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Mayle v. Orr

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

April 10, 2017

KEN MAYLE, Plaintiff,
DAVID ORR, et al., Defendants.


          AMY J. ST. EVE United States District Court Judge

         The Court grants Defendants' motion to dismiss as to all Defendants and dismisses this lawsuit in its entirety. [14]. All pending dates and deadlines are stricken. Civil case terminated.


         On March 27, 2017, pro se Plaintiff David Mayle filed the present First Amended Complaint against David Orr, in his official capacity as the Cook County Clerk of Courts; Lisa Madigan, in her official capacity as Attorney General of Illinois; Anita Alvarez, in her official capacity as Cook County State's Attorney;[1] and Bruce Rauner, in his official capacity as Illinois' Governor, challenging Illinois' bigamy, adultery, and fornication statutes under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331; 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss. For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendants' motion. The Court dismisses this lawsuit in its entirety as to all Defendants because pro se Plaintiff's challenge to Illinois' bigamy statute is foreclosed by well-established Supreme Court authority and he does not have standing to challenge Illinois' fornication and adultery statutes.


         I. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)

         “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). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Under the federal pleading standards, a plaintiff's “factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007).

         Put differently, a “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). When determining the sufficiency of a complaint under the plausibility standard, courts must “accept all well-pleaded facts as true and draw reasonable inferences in the plaintiffs' favor.” Roberts v. City of Chicago, 817 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2016).

         II. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)

         Because standing implicates the Court's subject matter jurisdiction, the Court reviews pro se Plaintiff's standing under Rule 12(b)(1). See Lardas v. Grcic, 847 F.3d 561, 565 (7th Cir. 2017). When assessing whether a plaintiff has factual standing, the Court “may look beyond the pleadings and view any evidence submitted to determine if subject matter jurisdiction exists.” Silha v. ACT, Inc., 807 F.3d 169, 173 (7th Cir. 2015). The party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing the required elements of standing. See Clapper v. Amnesty Int'l USA, 133 S.Ct. 1138, 1148 (2013).


         Construing his pro se allegations liberally, see Parker v. Four Seasons Hotels, Ltd., 845 F.3d 807, 811 (7th Cir. 2017), Plaintiff is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief challenging the State of Illinois' statutes criminalizing adultery, fornication, and bigamy. More specifically, Plaintiff, a resident of Chicago, alleges that he follows the religious philosophies of Satanism and Thelema. (R. 21, First Am. Compl. ¶ 1.) He further alleges that he intends to marry more than one person because his religious beliefs about relationships and intimacy do not preclude adultery. (Id. ¶¶ 9, 12.) Plaintiff explains that Satanism's precepts include living according to one's natural instincts and pursuing rational self-interest and that adherents of Satanism accept all forms of human sexual expression between consenting adults. (Id. ¶ 14.) Also, Plaintiff maintains that the Law of Thelema is a philosophical, mystical, and religious system and that Thelemites are dedicated to seeking their true path in this life. (Id. ¶¶ 15, 16.) Plaintiff contends that the high priests of Thelema developed sexual rituals emphasizing that sex is a sacrament and the supreme magical power in the universe. (Id. ¶ 17.) Thus, Plaintiff asserts that under the laws of the State of Illinois, if he engages in sex magic in accord with his faith, he would be in violation of laws against adultery, fornication, and bigamy. (Id. ¶¶ 17-22.) Plaintiff states that he “reasonably fears he may be subjected to criminal penalties, including jail time” if he follows his beliefs. (Id. ¶ 20.)


         I. ...

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