United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JOHNSON COLEMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
Michael Turner filed his first amended complaint asserting
claims against defendant City of Chicago for unlawful arrest
and excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment
seeking to hold the City liable under Monell v.
Department of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct.
2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). See 42 U.S.C. §
1983. The City moves to dismiss the first amended complaint
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the
reasons outlined below, the Court grants the City's
motion without prejudice and grants Turner leave to file a
second amended complaint in accordance with this ruling.
Turner was the owner of an automobile repair shop located at
10000 S. Halsted Street in Chicago. On January 14, 2017,
Turner was sitting in a parked vehicle in front of his shop.
The vehicle was not running and Turner did not have the
vehicle's keys. Two Chicago police officers arrived on
scene and asked Turner what he was doing. The officers then
instructed Turner to exit his vehicle, put handcuffs on
Turner, and searched his vehicle. The officers attempted to
put Turner in their police vehicle and told Turner that he
was driving without a license.
verbally protested and explained that the vehicle was his
wife's vehicle, that he did not have the keys, and that
he was not driving it. At some point during the arrest,
Turner was knocked to the ground and beaten and kicked by the
officers until he became unconscious. Turner was then taken
to Roseland Community Hospital for treatment and was informed
that he was under arrest. Turner was then taken to Cermak
Hospital, part of the Cook County Department of Corrections,
and placed on lockdown for six days while recovering from his
injuries, which included seven broken bones in his face.
Cook County State's Attorney's Office prosecuted
Turner for felony charges. Unable to make bond for those
charges, Turner was detained from January 14, 2017 to March
2, 2017. A Circuit Court of Cook County judge then heard
Turner's case and found him not guilty.
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to
state a claim tests the sufficiency of the complaint, not its
merits. See Camasta v. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc.,
761 F.3d 732, 736 (7th Cir. 2014). When considering dismissal
of a complaint, the Court accepts all well-pleaded factual
allegations as true and draws all reasonable inferences in
favor of the plaintiff. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007) (per curiam);
Trujillo v. Rockledge Furniture LLC, 926 F.3d 395,
397 (7th Cir. 2019). To survive a motion to dismiss,
plaintiff must “state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d
929 (2007). A complaint is facially plausible when plaintiff
alleges “factual content that allows the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009).
is no respondeat superior liability for municipalities under
42 U.S.C. § 1983.” Ruiz-Cortez v. City of
Chicago, 931 F.3d 592, 598 (7th Cir. 2019). A
municipality, however, is subject to liability if one of its
policies or customs directly resulted in a constitutional
deprivation. Monell, 436 U.S. at 691;
Ruiz-Cortez, 931 F.3d at 598. This deprivation can
be caused by an express municipal policy, a widespread custom
or practice, or a decision by a municipal agent with final
policymaking authority. Ruiz-Cortez, 931 F.3d at
598; Levy v. Marion Cty. Sheriff, 940 F.3d 1002,
1010 (7th Cir. 2019). In addition to a municipal action as
outlined above, to establish Monell liability, a
plaintiff must also prove deliberate indifference and
causation. Ruiz-Cortez, 931 F.3d at 598. A
prerequisite to deliberate indifference is that “the
defendant must have actual or constructive notice of a
problem.” Miranda v. County of Lake, 900 F.3d
335, 345 (7th Cir. 2018).
first alleges that his unlawful arrest arises out of the
City's policy or practice of failing to train police
officers on the use of Terry stops and the
reasonable suspicion standard. Failure to train “may
serve as the basis for § 1983 liability only where the
failure to train amounts to deliberate indifference to the
rights of persons with whom the police come into
contact.” City of Canton, Ohio v. Harris, 489
U.S. 378, 388, 109 S.Ct. 1197, 103 L.Ed.2d 412 (1989).
“A pattern of similar constitutional violations by
untrained employees is ‘ordinarily necessary' to
demonstrate deliberate indifference for purposes of failure
to train.” Connick v. Thompson, 563 U.S. 51,
62, 131 S.Ct. 1350, 1360, 179 L.Ed.2d 417 (2011) (citation
omitted); see also Canton, 489 U.S. at 391
(“the identified deficiency in a city's training
program must be closely related to the ultimate
a pattern of similar constitutional violations, Turner relies
on a Consent Decree between the State of Illinois and the
City of Chicago as approved in Illinois v. City of
Chicago, No. 17-CV-6260, 2019 WL 398703 (N.D. Ill. Jan.
31, 2019). That lawsuit sought to enjoin the Chicago Police
Department “from engaging in a repeated pattern of
using excessive force, including deadly force, and other
misconduct that disproportionately harms Chicago's
African American and Latino residents.” Id. at
*1. The Consent Decree speaks to racial profiling and
excessive force setting forth steps that the Chicago Police
Department will make to undertake reform. On the other hand,
the Consent Decree does not specifically speak to
Terry stops and the reasonable suspicion standard.
Without more, Turner has failed to sufficiently allege a
pattern of similar violations concerning Terry stops
and the reasonable suspicion standard because the conduct in
the Consent Decree is not closely related to his allegations.
See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (complaint is plausible
on its face when plaintiff alleges “factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”).
also alleges that his excessive force claim arises from a
policy or practice of failing to train police officers on the
proper use of reasonable force when interacting with the
public. Although the Consent Decree certainly speaks to
excessive force, it is not until Turner's response brief
that he fleshes out the similar pattern involved relying on
the Department of Justice's January 13, 2017 report
investigating the Chicago Police Department. It is
well-settled, however, that “a plaintiff may not amend
his complaint in his response brief.” Pirelli
Armstrong Tire Corp. Retiree Med. Benefits Trust v. Walgreen
Co.,631 F.3d 436, 448 (7th Cir. 2011). The Court
therefore grants defendant's ...