Boyce v. Fitzgerald et al

Filing 6

ORDER. For the reasons discussed in the attached Memorandum & Order, Plaintiff's 3 complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice with leave to amend. On or before October 8, 2021, Plaintiff shall file an amended complaint. Signed by Judge David W. Dugan on 9/9/2021. (sth)

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Case 3:21-cv-01086-DWD Document 6 Filed 09/09/21 Page 1 of 3 Page ID #27 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS OLIVIA A. BOYCE, Plaintiff, vs. FITZGERALD, RANDY KERN, JAMES FLUMMER, and MEADOWS, Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. 3:21-cv-1086-DWD MEMORANDUM & ORDER DUGAN, District Judge: Plaintiff Olivia A. Boyce filed this lawsuit on September 2, 2021. (Doc. 3) On the same day, Boyce filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 4) Two matters must be resolved before in forma pauperis status can be granted: the plaintiff must show upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), (e)(2). In her complaint, Boyce claims that Officer Fitzgerald of the Pulaski County ber 19, 2019, that a complaint had been filed against her by Charles Davis and Micah Wyatt and that she would be arrested for trespassing if she came on their property on Baggott Lane or Benjamin Street. (Doc. 3 at 7) On September 29, 2019, she was arrested by an officer from the Pula Case 3:21-cv-01086-DWD Document 6 Filed 09/09/21 Page 2 of 3 Page ID #28 Office for trespassing and disturbing the peace. (Doc. 3 at 17) She claims that she was arrested while attending a Bible study on a property located at 18 Jacob Drive. (Doc. 3 at 17) Boyce alleges that police officers falsely arrested her because she can find no record of a complaint filed against her by Davis or Wyatt and because she was arrested while at a property on Jacob Drive, not Baggott Lane or Benjamin Street. For a plaintiff to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, she must Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). This requirement putting a plaintiff to the paces of pleading some facts gives the defendants enough foreknowledge of what they are being accused of so that they can capably mount a response. See United States ex. rel. Garst v. Lockheed-Martin Corp., 328 F.3d 374, 378 (7th Cir. 2003). A successful claim tends to explain the who, what, when, where, why, and how of each alleged violation. Under the Fourth Amendment and Illinois state law, there are two elements in a claim of false arrest: (1) an arrest (2) without probable cause. Johnson v. Dossey, 878 F. Supp. 2d 905, 917 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 30, 2012). Under this standard, there are several defi alleged that she was arrested on September 19, 2019, without probable cause as to the charge of trespassing. However, she has not clearly alleged who arrested her on September 29, 2019. She has named four defendants, but she has not explained how they participated in her arrest or otherwise violated her civil rights. Boyce has not alleged any facts showing that Officer Fitzgerald or James Flummer participated in her arrest. She has not stated any facts at all about Officer Meadows. And Sherriff Randy Kern is not liable 2 Case 3:21-cv-01086-DWD Document 6 Filed 09/09/21 Page 3 of 3 Page ID #29 for a false arrest made by one of his officers if Kern did not participate in or ratify the See Vinning-El v. Evans, 657 F.3d 591, 592 (7th Cir. 2011). Boyce has also not clearly alleged the legal basis for her claim. The form she used for her complaint indicates that subject matter jurisdiction is invoked under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. From this, the Court infers that Boyce seeks to bring a false arrest claim based on federal law. But she must state clearly if she seeks to bring a false arrest claim based on state law as well. Further, the facts that Boyce alleges support a claim for false arrest only as to the charge of trespassing. She must provide additional facts if she wishes to claim that there was also no basis for her arrest for disturbing the peace. s complaint (Doc. 3) is DISMISSED without prejudice with leave to amend. On or before October 8, 2021, Boyce shall file an amended complaint that clearly explains who arrested her on September 29, 2019, and the laws on which she bases her claim of false arrest. If she cannot provide facts showing that a person participated in her arrest, she should not include that person as a defendant, unless she can show that the defendants violated her civil rights in some other way. If Boyce believes that she was also falsely arrested on the grounds of disturbing the peace, she must provide additional facts in support of that claim. SO ORDERED. Dated: September 9, 2021 ______________________________ DAVID W. DUGAN United States District Judge 3

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