Johnson v. Posen Police Department
ORDER Signed by the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber on 12/16/2016: The Court grants the Motion and dismisses Johnsons Complaint without prejudice. If Johnson does not amend his Complaint within twenty-one (21) days from the date of this Order, the dismissal will convert automatically Mailed notice(wp, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
SANUEL D. JOHNSON,
Case No. 16 C 9790
Judge Harry D. Leinenweber
POSEN POLICE DEPARTMENT,
pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6) [ECF No. 6] is granted.
presumed true for purposes of deciding the motion to dismiss.
See, Forrest v. Universal Sav. Bank, F.A., 507 F.3d 540, 542
(7th Cir. 2007).
Around 2:30 a.m. on an unspecified date, Johnson was pulled
He was then taken to a police station, presumably the
Posen Police Department’s.
Two other officers at the station
took cell phone pictures of Johnson in his neck brace.
pictures of him.
Johnson alleges that he felt violated and disrespected.
property[,] loss of wages (Job).”
Importantly, he names as a
In ruling on Defendant’s 12(b)(6) Motion, the Court applies
Complaint liberally and holds it “to a less stringent standard
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
655 F.3d 709, 718 (7th Cir. 2011).
See, Maddox v. Love,
The Court also notes that it
is making its ruling without the benefit of hearing from Johnson
since he has not filed a responsive brief to the Motion.
For the sake of completeness, the Court begins by making
note of some matters that were not addressed in the Posen Police
First, while Johnson’s factual allegations
may state a claim for infliction of emotional distress under
Illinois law, he is not here suing the individual officers who
are presumably necessary parties for such claims.
FED. R. CIV. P. 19.
Second, although the Posen Police Department
may be liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior for such
jurisdiction over that state-law claim unless it may exercise
supplemental jurisdiction in relation to a claim for which it
does have jurisdiction.
See, 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
below, the Court concludes that there is no such claim to give
sufficient facts to make out any 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against a
municipality like the Posen Police Department.
Under Monell v.
Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978), “a municipality
cannot be held liable under § 1983 on a respondeat superior
constitutional injury was caused by a municipal “policy.”
Plaintiff has not alluded to any such policy in his
There was no mention of any practice by the Posen
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Police Department constituting either an express policy or an
implied policy “so permanent and well settled as to constitute a
‘custom or usage’ with the force of law.”
Neither was there an
acted to violate Johnson’s constitutional rights.
v. City of Chi., 60 F.3d 381, 382 (7th Cir. 1995) (listing the
Furthermore, it is unclear what federal “right, privilege,
See, Ledford v. Sullivan, 105 F.3d 354,
356 (7th Cir. 1997) (“Section 1983 is not itself a source of
federal rights conferred elsewhere.”).
The Defendant interprets
under the federal Constitution:
a race-based Equal Protection
property” and “loss of wages (Job).”
To this the Court would
unreasonable seizure claim from his arrest by the police.
Court addresses each of these underlying causes of action in
(1) they are a member of a protected class; (2)
unprotected class; (3) they were treated differently than the
members of the unprotected class; and (4) the defendant acted
purportedly is bringing an Equal Protection claim based on race,
but he does not say what his race is.
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He also does not explain
what state action he is challenging (the arrest? the taking of
his photos? the deprivation of property?) or how he was treated
As for a Due Process deprivation claim, a plaintiff must
property interest” and that “the deprivation occurred without
See, Pro’s Sports Bar & Grill, Inc. v. City of
Country Club Hills, 589 F.3d 865, 870 (7th Cir. 2009).
the Court is at loss to figure out how Johnson lost “property”
(and what this property may be) or wages from his encounter with
the Posen Police Department.
But even assuming that whatever
Johnson has not alleged what process was due him but was denied
by the Posen Police Department.
Padula v. Leimbach, 656 F.3d 595, 601 (7th Cir.
reasonable inference that the police officer who stopped him
lacked reasonable cause for doing so.
His only description of
Perhaps Johnson is asserting that this is too long of
a time for a police officer to be following somebody, but that
assertion does not state a cognizable violation of Johnson’s
See, United States v. Jones, 565 U.S. 400, 412 (2012)
(“This Court has to date not deviated from the understanding
that mere visual observation does not constitute a search. . . .
[Accordingly,] a person traveling in an automobile on public
thoroughfares has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his
quotation marks, and alteration omitted).
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Or perhaps Johnson is
claiming that in the course of following him this long, the
officer was bound to witness some minor traffic violation which
he then used as a pretext to stop Johnson.
However, the Supreme
Court has approved of such policing tactics.
Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806 (1996).
In sum, the Court finds that even when liberally construed,
Johnson’s Complaint does not state a claim upon which relief can
The Complaint fails to make out both a municipal
“policy” and an underlying constitutional violation for which
Defendant Posen Police Department may be held liable.
For the reasons stated herein, the Court grants the Motion
and dismisses Johnson’s Complaint without prejudice.
does not amend his Complaint within twenty-one (21) days from
the date of this Order, the dismissal will convert automatically
into a dismissal with prejudice.
Harry D. Leinenweber, Judge
United States District Court
Dated: December 16, 2016
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