Aslani v. McCarthy
MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order: Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 7/6/2017. Mailed notice (mma, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
Case No. 16 C 10476
On June 21, 2017 this Court issued its very brief memorandum order -- an order based on
its review of the supporting memorandum filed by defendant Renee McCarthy ("McCarthy") to
be dismissed from the Amended Complaint filed by counsel for plaintiff Maryam Aslani
("Aslani") against McCarthy and several other governmental defendants -- that modified this
Court's June 20 memorandum order that had directed Aslani to respond to McCarthy's motion for
her dismissal. That second memorandum order called for an accelerated response to one of the
grounds advanced in McCarthy's motion: a contention asserting absolute immunity from suit
based on the Eleventh Amendment, on the premise that she was a state employee acting within
the scope of her duties as such. On the same June 21 date Aslani's counsel J. Nicolas Albukerk
("Albukerk") filed a motion to withdraw as Aslani's counsel.
After this memorandum order had been dictated, transcribed and edited and was ready for
issuance, this Court received from its courtroom deputy via e-mail a letter from Aslani
complaining about her problems with Albukerk about his fees. That is not of course a subject to
be addressed by this Court. It simply grants Albukerk's motion for leave to withdraw, for it
consistently views such motions (whether by a lawyer seeking withdrawal or by a client seeking
to discharge a lawyer designated to represent that client under this District Court's trial bar
program for pro se plaintiffs) as the equivalent of no-fault divorce. As for Aslani, she is ordered
to obtain new counsel or to decide to represent herself pro se on or before August 2, 2017, and a
status hearing is set for 9 a.m. on that date.
Meanwhile this Court has learned that Albukerk had filed a response to McCarthy's
motion on the Eleventh Amendment issue on June 28 (Dkt. No. 36), even though -- as stated
earlier -- Albukerk had filed his motion to withdraw a week earlier. As Albukerk would have it,
the Complaint's pejorative charges that McCarthy had acted in excess if her authority placed her
outside of the protective mantel of Eleventh Amendment immunity.
But McCarthy's reply to that response (Dkt. No. 40) has torpedoed that argument, both
because Aslani's own Amended Complaint ¶ 43 (drafted by Albukerk) and Illinois caselaw
confirm that McCarthy was acting within the scope of her employment, so that she is shielded by
Eleventh Amendment immunity. Hence her motion to be dismissed as a defendant is granted.
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: July 6, 2017
Nunc Pro Tunc June 28, 2017
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