Gaddis v Zanotti
ORDER granting 58 Motion to Dismiss: The remaining claims, and the entire action are dismissed with prejudice. The Court directs the clerk to enter judgment accordingly. Signed by Judge David W. Dugan on 9/16/2022. (dsw)
Case 3:19-cv-00781-DWD Document 61 Filed 09/16/22 Page 1 of 3 Page ID #266
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
DONALD D. GADDIS,
Case No. 19-cv-781-DWD
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
DUGAN, District Judge:
This matter is before the court on Defendant Brandon Zanotti’s Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. 58). For the reasons that follow, the motion is due to be GRANTED.
This Section 1983 action arises out of two criminal prosecutions brought against
Donald Gaddis by the Williamson County State’s Attorney’s Office (18-cf-383 and 18-cf685). In both criminal matters, the Williamson County State’s Attorney’s Office sought to
have the judge order Gaddis to obtain a mental health evaluation and treatment as a
condition of his release on bond.
On July 19, 2019, Gaddis filed suit against Defendant Brandon Zanotti, State’s
Attorney for Williamson County, Illinois. Gaddis alleged that Zanotti was denying him
his constitutional right to bail and was retaliating against him for exercising his First
Amendment rights. He sought to certify a class of similarly situated criminal defendants
(individuals who were denied their right to bail when they were required to submit to a
mental health evaluation at their expense without justification) (Count I – Violation of
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Right to Bail). He also brought individual claims for retaliation (Count II), false arrest
(Count III), and for the appointment of a special prosecutor for his criminal cases (Count
IV). The Complaint sought monetary, injunctive, and declaratory relief.
On October 30, 2020, the Court entered an order striking Gaddis’s class allegations
and dismissing Count III as barred by the Eleventh Amendment and by prosecutorial
immunity (Doc. 37). In addition, Counts I and II were dismissed to the extent that Plaintiff
sought money damages. Accordingly, following entry of the order, all that remained
were Gaddis’s claims for injunctive and declaratory relief in Counts I, II, and IV. The
Court also stayed the case in its entirety pending resolution of Mr. Gaddis’s underlying
criminal actions. In June 2022, following the death of Mr. Gaddis, the stay was lifted and
Marleis Trover, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Donald Gaddis, was
substituted as the plaintiff of record (Docs. 55, 56, 57).
Defendant now moves for dismissal of the action. Defendant contends that Mr.
Gaddis’s suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief abated upon his death. See Roberson
v. Wood, 500 F. Supp. 854, 858-59 (S.D. Ill. 1980) (damages for declaratory and injunctive
relief are purely personal in nature and do not survive a party’s death). Marleis Trover
has responded to the motion to dismiss, stating that she consents to entry of an order
dismissing the case with prejudice, and that she intends to assess whether the Court’s
order, entered on October 30, 2020, dismissing the claims for money damages, should be
Having considered the pending motion, the relevant case law, and counsel’s
response to the same, the Court finds that the remaining claims do not survive Mr.
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Gaddis’s death. Accordingly, the remaining claims, and this entire action, are dismissed
with prejudice. The Court DIRECTS the clerk of court to enter judgment accordingly.
Dated: September 16, 2022
DAVID W. DUGAN
United States District Judge
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