United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Thomas M. Durkin United States District Judge
Marcus Carr brings this pro se complaint against
defendants Illinois State Police, Trooper Eric David, Captain
The V. Tran, and Lieutenant Marcus Gibson alleging violations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Currently pending before the Court are: (1)
defendants' motion to dismiss (R. 21); (2) Carr's
motion to strike (R. 23); and (3) Carr's amended motion
to strike (R. 26). For the reasons explained below, the Court
grants defendants' motion to dismiss (R. 21) and denies
Carr's motions to strike (R. 23, R. 26).
12(b)(6) motion challenges the sufficiency of the
complaint. Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chi.
Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A complaint must provide “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2),
and providing defendant with “fair notice” of the
claim and the basis for it. Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation marks
omitted). This standard “demands more than an
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). While “detailed factual allegations”
are not required, “labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The
complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
“‘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.'” Mann v.
Vogel, 707 F.3d 872, 877 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). In applying this standard,
the Court accepts all well-pleaded facts as true and draws
all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.
12(b)(1) authorizes the Court to dismiss any claim for which
the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(1). “Rule 12(b)(1) is the proper vehicle when
adjudicating issues of sovereign immunity.”
Anderson v. United States Dep't of Agric., 2017
WL 4791776, at *2 (S.D. Ill. Oct. 24, 2017); accord Rao
v. Gondi, 2017 WL 4215889, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 11,
2017) (“Illinois filed its motion to dismiss pursuant
to Rule 12(b)(6) but motions asserting sovereign immunity are
typically filed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), which requires
dismissal when the court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction.”). Rule 12(b)(1) also is the appropriate
vehicle to adjudicate challenges to standing, which is a
“jurisdictional requirement.” See Apex
Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 572 F.3d 440,
443 (7th Cir. 2009). When determining if subject matter
jurisdiction is proper, “the district court must accept
as true all material allegations of the complaint, drawing
all reasonable inferences therefrom in the plaintiff's
favor, unless standing is challenged as a factual
matter.” Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Grp., LLC,
794 F.3d 688, 691 (7th Cir. 2015) (quotation marks omitted).
If a defendant factually challenges the basis for federal
jurisdiction, “[t]he district court may properly look
beyond the jurisdictional allegations of the complaint and
view whatever evidence has been submitted on the issue to
determine whether in fact subject matter jurisdiction
exists.” Apex, 572 F.3d at 444. “In all
cases, the party asserting federal jurisdiction has the
burden of proof to show that jurisdiction is proper.”
Travelers Prop. Cas. v. Good, 689 F.3d 714, 722 (7th
evaluating a pro se complaint, the Court applies a
less stringent standard than it applies to formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers. Smith v. Dart, 803 F.3d 304, 309
(7th Cir. 2015). But the Court need not ignore facts set
forth in the complaint that undermine the plaintiff's
claim, and the Court is not required to accept the
plaintiff's legal conclusions. Johnson v.
Thompson-Smith, 203 F.Supp.3d 895, 900 (N.D. Ill. 2016).
alleges that on October 14, 2013, he was pulled over in a
traffic stop by Trooper Eric David, one of the defendants. R.
7 at ¶ 2. During the stop, Trooper David allegedly made
racist comments to Carr and his wife, both of whom are
African-American, and treated them unnecessarily harshly on
account of their race. Id. For example, Trooper
David threatened to “taze” Carr, and in addition
to conducting a series of standard field sobriety tests, he
made Carr count backwards from 69 to 34. Id. Trooper
David also allegedly stated “[u]nbelievable no
warrants” after running Carr's driver's license
the stop, Trooper David gave Carr a breathalyzer test.
Id. Carr states that he has never seen his
breathalyzer results, but that Trooper David told him both
that “[his] count was low” and that his
breathalyzer result was .09 (which is above the legal limit).
Id. Carr alleges that he had taken Thera-Flu earlier
that night, and that if his blood alcohol level registered
above the legal limit, the Thera-flu was the reason why.
Id. Trooper David found the Thera-Flu box when he
performed a search of Carr's car. Id. at ¶
6. Trooper David ultimately arrested Carr for driving under
the influence (“DUI”), in part, Carr alleges,
because Trooper David wanted to maintain his
“streak” of making three DUI arrests per shift.
Id. at ¶ 2.
alleges that after his arrest, Trooper David refused to let
Carr's wife drive their car home. Id. Instead,
the car was towed, and Carr's wife was left alone on the
road after midnight when Trooper David took Carr in for
booking. Id. Carr alleges that Trooper David
“failed to promote safety” by leaving Carr's
wife alone on the expressway in the middle of the night.
Id. Carr's wife is not a plaintiff in this case.
alleges that on January 17, 2016, he filed a civil rights
complaint with the Illinois State Police Office of Internal
Investigation. Id. at ¶ 3. The complaint was
investigated by Captain Tran, another defendant. Id.
Carr alleges that Tran's investigation was inadequate
because it did not contain information regarding Carr's
breathalyzer results and because Carr's wife, who had
witnessed the event, was never contacted. Id. The
investigation was closed on May 3, 2016, after the Illinois
State Police Division of Internal Investigation found no
evidence to support Carr's allegations. Id. at
December 28, 2016, Carr made a request under the Freedom of
Information Act for records related to the incident and
complaints related to Trooper David. Id. at ¶
4. He learned from those records that Trooper David had been
disciplined in connection with other motorist complaints.
Id. at ¶¶ 4, 8. Carr believes that the
investigation of his complaint failed to hold Trooper David
accountable for race discrimination. Id. at ¶
pro se complaint filed on January 19, 2017 alleges
violations of his First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth
Amendment rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. R. 1. He filed
an amended complaint on February 15, 2017 that is identical
to the original complaint except that it no longer attaches
any exhibits. R. 7. In addition to Trooper David and Captain
Tran, Carr sues Lieutenant Marcus Gibson and the Illinois
State Police. The individual defendants are all sued in their
personal and official capacities. Carr seeks damages ...