HOFFMAN et al v. JACOBI et al
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S SECOND MOTION TO DISMISS - 128 Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED and Jerome F. Jacobi is hereby DISMISSED from this action. See Order for details. Signed by Judge Sarah Evans Barker on 4/22/2016. (LBT)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
NEW ALBANY DIVISION
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S SECOND MOTION TO DISMISS
This cause is before the Court on Defendant Jerome Jacobi’s second motion to
dismiss [Docket No. 128], filed December 8, 2015. For the reasons explained in this
Order, we GRANT Defendant’s motions.
On February 18, 2014, eight current and former probationers and participants in
the Clark County Drug Treatment Court operated by the Clark Circuit Court No. 2.
commenced this suit as a proposed class action, alleging that:
Defendants intentionally planned and executed policies…that
caused the systematic deprivation of [Plaintiffs’] liberty
without due process of law guaranteed by the Fifth and
Fourteenth Amendments…includ[ing] jailing Plaintiffs and
those similarly situated for extended periods of time without
counsel. Notice or hearing before a neutral and detached
hearing officer, and without the corresponding opportunities
to appear and present evidence, confront and cross-examine
adverse witnesses, or receive a written finding as to the
evidence relied upon and the reasons that they were to remain
incarcerated. Additionally, certain Defendants arrested these
individuals in the absence of legal authority, resulting in
violations of their Fourth Amendment right to be free of
unlawful and unreasonable seizures.
Dkt. 1 ¶¶ 2–3.
On June 5, 2014, one of the named defendants, Judge Jerome F. Jacobi, filed a
motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim,
arguing that although he was the presiding judge of Clark Circuit Court No. 2 and the
Clark County Drug Treatment Court at the time of the incidents alleged in the First
Amended Complaint, the claims against him in his official capacity should be dismissed
as moot given that Plaintiffs sought only declaratory relief against him and he was no
longer the presiding judge of the Clark County Drug Treatment Court. Dkt. 38, 39. We
denied Judge Jacobi’s motion, holding that while his evidence established that the
Indiana Judicial Center had temporarily suspended the Clark County Drug Treatment
Court in February 2014, it failed to establish how long the suspension lasted, which
judge, if any, currently presided over the drug court, or whether Judge Jacobi—who at
the time was still the presiding judge of Clark Circuit Court No. 2—had or would resume
his duties over the drug court. Dkt. 73 at 6. We thus ruled that absent a showing of Judge
Jacobi’s permanent replacement and/or a showing of the permanent abatement of the
alleged practices by the court, Judge Jacobi’s mootness argument was premature. Id.
On April 8, 2014, before any Defendant had answered the Complaint, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended
Complaint adding eight new Plaintiffs and one new Defendant. See Dkt. 17.
On September 2, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification on which
Magistrate Judge Hussmann issued an R&R recommending that the motion be granted
with regard to the claims for injunctive relief and denied with regard to the claims for
damages. Dkt. 118. Defendants objected to R&R and designated evidence indicating that
“the Clark County Drug Treatment Court officially ended operations on June 25, 2015
upon the graduation of [the] final active participant.” Dkt. 124-1. Thus, on December 8,
2015, we sustained Defendants’ objection and denied Plaintiffs’ motion for class
certification due to the fact that “the need for injunctive or declaratory relief as a recovery
in this litigation ha[d] become moot.” Dkt. 127 at 2.
Immediately following our denial of class certification, Defendant Jacobi filed his
second (and unopposed) motion to dismiss, arguing that the official-capacity claims
against him should be dismissed as moot given that the Clark County Drug Treatment
Court had officially ended operations in June 2015 and because he had entered into an
agreement with the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications affirming that he
would not “seek nor accept judicial office at any time in the future and that he is not
currently serving in any judicial capacity.” Dkt. 129 at 3.
Because Defendant seeks dismissal on the basis of a jurisdictional issue, we weigh
his motion to dismiss according to the standard provided by Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1). See Discovery House, Inc. v. Consol. City of Indianapolis, 970 F.
Supp. 655, 657–58 (S.D. Ind. 1997). In ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(1), we “must accept the complaint’s well-pleaded factual allegations as true and
draw reasonable inferences from those allegations in the plaintiff’s favor.” Franzoni v.
