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Jaimes v. Cook County

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 13, 2019

COOK COUNTY, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiffs Deisy Jaimes, Enrique Jaimes, and Gloria Jaimes have filed an eleven-count second amended complaint against defendants Cook County, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart, Cara Smith, Dr. Nneka Jones, George Turner, Superintendent Jeff K. Johnsen, Sergeant Phillips, Sergeant Monroe, Lieutenant Juanita Peterson, Lieutenant Sharon Lee, and the Estate of Erika Aguirre, alleging claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Counts I-III), Monell claims (Counts IV-VI), and various state law claims (Counts VII-XI). All defendants, except for Lieutenant Lee and the Estate of Erika Aguirre, move pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss Counts I, II, III, VII, VIII, IX, X and XI of plaintiffs' second amended complaint [74]. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted in part and denied in part. Status set for September 26, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.


         For purposes of this motion, the Court accepts as true the following allegations in plaintiffs' second amended complaint:

         On November 15, 2015, Cook County Jail Correctional Officer Erika Aguirre broke into the home of her ex-girlfriend, Deisy Jaimes (“Deisy”). Using her service weapon, Officer Aguirre shot both Deisy and Deisy's father, Enrique, causing severe, permanent injuries to each. Officer Aguirre then took her own life. Prior to the shooting, Officer Aguirre and Deisy had lived together for four years. During that time, Officer Aguirre had been verbally and emotionally abusive to Deisy. Officer Aguirre also had two disciplinary incidents at work, both of which involved her losing her temper. Deisy ended the relationship a few months before the shooting.

         The Cook County Sheriff's Office deputizes its correctional officers, thereby authorizing these officers to carry a service weapon. Correctional officers who work at the Jail are prohibited from bringing their service weapons into the Jail. According to plaintiffs, correctional officers at the Jail regularly subject detainees to excessive force, and supervisory officials at the Cook County Sheriff's Office and the Cook County Jail have a history of covering up or condoning this behavior.

         On November 14, 2016, plaintiffs filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois against defendants Cook County, the Sheriff of Cook County in his official capacity, and the Cook County Department of Corrections, alleging claims of willful and wanton conduct (Counts I-II) and loss of consortium (Count III). On November 29, 2016, plaintiffs filed a motion pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1009(a) to voluntarily dismiss the matter without prejudice. The motion was granted on December 2, 2016. On November 15, 2017, plaintiffs filed the instant action and added several new defendants and several new claims.

         Defendants now move to dismiss, arguing that plaintiffs have filed an impermissible group pleading, the state law claims against certain defendants are time-barred, and Officer Aguirre was not acting within the scope of her employment at the time of the incident.


         “A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) tests whether the complaint states a claim on which relief may be granted.” Richards v. Mitcheff, 696 F.3d 635, 637 (7th Cir. 2012). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain statement under Rule 8(a)(2) must “give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (ellipsis omitted). Under federal notice-pleading standards, a plaintiff's “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. Stated differently, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint under the plausibility standard, [courts must] accept the well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true, but [they] ‘need[] not accept as true legal conclusions, or threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements.” Alam v. Miller Brewing Co., 709 F.3d 662, 665-66 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009)).


         I. Statute of limitations affirmative defense

         Failure to comply with a statute of limitations is an affirmative defense. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(c)(1). A plaintiff need not plead around an affirmative defense, and the Court may dismiss on the basis of an affirmative defense only where a plaintiff alleges, and thus admits, the elements of the affirmative defense. Chicago Bldg. Design, P.C. v. Mongolian House, Inc., 770 F.3d 610, 613-14 (7th Cir. 2014); United States Gypsum Co. v. Indiana Gas Col, Inc., 350 F.3d 623, 626 (7th Cir. 2003).

         Plaintiffs' claim for relief arises from the November 15, 2015 incident. Plaintiffs first filed suit against Cook County, the Sheriff of Cook County, and the Cook County Department of Corrections (the “original defendants”) on November 14, 2016. Roughly two weeks later, on November 29, 2016, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the action with leave to re-file. On November 15, 2017, plaintiffs filed this action and added several new defendants, including Cara Smith, Nneka Jones, ...

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