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Black v. Dart

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division

February 20, 2015

JAMES BLACK, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
TOM DART (COOK COUNTY SHERIFF), Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 12 M1 301215. Honorable Joseph Panarese, Judge Presiding.

SYLLABUS

Where plaintiff filed a pro se suit against defendant sheriff for damages plaintiff suffered from the sheriff's alleged mistreatment but he did not assert any challenge to the sheriff's immunity defense throughout the proceedings below and apparently conceded any such argument on appeal, there was no basis to disturb the trial court's entry of summary judgment for the sheriff on appeal, especially in view of the plain language of sections 4-103 and 2-201 of the Tort Immunity Act and the lack of any genuine issue of material fact.

Joel A. Flaxman and Kenneth N. Flaxman, both of Chicago, for appellant.

Anita M. Alvarez, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Daniel Gallagher, Michael L. Gallagher, and Michael D. Warner, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for appellee.

PRESIDING JUSTICE HOFFMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Hall and Rochford concurred in the judgment, with opinion.

OPINION

HOFFMAN, PRESIDING JUSTICE.

Page 885

[¶1] The plaintiff, James Black, brought a pro se lawsuit against the defendant, Tom Dart, Sheriff of Cook County (Sheriff), for damages resulting from the plaintiff's alleged mistreatment while confined at the Count County Department of Corrections (DOC). The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Sheriff under section 2-1005 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-1005 (West 2010)). The plaintiff now appeals, contending that the court erred by (1) rejecting undisputed evidence that he had opted out of a pending federal class action suit based upon the same subject matter; and (2) entertaining a motion for involuntary dismissal under section 2-619(a)(3) of the Code (735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(3) (West 2012)) which was filed after the time for pleading had passed. For the following reasons, we affirm.

[¶2] The facts articulated below are substantially undisputed. The plaintiff was arrested in April 2012. He was placed in Division 3 of the DOC from April 15, 2012 until April 21, 2012, at which point he was transferred to DOC Division 5, where he remained until his release on May 1, 2012.

[¶3] On July 3, 2012, he filed a pro se amended complaint, alleging that, during the time he was held in Division 3, he was unable to take a daily shower, use the telephone or purchase personal items from the commissary. He further alleged that, upon his release, the DOC failed to return his clothing to him.

[¶4] On July 27, 2012, the Sheriff filed an appearance and jury demand, and the court entered an order scheduling discovery and assigning the case to mandatory arbitration. On October 22, 2012, following arbitration, the Sheriff filed an answer and affirmative defenses, in which he asserted that his conduct was at all times reasonable and not in violation of the plaintiff's constitutional rights and also that the Sheriff was immune from suit

Page 886

under various sections of the Local Governmental and Governmental Employee's Tort Immunity Act (Act). 745 ILCS ...


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