United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
MYERSCOUGH, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court on the Motions to Dismiss filed by
Defendants Jennifer Mathew and Michael Harmon (d/e 14) and
Defendant The State Journal-Register (d/e 18). Because
Plaintiff fails to state a claim against these Defendants,
the Motions to Dismiss are GRANTED. The Court also dismisses
Channel 20 News pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) for
failure to state a claim.
April 2019, Plaintiff filed a pro se complaint (d/e 1)
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Jennifer Mathew, a
Sangamon County assistant state's attorney (ASA Mathew);
the State Journal Register; Michael Newman, a Springfield
police officer (Officer Newman); Mark Harmon, a Sangamon
County assistant public defender (Attorney Harmon); and
Channel 20 News. On May 20, 2019, U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom
Schanzle-Haskins granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that, in 2009, he was accused of
criminal sexual assault of two young women while Plaintiff
was a coach at a junior high school. He was sentenced to
three years' imprisonment.
18, 2018, Plaintiff's church had vocational bible school
for adults and children. Plaintiff had a meeting with his
pastor, who asked if Plaintiff could drive the church van to
pick up adult and children church members. Someone
complained, and a warrant was issued. Plaintiff asserts the
warrant was issued for being in a park and “all this
happen[ed] at [his] church which [he has] been a member for
almost two years.” Compl. at 6.
asserts that the courts have injured his character and caused
physical and emotional distress to Plaintiff, Plaintiff's
wife, and Plaintiff's kids. Plaintiff asserts that
Officer Newman's testimony should not “stay”
because, before Officer Newman was a police officer, Officer
Newman was sleeping with Plaintiff's ex-wife while they
were going through a divorce. Plaintiff also got into a fight
with Officer Newman.
section pertaining to “relief requested, ”
Plaintiff states that he wants Sangamon County investigated
for “racist conviction” and to see justice come
to the ones who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned,
like himself. Compl. at 7. Plaintiff also wants a change to
the grand jury system, asserting that the person and the
lawyer should be present. Plaintiff seeks $3 million for
defamation of character, emotional distress, mental stress,
psychological pain, and pain and suffering for himself, his
wife, and his children.
Mathew, Attorney Harmon, and The State Journal-Register have
filed motions to dismiss. Officer Newman and Channel 2 News
have been served but have not responded to the complaint.
Mathew and Attorney Harmon move to dismiss, asserting (1) the
complaint fails to provide sufficient notice of the claims
asserted against them, (2) the Court lacks jurisdiction, and
(3) Plaintiff cannot bring claims on behalf of others. The
State Journal-Register separately moves to dismiss on the
same grounds. These Defendants ask the Court to take judicial
notice of Sangamon County No. 2018-CF-717, People v.
Gregory M. Stapleton, which reflects that, on May 13,
2019, Plaintiff pled guilty to “Sex Offender Providing
Services to Persons Under 18” in violation of 720 ILCS
5/11-9.3(c-7). Plaintiff was sentenced to four
years' imprisonment, which he is presently serving.
filed a response to the motion to dismiss and included
additional facts. A court can consider new allegations raised
in a brief that are consistent with the complaint. Help
At Home Inc. v. Medical Capital L.L.C., 260 F.3d 748,
752 (7th Cir. 2001).
responds that ASA Mathew issued a warrant for Plaintiffs
arrest after Officer Newman made a report. Officer Newman
testified at Plaintiffs preliminary hearing. Plaintiff
contends that Officer Newman had a conflict of interest
because Officer Newman purportedly slept with Plaintiffs
ex-wife while Plaintiff and the ex-wife were going through a
divorce and Plaintiff got in a physical fight with Officer
Newman (before Officer Newman became a police officer).
Plaintiff contends that Officer Newman had a conflict of
interest and that his making the complaint and testifying at
the preliminary hearing was “a revenge thing”
against Plaintiff. Resp. at 3 (d/e 20).
asserts that The State Journal-Register and Channel 20 News
made false statements. Plaintiff also states that The State
Journal-Register and Channel 20 News broadcast what was given
to them, but the facts were false.
claims that Attorney Harmon rendered ineffective assistance
of counsel. Plaintiff states that Attorney Harmon withdrew
Plaintiff's plea without Plaintiff's permission.
Plaintiff also contends ...