United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Dow, Jr. United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on the motion of Cook County and
Sheriff Thomas Dart (collectively, “Defendants”)
to dismiss Plaintiff's second amended complaint for
failure to state a claim . For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' motion is denied. This case is set for status
hearing on March 22, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.
December 25, 2012, Plaintiff Shawn Clay (“Clay”)
was arrested for aggravated robbery. The following day, he
was taken into custody by Cook County employees under the
direction of Defendant Dart. Plaintiff was not provided a
probable cause hearing-commonly referred to as a
Gerstein hearing-until January 3, 2013. Plaintiff
alleges that this delay violated his right to due process
under the Fourth and Fifteen Amendments to the United States
second amended complaint contains a single count based on
Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of New
York, 536 U.S. 658, 694 (1978). Plaintiff alleges that
it is a “common practice, custom, and/or policy of
employees of Cook County to hold individuals beyond the
constitutionally required time for a bond hearing where those
individuals were being held for other charges.”  at
2. More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that several Cook
County employees informed him that this was a common
practice, custom, and/or policy of the Cook County Jail.
Plaintiff also alleges that other individuals arrested and
jailed by Cook County deputies have had their constitutional
rights violated in the same manner. In addition, Plaintiff
cites to another lawsuit from this district, Weaver v.
Dart, Case. No. 16-cv-4415, in which the plaintiff
alleged that “[t]he Sheriff of Cook County has [a]
practice[, ] custom and policy to avoid providing hearing[s]
for individuals who are being held for other charges.”
 at 3. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages,
attorneys' fees, and costs.
before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss the
second amended complaint for failure to state a claim.
Defendants attach documentation showing that Plaintiff's
arrest for armed robbery triggered an alert that Defendant
had two outstanding felony warrants for armed robberies that
he allegedly committed in other districts of Cook County. On
December 26, 2012, Defendant was taken to the Bridgeview
Courthouse for a Gerstein hearing on the two felony
warrants-but not on the Christmas Day aggravated robbery
charge. See [55-4]. Bond was set at $150, 000, which
Plaintiff did not pay. Plaintiff pled guilty to the two armed
robbery charges. At sentencing, Plaintiff was given credit
for the time that he spent in custody between December 26,
2012 and January 3, 2013.
seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's complaint under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which challenges the legal
sufficiency of the complaint. For purposes of a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), “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. To survive a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a plaintiff's complaint must
allege facts which, when taken as true,
“‘plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a
right to relief, raising that possibility above a speculative
level.'” Cochran v. Illinois State Toll Highway
Auth., 828 F.3d 597, 599 (7th Cir. 2016) (quoting
EEOC v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773,
776 (7th Cir. 2007)). The Court reads the complaint and
assesses its plausibility as a whole. See Atkins v. City
of Chicago, 631 F.3d 823, 832 (7th Cir. 2011).
Sufficiency of Monell Allegations
argue that Plaintiff's Monell claim must be
dismissed because it simply repeats the applicable legal
standard and does not contain sufficient factual allegations
to plausibly suggest that Plaintiff is entitled to relief.
Court concludes that Plaintiff's allegations are
sufficient to state a § 1983 Monell claim.
Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a person may sue anyone who,
while acting under color of law, causes him to be deprived of
any of his constitutional rights. 42 U.S.C. § 1983;
Connick v. Thompson, 563 U.S. 51, 60-62 (2011). A
municipality can be held liable under Section 1983 only
“when execution of [its] policy or custom, whether made
by its lawmakers or by those whose edicts or acts may be
fairly said to represent official policy, ” causes the
constitutional deprivation. Monell v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs. of City of New York, 536 U.S. 658, 694 (1978).
One of the ways in which a plaintiff may establish municipal
liability under Monell is by showing “a
‘wide-spread practice' that although not authorized
by written law and express policy, is so permanent and
well-settled as to constitute a ‘custom or usage'
with the force of law.” Calhoun v. Ramsey, 408
F.3d 375, 380 (7th Cir. 2005) (quoting McTigue v. City of
Chicago, 60 F.3d 381, 382 (7th Cir. 1995)).
state a Monell claim, a plaintiff must plead
“factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference” that the municipality maintained
a policy or custom that caused the alleged constitutional
deprivation. McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d
611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678). “The required level of factual specificity rises
with the complexity of the claim.” Id. at
616-17; Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 405
(7th Cir. 2010) (“A more complex case * * * will
require more detail, both to give the opposing party notice
of what the case is all about and to show how, in the
plaintiff's mind at least, the dots should be
connected.”). Mere “legal conclusions or elements
of the cause of action” must be disregarded.
McCauley, 671 F.3d at 617. Thus,
“boilerplate” allegations that repeat the
elements of a Monell claim without any further
factual content are dismissed for failure to state a claim.
See, e.g., Annan v. Vill. of Romeoville,
2013 WL 673484, at *6 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 25, 2013) (holding that
an allegation that defendant “maintains a policy by
which officers use excessive force to arrest individuals with
no probable cause or reasonable suspicion warranting
such” was insufficient to state a Monell
allegations are sufficient to state a Monell claim
based on Defendants' alleged practice, custom, and/or
policy of holding individuals beyond the constitutionally
required time for a bond hearing (two days) where those
individuals were being held for other charges. See Fonder
v. Sheriff of Kankakee Cty., 823 F.3d 1144, 1145 (7th
Cir. 2016) (“Police may take as long as two days before
presenting an arrested person to a judge for a probable-cause
determination.” (citing Riverside County v.
McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44 (1991))). Plaintiff cites to (1)
his own personal experience at the Cook County Jail; (2)
alleged admissions made to Plaintiff by Cook County Jail
personal; (3) alleged knowledge of other instances in which
individuals being held for ...