United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JOHN W. DARRAH, District Judge.
Plaintiff, Noble Richard Martin, brought suit, pro se, in this Court against several individuals, alleging various claims stemming from his arrest and subsequent trial. Defendants filed Motions to Dismiss, but Plaintiff filed no response. For the reasons stated below, the Defendants' Motions to Dismiss are granted.
On February 26, 2014, Martin filed a Complaint, alleging various claims against the City of Chicago, several Chicago police officers, Cook County, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, and several Cook County Assistant State's Attorneys. Martin's claims stem from his arrest and subsequent trial on various charges. (Am. Compl ¶¶ 21-54; Exh. B.)
As best as can be determined, Martin brings thirteen counts in his Complaint: Count I is a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against the City of Chicago ("the City"), alleging various de facto policies, practices, and customs relating to police officers; Count II is a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against Megan Leonard, Jason Torres, Jacqueline Kennedy, and J. Morado, alleging conspiracy to commit false arrest and imprisonment in violation of the Fourth Amendment; Count III is a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against Defendants Leonard, Torres, Kennedy, and Morado, alleging conspiracy to commit false arrest and imprisonment in violation of Due Process; Count IV is a 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) claim against Defendants Leonard, Torres, Kennedy, and Morado, alleging conspiracy to obstruct justice; Count V is a Brady claim against Defendants Leonard, Torres, Kennedy, and Morado, alleging that Leonard and Torres intentionally withheld information from the State's Attorney's Office and lied on the stand; Count VI is an indemnification claim against the City for the actions of Defendants Torres, Leonard, and Morado; Count VII is a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against the County of Cook ("the County"), alleging various de facto policies, practices, and customs relating to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office; Count VIII is a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against Defendant Jane Zak, alleging that she tampered with a transcript; Count IX is a 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) claim against Defendants Zak, Regina Mescall, William Hall, and Eric Saucedo, alleging that they conspired to deny Plaintiff a fair trial; Count X is an indemnification claim against the County for the actions of Defendants Mescall, Zak, Hall, and Saucedo; Count XI is an Illinois malicious prosecution claim against all Defendants except Kennedy; Count XII is a common-law claim of abuse of process against Defendant Torres; and Count XIII is a common-law claim of abuse of process against Defendant Kennedy.
On May 5, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss Defendants Preckwinkle, Anita Alvarez, Hall, Saucedo, Giancola, and Morado. That motion was granted on May 8, 2014.
Rule 12(b)(6) permits a defendant to move to dismiss a complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A complaint must allege enough facts to support a claim that is "plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547 (2007). Facial plausibility exists when the court can "draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). All well-pleaded allegations are presumed to be true, and all inferences are read in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Lavalais v. Village of Melrose Park, 734 F.3d 629, 632 (7th Cir. 2013). This presumption is not extended to legal conclusions, or threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements.' Alam v. Miller Brewing Co., 709 F.3d 662, 666 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009)). The complaint must provide a defendant "with fair notice' of the claim and its basis." Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) and Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Courts liberally construe pro se complaints, and pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those of a represented party. See Maddox v. Love, 655 F.3d 709, 718 (7th Cir. 2011).
When presented with a motion to dismiss, the non-moving party must provide some legal basis to support their claims. See Stransky v. Cummins Engine Co, Inc., 51 F.3d 1329, 1335 (7th Cir. 1995) (citing Teumer v. General Motors Corp., 34 F.3d 543, 545 (7th Cir. 1994)). A plaintiff may forfeit his or her right to continue litigating their claims by not responding to a motion to dismiss. See Kirksey v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d 1039, 1043 (7th Cir. 1999). It is not a judge's duty to do the plaintiff's research and attempt to discover arguments against the defendant's reasoning. See Id. at 1041.
Defendant Jacqueline Kennedy
Plaintiff brings six claims against Defendant Kennedy. Counts II, III, and V are 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1985 claims. However, § 1983 claims require: (1) that the defendants were acting under the color of state law and (2) that their conduct deprived the plaintiffs of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States. Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535 (1981) (overruled on other grounds). "State action is an essential jurisdictional predicate under § 1983, and lack thereof warrants dismissal of the claim." Letisha A. by Murphy v. Morgan, 855 F.Supp. 943, 947 (N.D. Ill. 1994). A private individual may be deemed a state actor: (1) if there is a sufficiently close nexus between the state and the challenged action that the action of the private individual may be considered as that of the state; (2) if the state has exercised coercive power or provided encouragement such that the acts of a private individual is state action; (3) if the private individual willfully participates in a conspiracy with the state or a state actor. See Id. at 948. Plaintiff has pled no facts to show that Kennedy was a state actor. Nor has he pled any facts showing that any of the exceptions exist. Counts II, III, and V are dismissed as to Kennedy.
Count IV alleges that Kennedy engaged in a conspiracy to interfere with federal litigation or obstruct state proceedings in violation of 42 § U.S.C. 1985(2). To establish a conspiracy under § 1985, "a plaintiff must show (1) an express or implied agreement among defendants to deprive plaintiff of his or her constitutional rights and (2) actual deprivations of those rights in the form of overt acts in furtherance of the agreement." Scherer v. Balkema, 840 F.2d 437, 442 (7th Cir. 1988). Plaintiff has failed to plead facts showing any express or implied agreement between Kennedy and any of the other Defendants to obstruct justice and thereby deny him of his constitutional rights. Count IV is dismissed as to Kennedy.
Count XI alleges an Illinois claim of malicious prosecution. To state a cause of action for malicious prosecution, the plaintiff must allege facts showing: "(1) the commencement or continuance of an original criminal or civil judicial proceeding by the defendant; (2) the termination of the proceeding in favor of the plaintiff; (3) the absence of probable cause for such proceeding; (4) the presence of malice; and (5) damages resulting to the plaintiff." Meerbrey v. Marshall Field & Co., 564 N.E.2d 1222, 1231 (Ill. 1990). Defendant Kennedy has no authority to initiate a prosecution, as discretion to bring charges lies with the State's Attorney. See People ex rel. Carey v. Cousins, ...