United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Durkin United States District Judge
McDuffie alleges that Chicago Police Sergeant John Loney
violated his Fourth Amendment rights by forcing him to vacate
a house he was renovating at 10655 South Sangamon Street in
Chicago. R. 44. U.S. Bank has been in proceedings to evict
McDuffie from the Sangamon house. Based on these proceedings,
McDuffie has also brought a state law abuse of process claim
against U.S. Bank. Both defendants have moved to dismiss for
failure to state a claim. R. 45; R. 50. U.S. Bank has also
filed a counterclaim against McDuffie for civil and criminal
trespass, seeking (among other relief) a declaratory judgment
that it owns the Sangamon house. See R. 54. U.S.
Bank has moved for summary judgment on those claims. R. 63.
For the following reasons, Sergeant Loney's motion to
dismiss is denied, U.S. Bank's motion to dismiss is
granted, and since the claim against U.S. Bank is dismissed,
the Court declines to exercise jurisdiction over U.S.
Bank's counterclaims, and U.S. Bank's motion for
summary judgment is denied as moot.
12(b)(6) motion challenges the sufficiency of the
complaint. See, e.g., Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of
Police of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir.
2009). 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), sufficient to
provide defendant with “fair notice” of the claim
and the basis for it. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). This standard “demands more
than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
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.
Mann, 707 F.3d at 877.
alleges that he performed renovations on the Sangamon house
for the former owner. McDuffie alleges further that when the
former owner couldn't pay for the renovations in 2014, he
quitclaimed the Sangamon house to McDuffie. McDuffie
continued to put money into renovating the house.
Bank filed a foreclosure action on the Sangamon house in
state court in 2016. On March 10, 2016, U.S. Bank obtained an
order of possession. See R. 50-1. McDuffie was a
participant in those proceedings. See R. 36.
24, 2016, individuals arrived to “board up” the
Sangamon house on the authority of the order of possession
obtained by U.S. Bank, and demanded that McDuffie and the
workers assisting him vacate the property. McDuffie refused
and called the police. Eventually Sergeant Loney arrived and
examined both the order of possession and McDuffie's
quitclaim deed. Sergeant Loney determined that McDuffie did
not have a right to be on the property and ordered him to
leave within two hours or face arrest. McDuffie asked for
more time in order to be able to remove all his equipment,
which Sergeant Loney denied. Sergeant Loney left other
officers to ensure that McDuffie complied with his order.
McDuffie was not able to remove all of his equipment within
the two hour time limit.
Bank filed a counterclaim in this case seeking a declaratory
judgment “prohibit[ing] McDuffie from continuing to
interfere with U.S. Bank's exclusive right to possession
and ownership” of the Sangamon house. In its
counterclaim, U.S. Bank alleges that McDuffie continues to
enter the Sangamon house and to lease it to other people.
I. Claims against Sergeant Loney
McDuffie claims that Sergeant Loney violated his Fifth
Amendment right to be free of deprivation of his property
without due process. That right, however, applies only
against the federal government, not state actors like
Sergeant Loney. See Arce v. Chi. Trans. Auth., 2015
WL 3504860, at *8 (N.D. Ill. June 2, 2015) (citing Bingue
v. Prunchak, 512 F.3d 1169, 1174 (9th Cir. 2008);
Martinez-Rivera v. Sanchez Ramos, 498 F.3d 3, 8-9
(1st Cir. 2007)).
Sergeant Loney recognizes, and McDuffie agrees, his claims
are better analyzed under the Fourth Amendment's
prohibition against unreasonable seizures, which restricts
the conduct of state actors like Sergeant Loney. McDuffie
alleges that Sergeant Loney unreasonably seized the equipment
he had in the Sangamon house when Sergeant Loney ordered him
to leave without giving him enough time to remove the
purposes of the Fourth Amendment, a “seizure” of
property “occurs when there is some meaningful
interference with an individual's possessory interests in
the property.” Soldal v. Cook County, 506 U.S.
56, 61 (1992). McDuffie's alleges that Sergeant
Loney's refusal to allow McDuffie sufficient time to
retrieve his equipment prevented him from maintaining
possession of his equipment. These allegations sufficiently
allege a seizure. See Cantele v. City of Burbank,
2016 WL 8711498, at *9 (N.D. Ill. May 13, 2016) (“It
was, in short, clearly established at the time of the events
at issue in this case that evicting someone from their home
without a warrant or other court authorization constitutes a
Fourth Amendment ...