United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Honorable Thomas M. Durkin United States District Judge
Alfred Berry sued defendants City of Chicago, Chicago police
officer Charles Mammoser, and administrative law judge Robert
Nolan for an allegedly unlawful stop and frisk of Berry
conducted during an administrative hearing. Currently before
the Court is Nolan's motion to dismiss Berry's claims
against him under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). R. 14. For the
following reasons, the Court grants Nolan's motion.
12(b)(6) motion challenges the sufficiency of the
complaint. 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). The statement must give
defendant “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
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.
was an administrative law judge in the Department of Business
Affairs and Consumer Protection for the City of Chicago. R. 1
¶ 4. On March 14, 2017, Mammoser testified in a hearing
before Nolan in a case titled City of Chicago v. Green
Dolphin, 16 LR 163. Id. ¶¶ 6-7.
Berry, the securities manager for Green Dolphin, testified
after Massomer and allegedly directly impeached Mammoser.
Id. ¶¶ 8-10. Berry alleges that he never
carries a weapon and that he had no bulges around his waist
or in his suit coat on the day of the hearing. Id.
¶¶ 11-12. Nevertheless, Massomer allegedly stopped
and frisked Berry immediately after Berry's testimony.
Id. ¶ 13.
next hearing in the case on March 24, 2017, Nolan stated on
the record that he caused the unlawful stop and frisk of
Berry because he believed Berry was carrying a gun.
Id. ¶ 18. Nolan specifically stated:
Before we start I have to make a statement for the record. I
feel it necessary to do so. The last time we were here, Mr.
Berry was about to testify. Had not testified yet. We took a
break. I went down the hall to go to the bathroom. On my way
back, I observed Mr. Berry standing. It appeared that his
coat was open. I saw what appeared to be on the side what I
believed to be a weapon. I came back into the premises. I
talked to an assistant corporation counsel . . . [a]nd
informed them of what I observed. I did that out of public
safety of observing it. . . . It appears that maybe as a
result of that, certain actions were taken. It appears that
there was no weapon on the person. I humbly apologize to Mr.
Berry . . . and further state that none of those observations
or otherwise will be taken into consideration in my reviewing
this file. I made no conversation with Officer - whatever his
name, M-a-m-m-o-s-e-r, regarding that, but it was [what] I
observed. It was like a brown thing on his side. That was all
R. 14-1 at 4-5. Berry alleges that this statement was an
attempt by Nolan “to cover up the unlawful conduct of
Defendant Mammoser.” R. 1 ¶ 18. Based on
Nolan's statement, Green Dolphin's counsel withdrew a
motion to re-call Mammoser as a witness. R. 14-1 at 3, 5.
August 25, 2017, Berry filed this lawsuit. R. 1. The
complaint alleges two claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Mammoser and Nolan: (1) a claim for illegal search
and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment (Count I);
and (2) a claim for conspiracy to deprive Berry of his
constitutional rights (Count II). Id. ¶¶
21-30. Count III is an indemnification claim against the City
of Chicago. Id. ¶¶ 21-33. In his response
to Nolan's motion to dismiss, Berry concedes that Count I
should be dismissed as to Nolan (R. 19 at 1 n.1), leaving
only the conspiracy claim in Count II remaining against
motion to dismiss first argues that Nolan is entitled to
absolute immunity as a quasi-judicial officer.
“Absolute immunity is a powerful shield attaching
primarily to judicial functions-not to the person or
position. When a functional analysis of the responsibilities
at issue reveals that they are judicial in nature, the actor
is entitled to absolute immunity from damages no matter how
erroneous the act or injurious the consequences.”
Brunson v. Murray, 843 F.3d 698, 710 (7th Cir.
2016). The Brunson court explained that the
functional analysis of the immunity issue is aided by the six
factors characteristic of the judicial process . . .: (a) the
need to assure that the individual can perform his functions
without harassment or intimidation; (b) the presence of
safeguards that reduce the need for private damages actions
as a means of controlling unconstitutional conduct; (c)
insulation from political influence; (d) the importance ...