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Kitterman v. Illinois State Police Department

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

May 8, 2018

ILLINOIS STATE POLICE DEPARTMENT; TRACIE NEWTON, in her individual capacity and her official capacity as the Supervisor of the Sex Offender Registration Unit; LEO P. SCHMITZ, in his individual capacity and his official capacity as Director; and State of Illinois, Defendants.



         Plaintiff proceeds pro se from his incarceration in the Shawnee Correctional Center. His First Amended Complaint is before the Court for a merit review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This section requires the Court to identify cognizable claims stated by the complaint and dismiss claims that are not cognizable. In reviewing the complaint, the Court accepts the factual allegations as true, liberally construing them in Plaintiff's favor and taking Plaintiff's pro se status into account. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements and labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to "'state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'" Alexander v. U.S., 721 F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoted cite omitted).

         For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint is DISMISSED. Defendants State of Illinois and Illinois State Police are immune from liability under the Eleventh Amendment. Plaintiff's remaining damages claims are barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff originally filed his complaint in the Northern District of Illinois. That court transferred the case to the Southern District of Illinois. On February 15, 2018, Chief Judge Michael J. Reagan granted Plaintiff's motion to proceed informa pauperis.[1] On April 23, 2018, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (d/e 22) narrowing the named defendants. Judge Reagan transferred the case to this Court because the majority of events giving rise to the action seemed to have occurred in this district and this district appears to be where each individual defendant may be found or resides. Opinion (d/e 23).

         II. FACTS

         Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint, brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, is divided into six counts against Defendants Illinois State Police; Tracie Newton, supervisor of the Sex Offender Registration Unit, in her official and individual capacity; Leo Schmitz, Director of the Illinois State Police, in his individual and official capacity; and the State of Illinois, seeking to declare an Illinois state unconstitutional on its face and as applied.

         The Court takes judicial notice of Plaintiff's criminal cases available on the St. Clair County, Illinois Circuit Court website. (last visited May 7, 2018). See Olson v. Champaign Cnty., Ill., 784 F.3d 1093, 1096 n. 4 (7th Cir. 2015). In January 1996, Plaintiff was convicted of the amended charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, 720 ILCS 5/12-16(c)(1)(i), and sentenced to four years' probation. His term of probation was subsequently revoked, and, in March 1997, Plaintiff was sentenced to four years' imprisonment. He was released after serving his time.

         Many years later, Plaintiff was charged with failure to register as a sex offender in St. Clair County Case No. 12-CF-1204, No. 14-CF-1422, and No. 15-CF-373. A jury found Plaintiff guilty in case No. 14-CF-1422, and Plaintiff pleaded guilty in the other two cases. On August 20, 2015, Plaintiff was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in each case. Plaintiff is currently incarcerated for these offenses with a projected parole date of May 16, 2018.

         Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint contains the following allegations. Plaintiff was only required to register as a sex offender for ten years following his 1996 conviction. His plea agreement for the 1996 conviction prevented extension of the registration period. Newton and Schmitz nonetheless extended Plaintiff's registration period after the 10-year term expired, which led to his convictions for failure to register.

         In 2013, Newton, the supervisor of the Illinois State Police Sex Offender Registration Unit, conducted an administrative review of Plaintiffs history of registration and issued a brief memorializing her findings. Plaintiff sought, without success, administrative review of Newton's findings by submitting over 202 requests to the Illinois State Police Offender Registration Unit. Newton purportedly failed to forward Plaintiffs requests for a hearing to the proper Department within the Illinois State Police. Plaintiff alleges that Newton and/or Schmitz:

• Changed Plaintiffs 1996 conviction information to reflect that he was convicted of a Class X felony instead of a Class 2 felony;
• Failed to provide Plaintiff with ample notice of his duty to register;
• Designated Plaintiff a “Sexual Predator, ” “Sexually Violent Person, ” and “Sexually Dangerous Person, ” which changed Plaintiffs registration ...

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