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Norris v. Baikie

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

January 30, 2017

JOHN V . NORRIS, Plaintiff,
ROBERT D. BAIKIE, et al., Defendants.


          Robert M. Dow, Jr. United States District Judge

         Plaintiff John Norris brought this pro se civil right action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging, inter alia, that he was falsely arrested for driving under the influence. Currently before the Court are Defendants' motions to dismiss [64], [68], and [70]. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motions to dismiss are granted. Plaintiff's claims against Will County are dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiff's remaining federal claims are dismissed without prejudice to Plaintiff filing an amended complaint that does not contain any allegations inconsistent with his convictions or renewing at a later date if his convictions are ever invalidated. The Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claims. The Court will enter a final judgment and close the case.

         I. Background

         In his amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he has a history of animosity with Defendant Baikie, a Rockdale police officer who previously worked as a correctional officer at a Will County Adult Detention Facility (“the Jail”). [12 (Amended Complaint), at 8.] Plaintiff contends that he filed several law suits against the Jail, its officials, Defendant Baikie's “former superiors, former co-workers and former friends.” [Id.] According to Plaintiff, he was incarcerated at the Jail on August 30, 2013, when he “happened to cross paths with [Defendant] Baikie[.]” [Id.] Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Baikie “threatened to get Plaintiff, or words to that effect.” [Id.]

         Plaintiff alleges that the next day, August 31, 2013, Defendant Baikie “made good” on his prior threat by conducting an allegedly illegal and unconstitutional traffic stop of Plaintiff outside of Rockdale. [Id.] Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Baikie stopped him for alleged Illinois Vehicle Code infractions that Plaintiff insists he did not commit. [Id.] Plaintiff contends that the stop took place outside of Defendant Baikie's jurisdiction, so Defendant Baikie “illegally and unconstitutionally detained Plaintiff against his will” and called Defendant Will County Deputy Steven Kirsch. [Id.] Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Kirsch “illegally and unconstitutionally” cited Plaintiff for improper traffic lane usage, illegal transportation of alcohol, and three instances of driving under the influence, and that Defendant Kirsch did not observe Plaintiff commit any of these traffic offenses. [Id.] Plaintiff further alleges that “[a]rresting Plaintiff against his will in the process for [sic] the now unlawful fruit from the poisonous tree.” [Id.] Plaintiff contends that Defendants Baikie and Kirsch “deceptively edited” their “squad video audio recordings” to make Plaintiff appear culpable. [Id.] Additionally, Defendant Officer John Doe allegedly “served as look out security” during Plaintiff's arrest. [Id. at 10.] Plaintiff contends that Defendant Officer John Doe did not act to protect Plaintiff and his constitutional rights and that he gave advice to Defendant Baikie on how to fabricate false charges against Plaintiff. [Id.]

         Plaintiff alleges that he became unconscious “[a]t some point” after the arrest. (The amended complaint does not explain why or when Plaintiff became unconscious.) [Id. at 9.] Defendant Kirsch directed that Plaintiff be transported to Defendant Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center by ambulance. [Id.] Plaintiff contends that Defendant Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center “totally messed up the drug and alcohol test results, ” which Defendant Kirsch allegedly “partially used to arrest and charge Plaintiff.” [Id.] The amended complaint is unclear, but the Court presumes that the tests showed positive results for drugs and/or alcohol. [Id.] Plaintiff asserts that the tests results were “[e]ventually us[ed]” to suspend his commercial driver's license. [Id.]

         Defendant Kirsch allegedly had an employee of Defendant Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center “perform a DUI kit on Plaintiff, while he watched.” [Id.] Defendant Kirsch allegedly “messed up performing the DUI kit” under “applicable Illinois Administrative Codes and or [sic] Illinois Public Health regulations.” [Id.] Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Kirsch “knew or should have known that he was violating codes and procedures to ensure the reliability of the test results.” [Id.] Subsequently, Defendant Kirsch and the Will County Sheriff's Department allegedly mishandled the DUI kit such that the test results cannot be reliable. [Id.]

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Rockdale Police Chief Robert Dykstra and Will County Sheriff's Sergeant Steven Byland approved Defendants Baikie's and Kirsch's allegedly false incident reports, the allegedly illegal traffic stop, and the allegedly false evidence used to arrest and charge Plaintiff. [Id. at 5, 9, 10.] Plaintiff asserts that “[d]iscovery will expose the specifics of their nefarious shenanigans.” [Id. at 10.] Finally, Plaintiff brings Monell claims against Defendants the Village of Rockdale and Will County, contending that they failed to implement policies to prevent “the malicious misconduct, ” to discipline Defendants Baikie, Kirsch, Byland, or Dykstra, and to intervene to protect Plaintiff and his constitutional rights “[a]s a regular practice or custom.” [Id.]

         In March 2014, Plaintiff brought this pro se civil right action against Defendants, requesting thirty six million dollars in damages. [Id. at 11.] This Court screened the complaint and permitted Plaintiff to proceed with four claims: (1) a Fourth Amendment claim for a wrongful traffic stop and resulting false arrest against Defendants Baikie and Kirsch; (2) a First Amendment retaliation claim against Defendants Baikie and Kirsch for taking these actions against Plaintiff in retaliation for his prior filing of grievances and lawsuits against the Jail; (3) a supplemental state law claim against Defendant Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center regarding the allegedly false positive drug and alcohol test; and (4) a due process claim against Defendants Baikie and Kirsch for the alleged manufacture and fabrication of evidence. [9 (May 27, 2014 Screening Order), at 2-3.] The Court's order screened Plaintiff's original complaint [1], which brought claims against Defendants Baikie, Kirsch, and Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center. Thus, the screening order did not address the arguments raised in Plaintiff's amended complaint [12], as the amended complaint was filed on June 6, 2014, after the Court issued its screening order. Plaintiff's amended complaint adds claims against Defendants Officer John Doe, Dykstra, Byland, the Village of Rockdale, and Will County for allegedly approving the alleged false arrest and failing to intervene to protect Plaintiff and his constitutional rights. [Id. at 5-6, 9-10.]

         The Court stayed the case on August 14, 2014 pending the resolution of Plaintiff's state court criminal proceedings. [31.] Plaintiff was ultimately convicted of improper lane usage, transportation of alcoholic liquor in a motor vehicle, driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, and driving under the influence of alcohol.[1] [64-1 (State Court Dockets), at 3, 4, 7; see also 57 (Joint Status Report), at ¶¶ 2, 5; 88 (Plaintiff's Reply Brief), at ¶ 4.] The Court lifted the stay on March 22, 2016. [61.] In April 2016, Defendants filed motions to dismiss [64], [68], and [70].

         II. Legal Standard

         “A 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.” Camasta v. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., 761 F.3d 732, 736 (7th Cir. 2014). The factual allegations in the complaint must be sufficient to raise the possibility of relief above the “speculative level.” E.E.O.C. 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)). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or a ‘formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). When considering whether to dismiss a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court takes the allegations in the complaint as true, viewing all facts-as well as any inferences reasonably drawn therefrom-in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Vesely v. Armslist LLC, 762 F.3d 661, 664-65 (7th Cir. 2014). The Court may take judicial notice of matters in public record, including court documents, in deciding a motion to dismiss without converting it to a motion for summary judgment. Henson v. CSC Credit Servs., 29 F.3d 280, 284 (7th Cir. 1994).

         III. Analysis

         A. Fourth Amendment Claims: Unreasonable Seizure ...

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