United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. DARRAH United States District Court Judge.
Jan Kowalski filed a Complaint, alleging violations of her
rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, a violation of § 2 of the Voting
Rights Act of 1965, 42 U.S.C. § 1973, et seq.,
and a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §
1961, et seq. Plaintiff also filed a Motion for
Injunctive Relief and Mandamus , which was denied on March
1, 2016. An Amended Complaint was filed that made the same
allegations but added Ziff Sistrunk as a named Plaintiff.
Defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs'
Amended Complaint . Defendants' Motion  is
granted with prejudice.
was a candidate in the Primary Election of March 15, 2016,
for the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in Cook County,
Illinois. (Amend. Compl. ¶¶ 1-2.) The Cook County
Officers Electoral Board (“CCOEB”) is a statutory
entity that has the power to determine the validity of
nomination papers. (Id. ¶ 5.) Kowalski filed
her Petition for Nomination on November 30, 2015.
(Id. ¶ 16.) The Petition contained 13, 430
signatures by registered voters of Cook County, which is
above the minimum number of signatures required to be placed
on the ballot. (Id. ¶¶ 17-18.) On December
7, 2015, Audrey Jacox filed an Objector's Petition,
alleging the Nomination Petition was insufficient.
(Id. ¶ 24.) Between December 17 and December
22, 2015, the CCOEB conducted a “Rule 6 records
examination.” (Id. ¶ 26.) On December 22,
2015, Kowalski received the final Petition Summary Report
from the CCOEB. (Id. ¶ 31.) The report stated
that the Petition for Nomination had 554 fewer valid
signatures than what was required. (Id.) Plaintiff,
Ziff Sistrunk (“Sistrunk”), is an
African-American Cook County resident whose signature was
disallowed on Kowalski's Petition for Nomination.
(Id. ¶¶ 3-4, 21.)
filed an emergency motion with the CCOEB on December 23,
2015, asking to extend the deadline for a Rule 8 motion,
which would trigger a review of objections made during the
Rule 6 records examination. (Id. ¶¶ 25,
35.) The CCOEB's hearing officer denied the emergency
motion. (Id. ¶ 37.) Kowalski filed a motion to
reconsider the denial of the emergency motion, which was also
denied on December 28, 2015. (Id. ¶ 40.) The
hearing officer further recommended that the CCOEB sustain
the Objector's Petition and invalidate Kowalski's
Petition for Nomination. (Id.) On December 30, 2015,
the CCOEB sustained the Objector's Petition; and
Kowalski's name was removed from the March 15, 2016
Primary Ballot. (Id. ¶ 47.)
filed for judicial review of the CCOEB's decision to
remove her name from the ballot. Kowalski v. Cook County
Officers Electoral Bd., 2016 IL App (1st) 160528-U,
appeal denied, stay denied, 120549, 2016 WL 1377955
(Ill. Mar. 14, 2016). The Circuit Court of Cook County
granted summary judgment in favor of the CCOEB and their
decision. Id. Kowalski then appealed the Circuit
Court opinion to the Illinois Appellate Court, who affirmed
the CCOEB and Circuit Court decision. Id.
alleges she was denied substantive rights during the
“Rule 6 records examination.” (Amend.
Compl. ¶ 27.) Kowalski also claims there were
substantive and procedural due-process violations that
resulted in sustaining the Objector's Petition.
(Id. ¶ 49.) In addition, Kowalski claims that
the CCOEB decision violates the voters of Cook County's
procedural and substantive due-process rights. (Id.
12(b)(1) motion challenges federal jurisdiction, and the
plaintiff bears the burden of establishing the elements
necessary for jurisdiction, including standing, have been
met. Scanlan v. Eisenberg, 669 F.3d 838, 841-42 (7th
Cir. 2012). In ruling on a 12(b)(1) motion, the court may
look outside of the complaint's allegations and consider
whatever evidence has been submitted on the issue of
jurisdiction. Ezekiel v. Michel, 66 F.3d 894, 897
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). To survive a motion to
dismiss, a complaint must allege “enough facts to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause
of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). However,
plaintiffs are not required to “plead the elements of a
cause of action along with facts supporting each
element.” Runnion ex rel. Runnion v. Girl Scouts of
Greater Chicago & Nw. Indiana, 786 F.3d 510, 517
(7th Cir. 2015). Rather, 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).
purposes of a motion to dismiss under either Rule 12(b)(1) or
Rule 12(b)(6), all well-pleaded factual allegations are
accepted as true, and all reasonable inferences are construed
in plaintiff's favor. See, e.g., Scanlan, 669
F.3d at 841; Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1081.
move to dismiss the Amended Complaint under Rule 12(b)(1),
stating that Plaintiffs do not have jurisdiction to bring
this claim in federal court. Defendants argue that Plaintiffs
do not have Article III standing, that they are immune from
suit under the ...