) Thereafter, Reliance fired Plaintiff from his job due to his inability to work. ( Id. ) Over the next several months, Plaintiff was forced to return to the Cook County Circuit Court on numerous occasions. ( Id. ¶ 17.) Each time Plaintiff appeared for his criminal case, court staff informed him that his case had to be continued because the prosecution was not ready to proceed. ( Id. ) After several months, Plaintiff communicated to the Circuit Court that he was legally entitled to carry a firearm on the day of his arrest and that he had in the paperwork to prove it at that time. ( Id. ¶ 18.) According to Plaintiff, the Circuit Court dismissed the weapons charges in a manner indicative of Plaintiff's innocence. ( Id. )

Plaintiff further alleges that the City of Chicago has a policy, practice, and custom of failing to adequately train and/or directing its personnel causing Defendant Officers to ignore and dishonor "exemptions" to AUUW prohibitions as stated in the Illinois statutes. ( Id. ¶ 19.) In addition, Plaintiff alleges that the Chicago Police Department ("CPD") has a policy, practice, and custom regarding officers not including exculpatory information on reports regarding AUUW suspects. ( Id. ¶ 20.) Further, Plaintiff alleges that the CPD has a policy, practice, and custom of failing to adequately train its personnel with respect to proper investigatory procedure relating to identifying and honoring firearm credentials of law-abiding citizens. ( Id. ) Plaintiff maintains that Chicago has been put on notice of its unconstitutional policy, practices, and customs by similar lawsuits and complaints. ( Id. ¶ 21.) According to Plaintiff, pursuant to these unconstitutional policies, Defendant Officers illegally arrested Plaintiff, seized his weapon, and prevented him from going to work. ( Id. ¶ 22.)

In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges the following claims: (1) 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 the City of Chicago; (2) a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim based on his liberty interest in his employment against all Defendants; and (3) and an indemnification claim against the City of Chicago pursuant to 745 ILCS 10/9-102.

ANALYSIS

I. Monell ...


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