United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Dow, Jr. United States District Court Judge
Yasmeen Sturdivant (“Plaintiff”) brings suit
against Sheriff Ray McCluskey, Sergeant Leo Hernandez,
Christine Rodriguez, and Matthew Gruca (collectively,
“Defendants”) for alleged violations of her due
process and equal protection rights in connection with the
service of an eviction notice on a home that Plaintiff
occupied in Crete, Illinois. Currently before the Court are
Gruca and Rodriguez's motion to dismiss , McCluskey
and Hernandez's motion to dismiss , and
Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment . For the
reasons that follow, Defendants' motions to dismiss, 
and , are granted and Plaintiff's motion for summary
judgment  is denied. The Court will enter a final
judgment and close the case.
lawsuit arises out of the foreclosure of Plaintiff's
mortgage on a property located at 23820 South Sara Court in
Crete, Illinois (the “Property”) and subsequent
attempts to evict Plaintiff from the Property. In 2008, U.S.
Bank National Association (“US Bank”) brought
suit against Plaintiff in the Circuit Court for Will County,
Illinois (“Circuit Court”) to foreclose
Plaintiff's mortgage on the Property. See [22-1]. The
Circuit Court granted U.S. Bank's motion for foreclosure
and sale and ordered a judicial sale of the property. See
id. at 4. The Property was sold to U.S. Bank and the
sale was approved by the Circuit Court on October 28, 2014.
See [22-2]. The Circuit Court's order directed the
Sheriff of Will County to “place [US Bank] in
possession of the” Property and “to evict”
Plaintiff from the Property. Id. at 3. The order
also stated that U.S. Bank or its assignee “shall be
entitled to possession of the subject premises 30 days after
entry of this Order, without further Order of Court, as
provided in 735 ILCS 5/15-1701.” Id.; see also
735 ILCS 5/15-1701(d) (“The holder of the certificate
of sale or deed issued pursuant to that certificate . . .
shall be entitled to possession of the mortgaged real estate,
as of the date 30 days after the order confirming the sale is
entered, against those parties to the foreclosure whose
interests the court has ordered terminated, without further
notice to any party, further order of the court, or resort to
proceedings under any other statute other than this
Article.” Id. § 5/15-1701(d)).
October 15, 2015, U.S. Bank filed a complaint against
“Unknown Occupants” of the Property in the
Circuit Court, claiming possession of the Property. [22-5].
On January 8, 2016, the Circuit Court granted U.S. Bank's
motion for an order of forcible entry and detainer. [22-6].
On January 25, 2016, the Will County Sheriff's Office
placed a final eviction notice on the Property, directed to
“Occupants.” [22-7]. The eviction notice stated
that “[t]he courts have rendered a Judgment against you
for the possession of the premises” and warned that
occupants would be forcibly evicted as soon as November 27,
2016. Id. at 2. On March 1, 2016, the Will County
Sheriff's Office placed another final eviction notice on
the Property, directed to “Unknown Occupants.”
[22-8]. On March 7, 2016, Sheriff Ray McCluskey delivered
another notice to “Occupants” of the Property
warning them that the eviction would occur on March 17, 2016
beginning at 8:30 a.m. [22-9].
March 15, 2016, Plaintiff filed the instant action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against Sheriff McCluskey, Sergeant Leo
Hernandez, Christine Rodriguez, and Matthew Gruca. See  at
1. The complaint acknowledges that the eviction notices
described above were placed on the Property. It further
alleges that after Plaintiff received the March 7, 2016
notice, she called Sergeant Hernandez and told him she was
not an “unknown occupant, ” and Hernandez told
her that she would be evicted.  at 3. The complaint
alleges that Plaintiff then called Rodriguez, an attorney at
Pierce & Associates, P.C., and Rodriguez also advised
Plaintiff that she would be evicted. Id. (Although
Plaintiff does not explain who Defendant Gruca is or what
connection he has to this case, Gruca's motion to dismiss
clarifies that he is also an employee of Pierce &
Associates, P.C. See  at 4.) The complaint denies that
the Sheriff's Office had a right to evict Plaintiff and
asserts that Rodriguez provided Plaintiff with inaccurate
legal advice by telling her that she would be evicted.
Plaintiff seeks unspecified declaratory and injunctive relief
and $50, 000 in damages for pain and suffering.
Defendants' Motions to Dismiss , 
dispositive issue before the Court is whether Plaintiff's
complaint is barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.
This doctrine “precludes federal courts from engaging
in appellate review of state court decisions or from
considering collateral attacks on state court civil
judgments, ” and therefore a Rooker-Feldman
challenge is brought under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1), which challenges the Court's subject-matter
jurisdiction. Long v. Shorebank Dev. Corp., 182 F.3d
548, 553 (7th Cir. 1999); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).
purposes of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1), the
Court “accepts all well-pleaded factual allegations as
true and construes all reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff's favor.” Mutter, 17 F.Supp.3d
at 756. In ruling on the motion, the district court may look
beyond the jurisdictional allegations alleged in the
complaint and take into consideration whatever evidence has
been submitted on the issue to determine if subject matter
jurisdiction exists. HSBC N. Am. Holdings, 136
F.Supp.3d at 958. Therefore, in ruling on Defendants'
motions, the Court will consider both the allegations in
Plaintiff's complaint and the documents attached to
Defendants' motions. The burden of proof is on the party
asserting that jurisdiction exists-here, Plaintiff.
Id.; see also Gonzalez v. Bank of Am.,
N.A., 2014 WL 26283, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 2, 2014)
(“the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing the
basis for the court's jurisdiction”).
argue that Plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed
because, among other reasons, it is barred by the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine in that it is a direct
attack on orders entered by the Will County Circuit Court.
to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, which takes its name
from Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413
(1923), and D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460
U.S. 462 (1983), lower federal courts such as this one do not
have the authority to hear cases “complaining of
injuries caused by state-court judgments rendered before the
district court proceedings commenced and inviting district
court review and rejection of those judgments.”
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544
U.S. 280, 284 (2005). The doctrine applies in two instances.
“The first involves a plaintiff's request of a
federal district court to overturn an adverse state court
judgment.” Brown v. Bowman, 668 F.3d 437, 442
(7th Cir. 2012). “The second, and more difficult
instance, involves federal claims that were not raised in
state court or do not on their face require review of a state
court's decision, ” but are nonetheless
inextricably intertwined with the state court's decision.
Id. “[T]he thrust of the ‘inextricably
intertwined' inquiry asks whether ‘the district
court is in essence being called upon to review the
state-court decision.'” Id. (quoting
Taylor v. Fed. Nat. Mortg. Ass'n, 374 F.3d 529,
533 (7th Cir. 2004)). In either instance, “[n]o matter
how erroneous or unconstitutional the state court judgment
may be, the Supreme Court of the United States is the only
federal court that could have jurisdiction to review a state
court judgment.” Remer v. Burlington Area Sch.
Dist., 205 F.3d 990, 996 (7th Cir. 2000).
the Court must assess whether Plaintiff's claims ask the
Court to overturn or are inextricably intertwined with the
Will County Circuit Court's judgments in the underlying
foreclosure action. Although the complaint's allegations
are unclear, Plaintiff appears to be asserting that (1)
Hernandez and McCluskey had no right to evict her because the
eviction notices did not specifically name her, as allegedly
required by Illinois' foreclosure laws; (2) Rodriguez
incorrectly told Plaintiff that she would be evicted based on