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Jordan v. Krausz

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 20, 2017

ARIANA R. JORDAN, Plaintiff,



         This matter comes before the Court on the motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) filed by defendants Justin D. Krausz, Jared Missey, Robert Carpenter and the Village of Maryville (“Village”) (Doc. 11). Plaintiff Ariana R. Jordan has responded to the motion (Doc. 12).

         I. Standard for Dismissal

         When reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all allegations in the complaint. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To avoid dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, a complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This requirement is satisfied if the complaint (1) describes the claim in sufficient detail to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests and (2) plausibly suggests that the plaintiff has a right to relief above a speculative level. Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555; see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); EEOC v. Concentra Health Servs., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 556). “Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will . . . be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.

         II. Facts Alleged

         As a preliminary matter, both parties refer in their briefing to matters outside the pleadings: judicial records from prior court proceedings. Generally, when material outside the complaint is presented in connection with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court may treat the motion to dismiss as a motion for summary judgment or it may exclude the additional material from consideration. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d). There are exceptions to this rule, however, and the additional materials here fall within one or more of those exceptions. One of those exceptions is for additional materials of which the Court may take judicial notice such as, for example, judicial proceedings. See Henson v. CSC Credit Servs., 29 F.3d 280, 284 (7th Cir. 1994). Here, all of the matters are judicial records of which the Court may take judicial notice. Another one of the exceptions is where the additional material is an exhibit to the plaintiff's complaint. See Tierney v. Vahle, 304 F.3d 734, 738 (7th Cir. 2002). The additional materials to which Jordan refers are documents she intended to attach to her complaint, but apparently inadvertently omitted. See Compl. ¶ 14. It is proper to consider those documents since they were intended to be attached to the complaint.

         Accepting as true the allegations in the complaint and considering the additional materials submitted in connection with the briefing, the Court finds the following facts for the purposes of this motion.

         In 2015, Jordan had difficulties with Chad Little, the father of her child. Jordan lived in either California or Missouri at the time and did not visit Illinois at any relevant time; Little lived in Illinois. In May 2015, those difficulties resulted in the filing of a criminal information (the “Information”) against Jordan for child abduction in violation of Illinois law because she was alleged to have intentionally failed to return the child to Little in Illinois at the end of her visitation period. Defendant Krausz, a Village police officer, “brought forward the request to charge, ” Jordan, Compl. ¶ 19, although she alleges he had no probable cause to believe she had committed the Illinois offense of child abduction. A Village representative attested to the underlying facts and signed the Information, a Madison County, Illinois, judge signed the Information, and a warrant was issued for Jordan's arrest. Also in May 2015, Little petitioned the Madison County court for an order of protection (the “OP”), which was issued at that time.

         Jordan first learned about the warrant in June 2016 and voluntarily surrendered to the Village police shortly thereafter. She was taken into custody and posted bond. At that time, she was served with the OP. In October 2016, the child abduction charge was dismissed.

         Also in October 2016, defendant Missey, also a Village police officer, charged Jordan with violating the OP by contacting Little using various means of communication. Pursuant to the OP and the Missouri custody agreement governing visitation for Jordan and Little's child, Jordan was permitted to contact Little regarding visitation issues. In April 2017, the charge of violating the OP was dismissed.

         A week later, Jordan brought this lawsuit. Count I alleges Krausz violated the Fourth Amendment when he caused the child abduction charge to be filed against her when he should have known she was not subject to the criminal jurisdiction of Illinois courts under 720 ILCS 5/1-5. Count II alleges Missey violated the Fourth Amendment when he caused her arrest for violating the OP when he should have known she had not violated it. Count III alleges the Village police department failed to train its police officers to properly determine who is within Illinois' criminal jurisdiction and how to determine whether an order of protection has been violated. Count IV is a state law claim for indemnification asserting that the Village and Robert Carpenter, in his official capacity as chief of the Village police department, are financially responsible for any judgment or settlement of the claims against Krausz under the Illinois Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 10/9-102.

         The defendants ask the Court to dismiss Count 1 on the grounds that Krausz did not request that Jordan be charged with child abduction and that Jordan was not arrested. They ask for dismissal of Counts I and II also on the grounds that Jordan has not pled sufficient facts to support a false arrest claim and that the defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. The defendants ask the Court to dismiss Count III because there is no viable underlying claim in Counts I or II and because Jordan has failed to state a claim for municipal liability. Finally, they seek dismissal of Count IV on the grounds that there is no liability on any other count and there are no allegations that Carpenter violated any of Jordan's constitutional rights. Jordan believes she has adequately pled all her claims but concedes that Carpenter should be dismissed from this case. She asks for leave to amend her complaint should the Court find it inadequate.

         III. Analysis

         The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution provides that the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.” U.S. Const. ...

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