United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
TONI MAHONEY, Personal Representative of the Estate of Devin C.M. York, Deceased, Plaintiff,
MONROE COUNTY, ILLINOIS, NEAL ROHLFING, STEVE MUENCH, BEN ETTLING, and JUSTIN FRUTH, Defendants.
HERNDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is defendants' Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 51). Plaintiff
opposes (Doc. 53). Based on the following, the Motion to
Dismiss is DENIED.
18, 2017, plaintiff Toni Mahoney (“plaintiff”)
filed an eight-count Second Amended Complaint naming
defendants Monroe County, Illinois, Sheriff Neal Rohlfing
(“Sheriff Rohlfing”), and correctional officers
Steven Muench (“CO Muench”), Ben Ettling
(“CO Ettling”), and Justin Fruth (“CO
Fruth”) (Doc. 45). Specifically, plaintiff alleged on
December 12, 2015, Devin C.M. York (“Decedent”)
was arrested by the Waterloo Police Department and was
subsequently transported to Monroe County Jail (Doc. 45 at
3). During the intake process Decedent completed a medical
questionnaire administrated by CO Fruth (Id.). In
response Decedent advised the following: he recently
attempted suicide; he was a daily user of heroin; he recently
had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder; and, that he
was currently under the influence of heroin while undergoing
the jail intake process (Id. at 4).
contended that although above listed declarations were made,
CO Fruth's intake assessment of Decedent indicated the
presence of no risk factors; and as a result, Decedent was
assigned to a general population housing cell, instead of an
insolation/observation safety cell (Id.). On the
morning of December 14, CO Muench discovered Decedent hung
himself in his cell with a bedsheet (Id. at 6).
Decedent was then rushed to a local hospital where he was
pronounced dead shortly thereafter (Id.).
plaintiff alleged all defendants are required to undergo
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention training annually
pursuant to Title 20, Section 701.90 of the Illinois
Administrative Code (Id. at 5); and as a result, CO
Fruth failed to properly screen, examine, assess and evaluate
Decedent before placing him in general population; and, COs
Muench and Ettling failed to refer Decedent to available
psychological resources, as well as, identify Decedent's
high risk factors (Id.).
asserted claims of violation of the Fourth Amendment against
all defendants; violation of the American Disabilities Act,
Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, and the Illinois
Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act
against Sheriff Rohlfing and Monroe County, Illinois;
violation of civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
and respondeat superior claims against
Sheriff Rohlfing; and wrongful death, intentional infliction
of emotional distress, and conspiracy claims against all
individual defendants (Id. at 6-20). For relief,
plaintiff requested compensatory damages, and costs and fees
24, 2017, defendants filed the instant Motion to Dismiss
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (Doc. 51). Defendants argue
plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts in order to
articulate asserted claims; Monroe County is not liable for
alleged actions of its defendant employees; and, Sheriff
Rohlfing cannot be held liable for alleged misconduct of
subordinate defendant correctional officers (Id.).
As a result, defendants request dismissal of plaintiff's
Second Amended Complaint (Id.).
R. Civ. P Rule 12(b)(6) Standard
12(b)(6) permits a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police Chi. Lodge No.
7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). The Supreme Court
explained in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007), that Rule 12(6)(b) dismissal is warranted if
the complaint fails to set forth “enough facts to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Notice pleading remains all that is required in a complaint,
even though federal pleading standards were overhauled by
Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009). “A plaintiff still must provide only
‘enough detail to give the defendant fair notice of
what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests and,
through his allegations, show that it is plausible, rather
than merely speculative, that he is entitled to relief.'
” Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1083
(7th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted).
Seventh Circuit offers further instruction on what a civil
action must allege to endure 12(b)(6) dismissal. In Pugh
v. Tribune Co., 521 F.3d 686, 699 (7th Cir. 2008), the
Court reiterated the standard: “surviving a Rule
12(b)(6) motion requires more than labels and
conclusions”; the complaint's allegations must
“raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” A plaintiff's claim “must be
plausible on its face, ” that is, “the complaint
must establish a non-negligible probability that the claim is
valid.” Smith v. Med. Benefit Adm'rs Grp.,
Inc., 639 F.3d 277, 281 (7th Cir. 2011).
Fourth Amendment Violation under Section 1983
order to assert a section 1983 claim plaintiff must establish
that individual defendants: “(1) acted under the color
of state law; and (2) deprived [Decedent] of a constitutional
right.” Estate of Perry v. Wenzel, 872 F.3d
439, 452 (7th Cir. 2017); see also Westfield Ins. Co. v.
Nat'l Decorating Serv., Inc., 863 F.3d 690, 695 (7th
Cir. 2017) (explaining all facts are construed in the light
most favorable to non-moving party). It is undisputed named
defendants were acting in official capacity as state actors
during events at issue. E.g., Estate of Perry, 872
F.3d at 452. Further, the Fourth Amendment governs claims
brought by pretrialdetainees who are challenging
conditions of confinement, and who have yet beenafforded a probable cause hearing. See Currie v.
Chhabra, 728 F.3d 626, 629 (7th Cir. 2013). The