United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
TILIA NEWSOME, as Administrator of the Estate of JOHN NEWSOME SR, Deceased, Plaintiff,
MADISON COUNTY, ILLINOIS, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights case stemming from an incident at the Madison
County Jail against twenty defendants. It now comes before
the Court on the defendants' motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim. (Doc. 61.)
in July 2016, an officer arrested John Newsome and
transported him to the Madison County jail. Officials at the
jail then placed Mr. Newsome in the day room: a space open to
a number of detainees and inmates during specific times of
the day. One of these other detainees was Terrence E. Lee, a
man with an extensive criminal record-including first-degree
murder. According to the plaintiff, Lee had been involved in
a number of fights at the jail. He injured other detainees
(including sending two to the hospital) and threatened
numerous jail personnel. But the jail officials only
segregated Lee from the general population one time, never
designated him as a special management or high security
prisoner, and continued to allow him unsupervised use of the
day room around other detainees. (Compl. 4-5, ECF No. 58.)
plaintiff alleges that when John Newsome attempted to use the
television in the day room, Lee became outraged. Mr. Newsome
attempted to flag the attention of the guards, but the guards
failed to act. Lee then began to punch and kick Mr. Newsome,
which was captured on the jail's security cameras. At
some point, Lee left the day room, but returned to attack Mr.
Newsome a second time. Following this second attack, Lee
succumbed to his injuries and died in the day room. (Compl.
5-7, ECF No. 58.)
Mr. Newsome's daughter and the administrator of his
estate-Tilia Newsome- brings this action against twenty
defendants, including Madison County, Sheriff John Lakin, 17
employees of the Madison County Sheriff's Office, and an
unknown number of John Doe defendants. The suit alleges a
number of constitutional and state-law claims arising from
Mr. Newsome's death at the jail.
12(b)(6) Motions to Dismiss
reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court
accepts as true all allegations in the complaint.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). To avoid dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure
to state a claim, a complaint must contain a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This
requirement is satisfied if the complaint: (1) describes the
claim in sufficient detail to give the defendant fair notice
of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests and
(2) plausibly suggests that the plaintiff has a right to
relief above a speculative level. Bell Atl., 550
U.S. at 555; see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009); EEOC v. Concentra Health Servs., 496
F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007). “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.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atl.,
550 U.S. at 556). “Determining whether a complaint
states a plausible claim for relief will...be a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
U.S.C. § 1983
order to prove a § 1983 claim against a police officer,
a plaintiff must show that the officer (1) deprived the
plaintiff of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of
the United States, and (2) that the defendant was acting
under color of state law. Ienco v. City of Chicago,
286 F.3d 994, 997-98 (7th Cir. 2002); see Gomez v.
Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980); McKinney v.
Duplain, 463 F.3d 679, 683 -84 (7th Cir. 2006);
Brokaw v. Mercer Co., 235 F.3d 1000, 1009 (7th Cir.
2000). A plaintiff can also bring a § 1983 claim against
a private party if the plaintiff shows that the private party
“conspired or acted in concert with state officials to
deprive [the plaintiff] of his civil rights.” Case
v. Milewski, 327 F.3d 564, 567 (7th Cir. 2003) (citing
Adickes v. S.H. Kress and Company, 398 U.S. 144, 152
a municipality can be liable under § 1983 if (1) the
municipality had an express policy calling for constitutional
violations; (2) it had a widespread practice of
constitutional violations that was so permanent and well
settled as to constitute a custom or usage with the force of
law; or (3) if a person with final policymaking authority for
the county caused the constitutional violation. Monell v.
New York City Department of Social Services, 436 U.S.
658, 694 (1978); McCormick v. City of Chicago, 230
F.3d 319, 324 (7th Cir. 2000). A municipality is liable only
when its “policy or custom, whether made by its
lawmakers or by those whose edicts or acts may fairly be said
to represent official policy, ” is the moving force
behind the constitutional violation. Monell, 436
U.S. at 694.
complaint in this case is extensive. The second-amended
complaint contained 100 counts, but Newsome has since
consolidated it into a third-amended complaint to ...