United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
ORDER AND OPINION
BILLY McDADE United States Senior District Judge
matter is before the Court on the Defendant John Fermon's
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 9). The motion has been fully briefed
and is ready for decision. For the reasons stated below, the
motion is DENIED. Also before the Court is Defendant's
motion for leave to file a reply brief. (Doc. 12). That
motion is GRANTED.
Defendant's submissions are silent as to under what
authority Defendant moves to dismiss, the Court gathers from
the substance of the submissions that the motion is a Rule
12(b)(6) motion contending that Plaintiff has failed to state
a claim for which relief can be granted. In ruling on a
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6), “the court must treat all well-pleaded
allegations as true and draw all inferences in favor of the
non-moving party.” In re marchFIRST Inc., 589
F.3d 901, 904 (7th Cir. 2009). The pleading 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). To survive a motion to dismiss, the challenged
pleading must contain sufficient detail to give notice of the
claim, and the allegations must “plausibly suggest that
the [non-movant] has a right to relief, raising that
possibility above a ‘speculative level.'”
EEOC v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773,
776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). The plausibility
standard requires enough facts “to present a story that
holds together, ” but does not require a determination
of probability. Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d
400, 404 (7th Cir. 2010). Though detailed factual allegations
are not needed, a “formulaic recitation of a cause of
action's elements will not do.” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 545. Lastly, when a plaintiff pleads facts
demonstrating that he has no claim, dismissal of the
complaint is proper. McCready v. eBay, Inc., 453
F.3d 882, 888 (7th Cir. 2006).
was one of several passengers in a vehicle stopped by
Defendant in the early morning hours of September 27, 2014 in
Bloomington, Illinois. The Complaint does not mention why the
vehicle was stopped. During the stop, Defendant instructed
Plaintiff and the other occupants to exit the vehicle. After
exiting the vehicle, Plaintiff wiped his face with his hand.
Another officer on scene, Officer Statz, witnessed that
action and told Defendant that it appeared Plaintiff had
eaten something. The Complaint does not identify what the
“something” was that Statz saw.
believed that Plaintiff swallowed a plastic bag containing
crack cocaine. Defendant placed Plaintiff in handcuffs and
conducted a thorough search of the Plaintiff and all areas
under his control to attempt to find any illegal substances
on the Plaintiff, including his mouth and body. Defendant was
unable to find any illegal substances on Plaintiff or in his
control. Defendant did find an open container of alcohol near
where Plaintiff was seated in the vehicle. Defendant wrote
and provided Plaintiff with a citation for illegal
transportation of alcohol on the scene of the stop.
Defendant transported Plaintiff to the City of Bloomington
jail and placed him under arrest for obstructing
justice/destroying evidence. After spending a short time at
the jail, Defendant took Plaintiff to a hospital emergency
room where he instructed the medical personnel that Plaintiff
may have swallowed a plastic bag with crack cocaine while
Plaintiff denied the same to medical personnel. Plaintiff was
given charcoal to drink, which he did. Afterwards, Plaintiff
did not regurgitate or otherwise expel any illegal substances
or a plastic baggie. Plaintiff was also given an x-ray that
came back as negative for any foreign substances within
Plaintiff's abdomen or pelvis. Despite these facts,
Defendant transported Plaintiff back to the Bloomington
police station where he prepared reports charging Plaintiff
with obstructing justice/destroying evidence.
drugs were ever found by Defendant during the incident on
September 27, 2014, and Plaintiff never regurgitated or
passed any illegal substances after his arrest by Defendant.
Nevertheless, Plaintiff was imprisoned and levied with
criminal charges for obstructing justice/destroying evidence.
The Complaint is silent as to the outcome of those criminal
now brings three claims against Defendant by way of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. In Count I, he alleges unreasonable seizure
against Defendant. In Count II, he alleges unreasonable
search against Defendant for making Plaintiff go to the
hospital emergency room and requiring him to take x-rays and
drink charcoal to search his body for nonexistent illegal
substances. In Count III, he alleges unreasonable detention
against Defendant for holding him in custody despite knowing
that there was no evidence of obstructing justice or
first moves to dismiss all the claims against him on the
grounds that he had probable cause to support his entire
interaction with Plaintiff. He contends the facts as pled in
the Complaint establish Defendant had probable cause for all
of his actions. It is true that a court may dismiss Fourth
Amendment search, seizure, and unlawful detention claims in
instances where a plaintiff has pled allegations that
establish the existence of probable cause. Fleming v.
Livingston County, 674 F.3d 874, 878 (7th Cir. 2012).
This is not one of those instances.
facts of the Complaint at best only establish that Defendant
may have had probable cause to arrest and detain Plaintiff
for the open liquor container. The Court states that probable
cause may have existed because no facts detailing
why the officers stopped the vehicle in the first place are
presented in the Complaint even though the Plaintiff does not
appear to challenge the initial stop and search of the
vehicle. Defendant wrote Plaintiff a ...