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Laird v. Elliott

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 5, 2019

CHRISTOPHER T. LAIRD, #K99985 Plaintiff,
v.
SETH ELLIOTT, JONATHAN PFLAUM, JUSTIN BLOOMER, MUNICIPALITY OF OLNEY, ILLINOIS, BLAKE PEAVLER, KEVIN MCCORMICK, ROBERT SAKOWICZ, JOHN DOE JIM LANE, MUNICIPALITY OF RICHLAND COUNTY, ILLINOIS, AARON SHAW, and CHARLES BRADLEY VAUGHN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Joan H. Lefkow, U.S. District Judge. [1]

         Plaintiff Christopher T. Laird, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights related to an arrest, detention, and prosecution on a criminal charge in Illinois state court. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.

         This case is now before the court for preliminary review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the court to screen prisoner Complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or requests money damages from an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         The Complaint

         Laird alleges the following in his Complaint: On May 7, 2018, a report was made that Laird violated an order of protection. (Doc. 1, p. 20). When Officers Elliott and Pflaum responded to the call, Laird was not present. (Id., pp. 20, 21). Officers Elliot, Pflaum, Sakowicz, Peavler, and Bloomer searched the area, but did not find Laird. (Id., p. 22). Later that day, Officers Elliot, Pflaum, Peavler, and McCormick attempted to locate Laird at his last known address. (Id., pp. 23, 24). When they encountered him, Officers Pflaum and Peavler pointed tasers at Laird while Officer Elliott handcuffed him. (Id., pp. 24, 25). As Laird was being transported to a police vehicle, he made eye contact with Officer McCormick. (Id., p. 25).

         The arrest and ensuing criminal charge and parole revocation were made without probable cause. (Id., p. 26). At the time he was arrested, Laird's clothing did not match the description given by the individual who reported the violation of the order of protection. (Id.). Additionally, the alleged violation of the order of protection was reported to have occurred at a residence other than the residence listed on the order. (Id.).

         After being charged with violating an order of protection, Laird received a parole violation report written by Parole Agent Shaw. (Id.) In the report, Shaw falsely stated that Laird had failed to complete substance abuse and anger management treatment. (Id.) Laird had completed the treatment and verification had been sent to Parole Agent Hedgpeth. (Id.) Further, Shaw's report of the arrest for violation of an order of protection was misleading because it failed to mention the facts illustrating a lack of probable cause. (Id.)

         Following the arrest, Laird was detained in the Richland County jail. (Id., p. 10). Laird's right to a speedy trial was violated by the State's Attorneys and his Public Defender. (Id., p. 28). After a parole revocation, he was incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections. (Id., pp. 27, 68-70). On October 26, 2018, the criminal charge for the violation of an order of protection was dismissed. (Id., pp. 28, 67).

         Based on the allegations in the Complaint, the court finds it convenient to divide this action into the following Counts:

Count 1: Fourth Amendment claim against Elliot, Pflaum, Peavler, Bloomer, Sakowicz, and McCormick for arresting and detaining Laird on a violation of an order of protection without probable cause.
Count 2: Fifth and/or Fourteenth Amendment claim against Elliot, Pflaum, Peavler, Bloomer, Sakowicz, and McCormick for arresting and detaining Laird on a violation of an order of protection without probable cause.
Count 3: Eighth Amendment claim against Elliot, Pflaum, Peavler, Bloomer, Sakowicz, and McCormick for arresting and detaining Laird on a violation of an order of protection without probable cause.
Count 4: Malicious prosecution claim against Elliot, Pflaum, Peavler, Bloomer, Sakowicz, and McCormick for arresting and detaining Laird on a violation of an order of protection without probable cause.
Count 5: Claim against the Municipality of Olney, Illinois for the misconduct of its employees Elliot, Pflaum, and Bloomer for arresting and detaining Laird without probable cause.
Count 6: Claim against the Municipality of Richland County, Illinois for the misconduct of its employees Peavler, McCormick, and Sakowicz for arresting and detaining Laird without probable cause and its employees Doe, Vaughn, and Lane related to the prosecution of the criminal charge of violation of an order of protection.
Count 7: Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment claims against Doe and Vaughn for charging Laird with a violation of an order of protection without probable cause and violating Laird's right to a speedy trial.
Count 8: Sixth Amendment claim against Lane for failing to provide adequate and effective assistance of counsel.
Count 9: Fourteenth Amendment claim against Shaw for filing a parole violation report that contained falsehoods and misleading statements which was relied on by the Prisoner ...

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