Boyce v. Fitzgerald et al
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)
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,
JAMES FLUMMER, and
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
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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.
Dated: September 9, 2021
DAVID W. DUGAN
United States District Judge
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