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Hare v. County of Kane

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

December 15, 2014

JAMAR HARE, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF KANE, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

VIRGINIA M. KENDALL, JUDGE

Plaintiff Jamar Hare brought the instant four-count Complaint on March 16, 2014, alleging that Defendants Kane County, Kane County Sheriff Patrick Perez, Chris Lauzen, Regina Grones, and Unknown Sheriff’s Deputies and Kane County Employees deprived Hare of his constitutional rights under the color of law under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The allegations stem from incidents occurring during Hare’s detention at the Kane County Jail as a pre-trial detainee. Specifically, Hare contends that there was a policy and practice constituting a Monell claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, see Monell v. Department of Social Services of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 690 (1978) (municipalities may be sued for constitutional deprivations caused by governmental custom) (Count I); which resulted in the denial of necessary medical care to Hare (Count II); requiring indemnification by the County per 55 ILCS 5/5-1002 (Count III); and that all Defendants intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon Hare (Count IV). Hare has since withdrawn his intentional infliction of emotional distress claim.

Kane County Sheriff Patrick Perez, Kane County, and Chris Lauzen now move to dismiss the Complaint. Sheriff Perez asserts that the Complaint fails to provide sufficient allegations to plausibly support a Monell claim. Kane County, while acknowledging that it must indemnify Sheriff Perez for any judgment against him, contends that because it cannot be held liable for the actions of the Sheriff, the substantive claims pursued should be dismissed against it. Lauzen maintains that because the Complaint is brought against him in his official capacity and Kane County is already a Defendant, his involvement is unnecessary. For the following reasons, Sheriff Perez’s Motion is denied, Kane County’s Motion is granted in part without prejudice, and Lauzen’s Motion is granted without prejudice.

BACKGROUND

This Court takes the following allegations from the Complaint and treats them as true for purposes of the motions to dismiss. See Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).

Plaintiff Jamar Hare is a paraplegic. (Dkt. No. 1, Hare Compl. P. 3 ¶ 12). Consequentially, he has no control over his bowel or urinary system movements and requires the use of catheters to drain his bladder as well as colostomy bags and enemas administered regularly in order to avoid accidental defecation. (Id. at ¶¶ 2, 13). Around February 5, 2013, Hare was cleared for admission to Kane County Jail. (Id. at ¶ 15). The jail evaluator specifically noted that Hare required self-catheters and a colostomy bag. (Id. at ¶ 16). While at the Kane County Jail, Hare did not regularly receive the catheters he requires. He also developed bedsores. (Id. at ¶¶ 17, 18). On February 10, 2013, Hare had an evaluation in which his bedsores were examined and diagnosed as stage 2-3. (Id. at ¶ 19). Despite this evaluation, nothing was done to treat his conditions beyond changing Hare’s dressings, which resulted in his conditions worsening. (Id. at ¶ ¶ 20, 21, 25, 36). Due to the pain he was experiencing, Hare requested to go to a hospital on February 25, 2013, but his request was refused. (Id. at ¶¶ 32, 33). At the time, he was urinating blood and his stool was orange. (Id. at ¶ 34). Additionally, on February 25, 2013, Hare was placed on “lockdown.” (Id. at ¶ 37). During that time he was not given the supplies he needs to expel waste and, as a result, Hare was forced to sit in his own urine and stool. (Id. at ¶ 38). Around March 1, 2013, Hare was released from Kane County Jail. (Id. at ¶ 39).

LEGAL STANDARD

Rule 12 (b)(6) requires dismissal of complaints that fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). On a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court must accept as true all of the well-pled allegations in the complaint and construe all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank, 507 F.3d 614, 619 (7th Cir. 2007). To state a claim upon which relief may be granted, a complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “Detailed factual allegations” are not required, but the plaintiff must allege facts that, when “accepted as true … state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)) (internal quotations omitted). In analyzing whether a complaint meets this standard, the “reviewing court [must] draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. at 678. When the factual allegations are well-pled, the Court assumes their veracity and then determines if they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief. See Id. at 679. “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.” Yeftich v. Navistar, 722 F.3d 911, 915 (7th Cir. 2013).

DISCUSSION

Hare claims the Defendants are liable for his alleged injuries due to an implied policy or custom that demonstrated a deliberate indifference to Hare’s medical needs, thereby violating his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. (Compl. P. 6 ¶ 43).

A. Sheriff Perez’s Motion to Dismiss

Sheriff Perez moves to dismiss the Complaint in its entirety. He asserts the Complaint alleges only a single instance of failure to provide catheters, colostomy bags, and enemas, which is insufficient to satisfy the requirements for a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 under Monell. But here, Hare alleged frequent instances of a failure to provide adequate medical treatment over a twenty-five day period. Hare further alleged that this failure was the result of policies and procedures impacting inmates, such as Hare, with unique medical needs. Lastly, Hare alleged that this failure reflected a deliberate indifference to Hare’s medical needs. This Court finds the Complaint alleges facts sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. Therefore, Sheriff Perez’s motion is denied.

1. Requirements for a Monell Claims

In Monell, 436 U.S. at 690, the Supreme Court held municipalities or other local government units could be included in the application of a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim. However, rather than on a respondent superior basis, municipalities and other government units can only be held liable when the harm caused was a result of: “(1) an express policy that, when enforced, causes a constitutional deprivation; (2) a widespread practice that, although not authorized by written law or express municipal policy, is so permanent and well settled as to constitute a custom or usage with the force of law; or (3) an allegation that the constitutional injury was caused by a person with final policymaking authority.” Phelan v. Cook ...


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