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Humes v. Rosario

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

June 12, 2019

ROBERT HUMES, Plaintiff,
v.
SAMUEL ROSARIO, in his official and individual capacities; KENNY WINSLOW, in his official and individual capacities; and THE CITY OF SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, Defendants.

          OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         In February 2019, Plaintiff Robert Humes filed a five-count Complaint against Defendants Samuel Rosario, who was at all times relevant employed as a police officer for the City of Springfield; Kenny Winslow, the Chief of Police; and the City of Springfield, Illinois. Officer Rosario and Chief Winslow are sued in their official and individual capacities. Plaintiff brings claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Officer Rosario unreasonably seized Plaintiff and deprived Plaintiff of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution (Count One) and alleging that Chief Winslow and the City of Springfield failed to train Officer Rosario and other officers in the Springfield Police Department (Count Two). Plaintiff also brings state law claims against Officer Rosario for assault and battery and against the City under a respondeat superior liability theory (Counts Three through Five).

         The City and Chief Winslow move to dismiss the claims against them. The Motion to Dismiss (d/e 4) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. Count Two is dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim. Count Five states a claim that the City is liable under a theory of respondeat superior for Officer Rosario's alleged assault and battery of Plaintiff.

         I. JURISDICTION

         This Court has subject matter jurisdiction because Plaintiff brings claims based on 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a 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”). The Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Venue is proper because a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to Plaintiff's claims occurred in this district. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint. Christensen v. Cty. of Boone, Ill., 483 F.3d 454, 458 (7th Cir. 2007). To state a claim for relief, a plaintiff need only provide a short and plain statement of the claim showing the plaintiff is entitled to relief and giving the defendants fair notice of the claims. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).

         When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accepting all well-pleaded allegations as true and construing all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor. Id. However, the complaint must set forth facts that plausibly demonstrate a claim for relief. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547 (2007). A plausible claim is one that alleges factual content from which the Court can reasonably infer that the defendants are liable for the misconduct alleged. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Merely reciting the elements of a cause of action or supporting claims with conclusory statements is insufficient to state a cause of action. Id.

         III. FACTS ALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT

         The following facts come from the Complaint and are accepted as true at the motion to dismiss stage. Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1081.

         On February 27, 2017, Officer Rosario arrived at Plaintiff's residence to investigate a possible crime committed by an individual other than Plaintiff. Compl. ¶ 9. During Officer Rosario's official investigation of the possible crime, he had a conversation with Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 10. During the conversation with Plaintiff, Officer Rosario suddenly “assaulted and beat” Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 11. Officer Rosario tackled Plaintiff, physically restrained him, and repeatedly punched Plaintiff on his face, head, and other parts of his body. Id. ¶ 13. Plaintiff did not verbally or physically provoke Officer Rosario. Id. ¶ 12. Officer Rosario did not witness Plaintiff commit a crime or have probable cause to believe Plaintiff committed any crime. Id. ¶ 15. Officer Rosario's assault on Plaintiff resulted in Plaintiff being physically and emotionally injured and made to suffer public ridicule and personal embarrassment. Id. ¶ 18.

         Plaintiff further alleges that Chief Winslow and the City were responsible for the administration of the Springfield Police Department and the development of policy and training of said department. Compl. ¶¶ 19, 20. Chief Winslow and the City failed to properly train and instruct Officer Rosario and officers of the Springfield Police Department and this failure resulted in Plaintiff being subjected to an unjustified assault. Id. ¶ 28. Chief Winslow and the City knew that their course and habits of conduct violated known and established constitutionally protected rights and that their acts were carried out willfully, wantonly, maliciously, and with deliberate indifference to the rights of Plaintiff. Id. ¶¶ 30, 31.

         In May 2019, the City and Chief Winslow filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Defendants move to dismiss Count Two, the failure to train claim against the City and Chief Winslow, and Count Five, the respondeat superior claim against the City.

         IV. ...


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