United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
LYNDSEY J. PITTMAN, Plaintiff,
CITY OF MOUNT STERLING, ILLINOIS, and CHASE FOX, individually and in his capacity as police officer with City of Mount Sterling, Illinois, Police Department, Defendants.
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the Partial Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (d/e
13) filed by Defendant City of Mount Sterling, Illinois
(Mount Sterling). The motion is DENIED. Plaintiff Lyndsey J.
Pittman, in her First Amended Complaint, sufficiently pleads
state-law claims against Mount Sterling based on the doctrine
of respondeat superior.
following facts come from Plaintiff's First Amended
Complaint (d/e 7). The Court accepts them as true at the
motion to dismiss stage. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526
F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).
October 21, 2015, Plaintiff, then 17 years old, was driving
an automobile in Mount Sterling, Illinois. Defendant Chase
Fox, an officer with the Mount Sterling Police Department,
activated his squad car's overhead lights to initiate a
traffic stop of Plaintiff's vehicle because Plaintiff had
allegedly failed to make a complete stop at a stop sign.
Plaintiff brought her vehicle to a stop. Defendant Fox
obtained Plaintiff's driver's license, thereby
learning that Plaintiff was a minor, and asked Plaintiff
whether marijuana or any other illegal substance was present
in Plaintiff's vehicle. Plaintiff answered in the
Fox proceeded to Plaintiff to exit her vehicle and stand in
front of his squad car. A passenger exited Plaintiff's
vehicle and inquired as to why Defendant Fox was detaining
Plaintiff. Defendant Fox ordered the passenger to get back in
Plaintiff's vehicle, but as the passenger was getting
back into Plaintiff's vehicle, Defendant Fox violently
grabbed the passenger and forced him out of the vehicle.
of Defendant Fox's actions, Plaintiff reentered her
vehicle and drove away. Defendant Fox drew his service weapon
and shot out the back window of Plaintiff's vehicle.
Defendant Fox then holstered his weapon and initiated a
high-speed pursuit of Plaintiff's vehicle, a pursuit that
reached speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. Eventually,
Plaintiff lost control of her vehicle, which was destroyed
after it left the road and rolled over. As a result of the
accident, Plaintiff suffered and continues to suffer physical
pain, emotional trauma, fear, and anxiety.
December 2, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint (d/e 1),
seeking recovery for her physical and emotional injuries.
Plaintiff subsequently filed a five-count First Amended
Complaint on March 3, 2017. Count 1 alleges a § 1983
claim against Defendant Fox. Count 2 alleges a § 1983
claim against Mount Sterling. Counts 4 through
allege state-law claims for assault and battery, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of
emotional distress. On April 21, 2017, Mount Sterling filed
its Partial Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, arguing that
Plaintiff's three state-law claims should be dismissed as
to Mount Sterling because Plaintiff had not named Mount
Sterling as a defendant in those counts and failed to make
any allegations against Mount Sterling in those counts.
Plaintiff did not file a response to the motion.
Court has subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's
§ 1983 claims because they are based on federal law.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (“The district
courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions
arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the
United States.”). Further, this Court has supplemental
jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state-law claims because
those claims and Plaintiff's § 1983 claims
“form part of the same case or controversy.” 28
U.S.C. § 1367(a). Venue is proper in this district
because the events giving rise to Plaintiff's claims
occurred here. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2)
(stating that a civil action may be brought in “a
judicial district in which a substantial part of the events
or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred”).
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Plausibility means
alleging factual content that allows a court to reasonably
infer that the defendant is liable for the alleged
misconduct. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 547 (2007). A plaintiff's complaint must
suggest a right to relief, “raising that possibility
above a speculative level.” Kubiak v. City of
Chicago, 810 F.3d 476, 480 (7th Cir. 2016). “The
required level of factual specificity rises with the
complexity of the claim.” McCauley v. City of
Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 616-17 (7th Cir. 2011).
faced with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court
“accept[s] as true all of the well-pleaded facts in the
complaint and draw[s] all reasonable inferences in favor of
the plaintiff.” Roberts v. City of Chicago,
817 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2016). However, “legal
conclusions and conclusory allegations merely reciting the
elements of the claim are not entitled to this presumption of
truth.” McCauley, 671 F.3d at 616.