United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
2, 2019, Plaintiff Richard Dixon, proceeding pro se, filed a
Complaint (d/e 1) against Defendant Assistant State's
Attorney Andrew Affrunti pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
seeking money damages and unspecified injunctive and
declaratory relief. On June 19, 2019, ASA Affrunti filed a
Motion to Dismiss asserting that he is entitled to
prosecutorial immunity and the Court should decline to
exercise jurisdiction based on Younger v. Harris,
401 U.S. 37 (1971).
Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED. ASA Affrunti is entitled to
absolute prosecutorial immunity. In addition, to the extent
Dixon seeks to enjoin the underlying state criminal
proceedings, the Court abstains under Younger v.
motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of a
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 he is entitled to relief and provide the
defendant fair notice of the claims. Tamayo v.
Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).
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. Pro se pleadings are construed liberally.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
following facts come from the Complaint and are accepted as
true at the motion to dismiss stage. Tamayo, 526
F.3d at 1081.
25, 2017, Dixon was charged with the manufacture and delivery
of a controlled substance in Sangamon County Circuit Court
No. 17-CF-503. ASA Affrunti is directly handling the
prosecution, which remains pending.
alleges that discovery in the state criminal case shows that
he is not the individual in the video of a controlled buy
that forms the basis of the criminal prosecution. The police
report described the “individual” in the video as
weighing 160 pounds, but Dixon asserts that he has weighed
close to 300 pounds for the past 20 years. Despite evidence
showing that Dixon was not the individual who made the
controlled buy, Dixon remained in jail until October 13, 2017
when he was released following a bond reduction. (However,
Dixon is currently detained on other charges in the case of
People v. Dixon, Sangamon Co. 2019-CF-37 as of
January 2019. See
t.sc (last visited August 5, 2019)). According to
Dixon, ASA Affrunti has not moved to dismiss the case,
despite Plaintiff's former counsel telling ASA Affrunti
that Dixon is not the individual in the video.
19, 2019, ASA Affrunti filed a Motion to Dismiss the
Complaint. ASA Affrunti asserts he is entitled to
prosecutorial immunity. He also argues that, to the extent
Dixon seeks to enjoin his criminal prosecution, the Court
should decline to exercise jurisdiction based on Younger
v. Harris. See SKS & Assocs., Inc. v. Dart,
619 F.3d 674, 678 (7th Cir. 2010) (stating that
Younger abstention is based on the principles of
equity, comity, and federalism and “requires federal
courts to abstain when a criminal defendant seeks a federal
injunction to block his state court prosecution on federal
constitutional grounds”). Finally, ASA Affrunti argues
that Dixon has failed to state a claim for which relief may
response, Dixon asserts that the Court must take his
allegations as true and that his complaint clearly states a
claim for which relief may be granted. Dixon also asserts
that the ASA Affrunti was not acting within the scope of his
duties as a prosecutor when ASA Affrunti continued to
ASA Affrunti is Absolutely Immune from Dixon's Civil Suit