United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
SHANE A. KITTERMAN, #B80577, Plaintiff,
TRACIE NEWTON, LEO SCHMITZ, CITY OF BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS, BETH FERRY, CLAYTON GREENE, MARK HEFFEMON, WILLIAM CLAY, CITY OF O'FALLON, ILLINOIS, OFFICER BRUEGGMAN, JOHN DOE, KATHLEEN EFFAN, and BERNADETTE SCHREMPP, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE.
Shane Kitterman, an inmate in Shawnee Correctional Center,
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights. In his
Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants violated his due
process rights and conspired together to require him to
register as a sex offender in contravention with his plea
agreement so as to deprive him of his liberty when he failed
to do so. (Doc. 1). This case is now before the Court for a
preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, which provides:
(a) Screening - The court shall review,
before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the
court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Frivolousness is an
objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable
person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209
F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). An action fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of
entitlement to relief must cross “the line between
possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557. At
this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se
complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v.
Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir.
careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits,
the Court finds that this case is subject to summary
Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following
Denial of Due Process - Procedural and Substantive
January 10, 1996, Plaintiff entered into a fully negotiated
plea agreement in St. Clair County Case No. 95-cf-750 with
Steve Sallerson and Robert Haida of the St. Clair County
State's Attorney's Office. (Doc. 1, p. 5). The terms
of the agreement included that Plaintiff would “abandon
his right to certain constitutional protections” in
exchange for a reduction in his charged offense and a duty to
comply with the Child Sex Offender Registration Act, 730 ILCS
150/1 (West 1994), “with its least restrictive
requirements and penalties, as opposed to the current
‘1996' version” of the Act “with
stricter reporting requirements and elevated
penalties.” (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6). The agreement further
included that the Plaintiff would be certified a
“‘Child Sex Offender' pursuant to the
‘1994' version of the Act” and
“regardless of the duration imposed under Section 7 of
the Act . . . [Plaintiff] would receive a sentence of
‘Four Years Probation' . . . [and] would only be
subject to register as a sex offender as directed by the
probation officer for the term of probation at the end of
which the duty would cease to exist.” (Doc. 1, p. 6).
These terms were memorialized in a court order attached to
the Complaint as Exhibit 3 and a court decree outlining the
“Conditions of Intensive Probation Supervision”
attached as Exhibit 4. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
the proceedings leading up to the point of the consummation
of the plea deal, the Plaintiff made it clear and the state
understood that the Plaintiff would only abandon his rights
if the duty to register ended with the term of
probation.” Id. The terms of the agreement
were forwarded to the Department of State Police. (Doc. 1, p.
8). The offense in 95-cf-750 is the only offense for which
Plaintiff has been convicted that would require him to
register as a sex offender. Id. On March 6, 1997,
Plaintiff's term of probation ended. Id.
Plaintiff's duty to register as a sex offender thereby
also ended. Id. Defendants Newton and Schmitz, or
their predecessors, failed to remove Plaintiff from the state
registry. (Doc. 1, p. 9). This was concealed until March 1998
when Plaintiff discovered that his name was still on the
state's registry. Id. When he made this
discovery, he responded to the local law enforcement agency,
which reviewed Plaintiff's records and determined that he
was not required to register, though he was still listed on
the registry. Id. Between March 1998 and March 2005,
Plaintiff had no obligation to register in Illinois.
Id. During this time, Plaintiff did not receive
“a non-forwardable verification letter that the
Department of State Police must send to each sex offender
required to register, notifying him of the continuing duty to
register. See 730 ILCS 150/4-10 (West 1996).”
(Doc. 1, p. 10).
a self-serving document drafted by Defendant Newton,
memorializing the Plaintiff's history of registration, in
response to a request by the Attorney General, Defendant
Newton demonstrates that within a ‘10 year' period
following release on probation, the Plaintiff's duty to
register was not lawfully extended, the Plaintiff never
received any notice of an alleged extension, and no
verification letter was sent to Plaintiff.” (Doc. 1, p.
11). On or about March of 2005, Plaintiff “was arrested
and falsely imprisoned after a Deputy Sheriff discovered
Defendant Newton failed to remove his name from the State
registry and the LEADS (Law Enforcement Agency Data System)
computer system.” Id. Plaintiff contacted the
Department of State Police when he was imprisoned and
believed that he would be released immediately. Id.
several months and numerous petitions for relief submitted to
the Department, the State, and the Court promised not to
extend the period of registration for a conviction in St.
Clair County Case No. 05-cf-376, due to the policy of the
State Police Defendants to deny request[s] for relief, no
hearing was provided for the Plaintiff.” Id.
Plaintiff was under “legal duress and legal disability
from the continued obligation to register and threats of and
several actual arrests and imprisonments without any
available remedy” even while “[t]he law and
administrative rules created a liberty interest and a duty
upon defendant Newton and Schmitz.” (Doc. 1, p. 12).
“At trial following arrest for an alleged violation of
the duty to register, the trial court refused to hear
evidence or a defense to challenge the legitimacy of the
requirement to register.” Id.
experienced “arrest, loss of employment, loss of
intimate relations with [his] wife and child, [and] physical
and mental anguish” as a result of Defendants Newton
and Schmitz refusing to provide Plaintiff with a hearing and
an opportunity to be heard. (Doc. 1, p. 13). Plaintiff had a
mental breakdown and required psychological medication and
counseling. Id. He responded to the Belleville
Police Department, where his first registration was
conducted, and it “declared in ‘1998' that
its records memorialized the terms of the negotiated plea and
as such no further registration was required.”
Id. “To [Plaintiff's] utter shock and
horror, the agency declared that Defendant Newton and the
State Attorney instructed that every registration after the
March arrest was to include a conviction not for the ...