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Lamb v. McMillen

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

September 6, 2016

LUCAS A. LAMB, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT MCMILLEN Defendant.

          ORDER

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, U.S. District Judge

         Before the Court is Defendant Robert McMillen's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Lucas A. Lamb's Complaint Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) (d/e 6). Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED. Plaintiff's Complaint does not state a claim for malicious prosecution under federal or state law or a claim for unlawful retaliation in violation of the First Amendment. Defendant and the prosecutor both had probable cause to believe that Plaintiff had violated 720 ILCS 5/32-4(a), a statute prohibiting communication with a person thought to have been summoned as a juror with the intent to influence that person regarding any matter that may be brought before them in their capacity as a juror. This probable cause is based on Plaintiff's Facebook posts and Defendant's finding, noted in his police report, that Mark Boston was empaneled on a jury in a traffic case on January 13, 2014.

         Further, because Plaintiff does not allege that he was detained after charges were filed, he does not state a claim for malicious prosecution under federal law, even if such a claim exists after the United States Supreme Court's resolution of Manuel v. City of Joliet, in which the Seventh Circuit held that the plaintiff was precluded from bringing a federal due process claim for malicious prosecution because Illinois law provides an adequate remedy for malicious prosecution. See 590 F. App'x 641, 642, (7th Cir. 2015), cert. granted sub nom. Manuel v. City of Joliet, Ill., 136 S.Ct. 890, 193 L.Ed.2d 783 (2016). The Court relinquishes jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state-law claim for intentional interference with electoral expectancy and dismisses the claim without prejudice so that Plaintiff may refile the claim in state court.

         I. BACKGROUND[1]

         Plaintiff Lucas A. Lamb is a resident of Greene County, Illinois. At all times relevant to this litigation, Defendant Robert McMillen was Sheriff of Greene County, Illinois. Defendant, a Democrat, was elected Sheriff in November 2010 without opposition.

         As both a citizen and a member of the Greene County Board, Plaintiff, a Republican, has been outspoken about his views regarding politics, including his views about the limited role that he believes that the Government should play in the lives of citizens and changes that Plaintiff would make to the Green County Sheriff's Office's policies. Plaintiff has openly criticized law enforcement for prosecuting crimes that Plaintiff believes to be victimless and for acting in a manner that Plaintiff believes to be duplicitous, unfair, unconstitutional, and cost-ineffective. Plaintiff has also expressed additional political views that are at odds with Defendant.

         On or about December 8, 2013, Plaintiff declared that he would run against Defendant in the 2014 election for Sheriff of Greene County. Plaintiff was the only opponent of Defendant in the election. On or before January 16, 2014, Defendant was aware that Plaintiff was running against Defendant for Sheriff in the 2014 election.

         On January 13, 2014, Plaintiff, Mark Boston, Plaintiff's acquaintance and a candidate for the Greene County Board, and others, posted commentary on Boston's Facebook wall. The relevant comments between Plaintiff, Boston, and T. Koehne were as follows:

Boston (10:29 AM): Yeah, got selected for jury duty
Plaintiff (10:47 AM): Hell yes!
Plaintiff (10:47 AM): Nullify, nullify, nullify!
Plaintiff (11:50 AM): Fija.org
Boston (11:51 AM): got it
Plaintiff (11:53 AM): Hopefully it's a seat belt ticket. Sometimes I daydream about being on a jury that votes not guilty on a seat belt ticket. You have the right to judge the law and the action. Hang the jury, if necessary. Stand your ground and inform the jury of fija.org.
Boston (11:54 AM): nope speeding in a school zone
Plaintiff (11:55 AM): Great. Remember there must be a clear victim.
Plaintiff (2:46 PM): What's the verdict man, I'm dying here T. Koehne (3:12 PM): Are jurors suppose [sic] to talk about cases?

         On January 16, 2014, Defendant prepared and filed an incident report identifying Plaintiff as a suspect for violating 720 ILCS 5/32-4(a), an Illinois statute criminalizing unlawful ...


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