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Switzer v. The Village of Glasford, Illinois

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

July 22, 2019

GREGORY A. SWITZER, Plaintiff,
v.
THE VILLAGE OF GLASFORD, ILLINOIS, & ANDREW BURGESS, Defendants.

          ORDER AND OPINION

          James E. Shadid United States District Judge.

         Now before the Court is Defendants' Combined Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. Doc. 13. Plaintiff filed a timely Response to that Motion. Doc. 15. For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, Gregory A. Switzer, is a resident of the Village of Glasford, Peoria County, Illinois. Defendant Andrew Burgess (“Burgess”), a police officer employed by Defendant Village of Glasford, Illinois (“Glasford”). Glasford owns, operates, maintains, and otherwise controls the Glasford Police Department. Doc. 11, p. 2.

         On September 30, 2015, Burgess arrested Plaintiff in Peoria County for driving under the influence of alcohol. Plaintiff claims Burgess was carrying out a policy and practice of falsely creating criminal charges because, at the time of the arrest, Burgess allegedly stated he was “trying to make the charges go in such a direction.” Plaintiff was subsequently booked, housed, and incarcerated at the Peoria County Jail, although he bonded out within 24 hours after his arrest. According to Plaintiff, Burgess detained, arrested, and prosecuted Plaintiff without probable cause or justification, and additionally swore to a false complaint and falsely testified. Doc. 11, pp. 2-4.

         On January 19, 2016, the Circuit Court of Peoria County granted Plaintiff's Motion to Quash Evidence of Intoxication because it concluded Burgess lacked probable cause to arrest Plaintiff. A Motion to Reconsider from the prosecution was denied on August 2, 2016. Following an appeal by the State of Illinois, the Motion to Quash Evidence of Intoxication Order was affirmed, and on November 22, 2017, a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court was denied. On December 7, 2017, the case against Plaintiff was dismissed in Peoria County Circuit Court. Doc 10, pp. 1-2; Doc. 11, p. 3. People of the State of Illinois v. Gregory A. Switzer, No. 15 DT 502 (January 19, 2016), Aff'd 2017 Ill.App. (3d) 160441-U.

         Plaintiff filed his original Complaint in this Court on November 21, 2018, raising various claims stemming from his arrest and detention. Doc. 1. On February 4, 2019, this Court granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint with regard to alleging a proper Monell claim against Glasford. Doc. 10. Plaintiff filed a timely Amended Complaint on February 25, 2019. Doc. 11.

         Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is a five-count civil action for damages relating to his alleged wrongful prosecution at the hands of the Glasford Police Department. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges “malicious prosecution” claims against Burgess under both §1983 and Illinois Law (Counts I and III, respectively); respondeat superior “malicious prosecution” claims against Glasford under both §1983 and Illinois law (Counts II and IV, respectively); and an Illinois law indemnification claim against Glasford (Count V). Doc. 10, p. 2.

         On April 1, 2019, Defendants Glasford and Burgess filed a Combined Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (Doc. 13), to which Plaintiff responded on April 29, 2019. Doc. 15. In their Motion, Defendants request dismissal of Plaintiff's federal law claims (Counts I and II) pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), and dismissal of Plaintiff's state law claims (Counts III, IV, and V) pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). Doc. 13, p. 1. The outcome of their Motion turns on whether Plaintiff was ever seized by Defendants for Fourth Amendment purposes, the date such seizure ended, and when the statute of limitations thus began to run. This Order follows.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) challenges whether a complaint sufficiently states a claim upon which relief may be granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The Court accepts well-pleaded allegations in a complaint as true and draws all permissible inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Bible v. United Student Aid Funds, Inc., 799 F.3d 633, 639 (7th Cir. 2015). To survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must describe the claim in sufficient detail to put defendants on notice as to the nature of the claim and its bases, and it must plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief. Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A complaint need not allege specific facts, but it may not rest entirely on conclusory statements or empty recitations of the elements of the cause of action. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         DISCUSSION

         Defendants have moved to dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint on three grounds: (1) Plaintiff was never seized as contemplated by the Fourth Amendment; (2) since the alleged Fourth Amendment seizure in Count I either did not occur or occurred outside the statute of limitations, the Monell claim is not actionable; and (3) this Court should relinquish jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims on the basis that the federal claims should be dismissed. Defendants request dismissal of Plaintiff's federal law claims (Counts I and II) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), and dismissal of Plaintiff's state law claims (Counts III, IV, and V) pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). Doc. 13, pp. 1, 11-12. The Court will examine each argument in turn.

         1. COUNT I-MALICIOUS PROSECUTION (federal claim ...


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