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Tenikat v. City of Benld

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

June 6, 2019

CITY OF BENLD, et al., Defendant.



         On May 10, 2019, Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins filed a Report and Recommendation (d/e 35) recommending that this Court deny the Motion for Reconsideration (d/e 27) filed by Plaintiffs John Tenikat II and Sheryl Tenikat and grant the Motion to Dismiss (d/e 28) filed by defendant City of Benld. On May 23, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their Objection to the Report and Recommendation (d/e 36). The City has filed a response (d/e 37).

         The Objection is OVERRULED, and the Report and Recommendation (d/e 19) is ACCEPTED. Plaintiffs have not stated a due process claim, and the City is not subject to liability for civil RICO claims. Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED, and the City's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.


         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(3), this Court determines “de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Although this Court does not need to conduct a new hearing on the entire matter, the Court must give “fresh consideration to those issues to which specific objections have been made.” 12 Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller, & Mary Kay Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure § 3070.2 (2d ed. 1997); Wasserman v. Purdue Univ. ex rel. Jischke, 431 F.Supp.2d 911, 914 (N.D. Ind. 2006).

         If no objection is made, or if only a partial objection is made, the Court reviews the unobjected to portions for clear error. Johnson v. Zema Sys. Corp., 170 F.3d 734, 739 (7th Cir. 1999). This Court may “accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).


         In February 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint (d/e 1) against the City. Plaintiffs alleged that the City imposed defective liens on Plaintiffs' property for payment of charges for cutting an excessive growth of grass and weeds on the property. Plaintiffs claimed, as is relevant here, that this violated Plaintiffs' due process rights. Plaintiffs also purported to bring a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Practices Act (RICO) claim pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1961-1968.

         When Plaintiffs filed the Complaint, a Complaint to Enforce Mowing Lien filed by the City was pending in the Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Macoupin County, Illinois. See State Court Documents (d/e 3).[1] On February 4, 2019, the state court found the City lacked standing to bring the action because the lien was defective and Plaintiffs were not personally served with the Second Notice of Lien before suit was filed. See State Court Order (d/e 17 at p. 12) (also awarding Plaintiffs $465 for filing fees and costs and directing the City to release the mowing lien).

         On February 22, 2019, Magistrate Judge Schanzle-Haskins issued a Report and Recommendation recommending dismissal of the due process claim because Plaintiffs received due process in the state court proceeding and prevailed. Report and Recommendation at 5-6 (d/e 19). Judge Schanzle-Haskins did not address Plaintiffs' RICO claim.

         Plaintiffs objected to the Report and Recommendation. On March 21, 2019, this Court accepted the Report and Recommendation in part and modified the Report in part. Opinion (d/e 25). This Court accepted the recommendation to dismiss the due process claim. This Court considered and dismissed the civil RICO claim because municipalities are not liable for civil RICO claims and Plaintiffs failed to allege injury to their business or property. Nonetheless, the Court granted Plaintiffs leave to replead the civil RICO claim and their state law Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Opinion at 8 (d/e 25).

         On April 2, 2019, Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint (d/e 26) naming as defendants 12 individuals, the City, and the law firm that represented the City. Plaintiffs allege the Defendants committed RICO violations by filing unperfected liens in an effort to “extract monetary funds from the plaintiffs.” Am. Compl. ¶ 11 (d/e 26).

         On April 16, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a motion (d/e 27) asking the Court to reconsider the dismissal of their due process claim. On April 17, 2019, the City filed a motion to dismiss (d/e 28) the RICO claim. To date, Plaintiffs have not served the other Defendants named in the Amended Complaint with summons and a copy of the Amended Complaint or secured waivers of service.

         On May 10, 2019, Magistrate Judge Schanzle-Haskins entered his Report and Recommendation (d/e 35) (hereinafter, May Report and Recommendation). Judge Schanzle-Haskins recommended that this Court deny Plaintiffs' Motion to Reconsider because they failed to demonstrate any manifest errors of law or fact and presented no newly discovered evidence. ...

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