United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
RICHARD MILLS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:
Plaintiff appears to assert a claim under 42 U.S.C §
is the Defendants' motion to dismiss.
Reggie Kimbrough filed a pro se complaint wherein he asks the
Court to overturn the determination to revoke his commercial
driver's license (“CDL”) based on what he
claims was an abuse of power by the hearing officer. The
Plaintiff states that he lost his license due to a DUI in
2007. The Plaintiff alleges that although he has an Alabama
driver's license, he cannot obtain a CDL until Illinois
removes the hold.
stage, the Court accepts as true all of the facts alleged in
the complaint and draws all reasonable inferences therefrom.
See Virnich v. Vorwald, 664 F.3d 206, 212 (7th Cir.
2011). “[A] complaint must provide a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, which is sufficient to provide the defendant with
fair notice of the claim and its basis.” Maddox v.
Love, 655 F.3d 709, 718 (7th Cir. 2011) (internal
quotation marks omitted). Courts must consider whether the
complaint states a “plausible” claim for relief.
See Id. The complaint must do more than assert a
right to relief that is “speculative.” See
Id. However, the claim need not be probable: a
well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if the Court believes
that actual proof of those facts is unlikely, and that the
chance of any recovery is remote. See Independent Trust
Corp. v. Stewart Information Services Corp., 665 F.3d
930, 935 (7th Cir. 2012). “To meet this plausibility
standard, the complaint must supply ‘enough fact to
raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence' supporting the plaintiff's
Court concludes that Plaintiff did not avail himself of the
process he was afforded. The Plaintiff could have sought
review pursuant to the Administrative Review Act and sought a
hearing under 625 ILCS 5/2-118. “The action of the
Secretary of State in suspending, revoking or denying any
license . . . shall be subject to judicial review in the
Circuit Court of Sangamon County, in the Circuit Court of
Jefferson County, or in the Circuit Court of Cook County, and
the provisions of the Administrative Review Law.” 625
ILCS 5/2-118(e). Generally, a plaintiff must exhaust the
administrative process before filing suit. See McCormick
v. Waukegan School Dist. No. 60, 374 F.3d 564, 568 (7th
Cir. 2004). Assuming the denial of a CDL constitutes a due
process violation, the Plaintiff's claim fails because he
did not exhaust his administrative remedies.
claim also fails for other reasons. The Supreme Court has
“held that an unconsenting state is immune from suits
brought in federal courts by her own citizens as well as by
citizens of another State.” Edelman v. Jordan,
415 U.S. 651, 662-63 (1974). There are exceptions to this
general rule. See Ameritech Corp. v. McCann, 297
F.3d 582, 585 (7th Cir. 2002). A state may express its
consent to suit in federal court, or Congress may abrogate
the state's immunity via its enforcement powers. See
id. “Congress may abrogate the States'
Eleventh Amendment immunity when it both unequivocally
intends to do so and acts pursuant to a valid grant of
constitutional authority.” Toeller v. Wisc. Dept.
of Corrections, 461 F.3d 871, 874 (7th Cir. 2006).
Congress could have, but did not, abrogate the states'
sovereign immunity from suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
See Thomas v. Illinois, 697 F.3d 612, 613 (7th Cir.
2012). Accordingly, Eleventh Amendment immunity applies to
any claims against the Illinois Secretary of State, including
any claims against Defendant Alicia Granito in her official
capacity. See Will v. Michigan Dept. of State
Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989) (noting that a suit
against a state official in her official capacity is a suit
against the State itself).
extent that Plaintiff seeks to sue Granito in her individual
capacity, the Court finds that the suit is barred on the
basis of absolute immunity. “Absolute immunity is
available to members of quasi-judicial adjudicatory bodies
when they perform duties that are functionally comparable to
those of a judicial body.” Tobin for Governor v.
Illinois State Bd. of Elections, 268 F.3d 517, 521 (7th
Cir. 2001). The Court concludes that the decision to grant or
revoke a CDL is functionally comparable to the duties of a
judicial body. Accordingly, Granito is entitled to absolute
on the foregoing, the Court concludes that Plaintiff's
Complaint fails to state a claim for relief.
the Motion of Defendants Alicia M. Granito and the Illinois
Secretary of State to Dismiss the Plaintiff's Complaint
[d/e 11] is GRANTED.
Clerk will enter Judgment and terminate this case.