United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VIRGINIA M. KENDALL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
Tasha Trettenero claims that Defendants Deputy Brian Harl and
Deputy Robert Lechowicz violated her constitutional rights
when arresting her on June 7, 2014. She brings claims against
the Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Excessive
Force (Count I), Failure to Intervene (Count II), and
Conspiracy to Deprive Constitutional Rights (Count III).
Defendants move to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Defendants argue Trettenero's claims
are barred by collateral estoppel and the Heck
doctrine. For the reasons stated below, the Motion is denied.
Court takes the following allegations from the Complaint and
treats them as true for purposes of the motion. See
Vinson v. Vermillion County, Ill., 776 F.3d 924, 925
(7th Cir. 2015).
7, 2014, at 9:00 p.m., Deputy Harl pulled Trettenero over in
a traffic stop near Route 30 and Briarcliff Road in
Montgomery, Illinois in an unmarked car. (Dkt. 13 at ¶
2.) Trettenero, an unarmed 135 pound 24-year-old, was driving
alone at the time of the stop on a vacant roadway. Trettenero
was therefore reluctant, and ultimately refused, when Deputy
Harl asked her to step out of her vehicle without providing a
reason. (Id. at ¶¶ 14, 17.) Deputy Harl
then proceeded to grab Trettenero by her ponytail, pull her
out of the car, and slam her face down onto the roadway.
(Id. at ¶ 19.) When she was on the ground, he
dug his knee into her back and ground her face into the road.
(Id. at ¶ 20.) Meanwhile, Deputy Lechowicz
arrived, and positioned his vehicle so that his dashcam was
obstructed by Deputy Harl's vehicle. (Id. at
¶ 31.) Deputy Lechowicz joined Deputy Harl in physically
assaulting Trettenero. (Id. at ¶¶ 21-22.)
Trettenero further alleges that she never “hit, kicked,
or injured either officer.” (Id. at ¶
attached two photographs to her Complaint which show bruising
to her eye and her thigh. (Dkt. 13 at 2.) Additionally,
although Deputy Lechowicz's dashcam was obstructed by
Deputy Harl's vehicle, there is an audio recording of the
incident. Trettenero alleges that in the recording she asks
why she is being attacked, and screams and weeps telling the
officers that they are hurting her. (Id. at ¶
32.) The recording also captures Deputy Lechowicz asking
“do you like it” while assaulting her.
(Id. at ¶ 34.)
resulting information charged Trettenero with:
…AGGRAVATED BATTERY … in that said defendant
knowing Deputy Robert Lechowicz to be a peace officer
… knowingly made physical contact of an insulting or
provoking nature with Deputy Robert Lechowicz in that she
kicked Deputy Robert Lechowicz multiple times in the lower
abdomen and upper thigh area.
(Dkt 24-4 at 2.) On April 22, 2015, Trettenero was found
guilty of battery to a police officer and resisting arrest
after a bench trial in Kendall County, Illinois. (Dkt. 13 at
¶ 34.) The judge rendered a verdict of not guilty for
the alleged traffic violations. (Dkt. 24-4 at 1.) Trettenero
was sentenced to 90 days of incarceration, 36 months of
probation, as well as other fines, counseling, and treatment.
(Dkt. 13 at ¶ 34.) She appealed the conviction, and her
appeal is pending. (Id. at ¶ 34.)
filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) arguing that
Trettenero's state court conviction bars her civil claims
pursuant to the doctrine of collateral estoppel and/or the
motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) challenges the viability of a complaint by arguing
that it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); Doe v. Village of
Arlington Heights, 782 F.3d 911, 914 (7th Cir. 2015). To
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the
complaint must provide sufficient facts so as to “state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face” and
“raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). The Court accepts all well-pled facts as
true and views them in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Hatmaker v. Mem'l Med. Ctr., 619 F.3d
741, 743 (7th Cir. 2010).
the doctrines of collateral estoppel nor Heck
warrant dismissal of Trettenero's Complaint. While
Trettenero is estopped from relitigating issues determined in
her criminal case, specifically whether she committed a
battery against the Defendants, her Complaint states a claim
that her constitutional rights were violated when Defendants
used unreasonable force in arresting her, and those
allegations do not upset her criminal ...