Hartmax Corp., 300 F.3d 767, 771 (7th Cir. 2002). We may, however, “properly look
beyond the jurisdictional allegations of the complaint and view whatever evidence has
been submitted on the issue to determine whether in fact subject matter jurisdiction
exists.” Capitol Leasing Co. v. F.D.I.C., 999 F.2d 188, 191 (7th Cir. 1993).
The doctrine of mootness derives from the jurisdictional limits imposed by Article
III of the Constitution, which mandates that federal courts “may only adjudicate actual,
ongoing controversies.” Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305, 317 (1988). Accordingly, federal
courts must abjure decision on a question that has been rendered moot by intervening
factual events in order to avoid issuing “advisory” opinions in violation of Article III. See
Deakins v. Monaghan, 448 U.S. 193, 199 (1988). “A case is rendered moot when the
issues presented are no longer ‘live’ or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the
outcome.” City of Erie v. Pap’s A.M., 529 U.S. 277, 287 (2000) (citations omitted).
Where dismissal is sought on grounds of mootness, “[i]t is the defendant’s burden
to prove that the offending activity has stopped and will not be repeated before a court
may dismiss an action for mootness.” Nat’l People’s Action v. City of Blue Island, Ill.
594 F. Supp. 72, 73 (N.D. Ill 1984) (citing United States v. W.T. Grant Co., 345 U.S. 629,
633 (1953)). At the time of Judge Jacobi’s first motion to dismiss, he presented the Court
with evidence establishing that, on February 14, 2014, the Indiana Judicial Center
immediately and temporarily suspended the Clark County Drug Treatment Court’s
operations and that the Judicial Center had replaced Judge Jacobi with Judge Vicki
Carmichael. Dkts. 39-1, 39-2. However, he failed to establish whether the drug court’s
operations had since been reinstated, which judge, if any, currently presided over the
court’s operations, or whether Judge Jacobi himself—who was still in office as presiding
judge of Clark Circuit Court No. 2.—had or would resume his duties over the drug
court’s operations. See Dkt. 73. We thus found that he failed to meet his burden of
establishing that the offending activity had stopped and would not be repeated, and,
therefore, denied his motion. Dkt. 73.
Since that time, Defendants have designated evidence establishing that the Clark
County Drug Treatment Court officially ended operations in June 2015, see dkt. 124-1,
and that Judge Jacobi has entered into an agreement with the Indiana Commission on
Judicial Qualifications affirming that he no longer holds any judicial office and will not
seek nor accept any judicial office any time in the future. See Dkt. 129.
Having established that Defendant no longer holds judicial office and will not in
the future, the burden shifts to Plaintiffs, who seek only declaratory relief against him in
his official capacity, to demonstrate that Judge Jacobi’s successor in office will continue
the relevant policies of her predecessor. See Kincaid v. Rusk, 670 F.2d 737, 741 (7th Cir.
1982). In such a case, the suit may continue and Judge Carmichael may be substituted for
Judge Jacobi pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(d). See e.g., Rowe v. Davis,
373 F. Supp. 2d 822, 828 (N.D. Ind. 2005).
However, as we stated in our Order denying class certification, in light of the
evidence that the Clark County Drug Treatment Court officially ended operations in June
2015, “the need for injunctive or declaratory relief as a recovery in this litigation has
become moot.” Dkt. 127 at 2. Moreover, Plaintiffs have not opposed or responded to
Judge Jacobi’s second motion to dismiss for mootness; thus, we have no reason to
continue this suit against Defendant Jacobi or his successors.
For the reasons explained above, Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss [Docket No.
128] is GRANTED and Jerome F. Jacobi is hereby DISMISSED from this action.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Douglas Alan Hoffman
Jonathan Paul Nagy
INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL
James Michael Bolus, Jr.
JAMES M. BOLUS, JR. P.S.C.
R. Jeffrey Lowe
KIGHTLINGER & GRAY, LLP-New Albany
Whitney Elizabeth Wood
KIGHTLINGER & GRAY, LLP-New Albany
Brian P. Butler
LAW OFFICE OF BRIAN BUTLER
Michael A. Augustus
MICHAEL A. AUGUSTUS, PSC
David A. Arthur
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
SOERGEL LAW OFFICE PLLC
Rosemary L. Borek
STEPHENSON MOROW & SEMLER
Wayne E. Uhl
STEPHENSON MOROW &
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