513 F.2d 83 (7th Cir. 1975), 74-1337, Boyd v. Adams

Docket Nº:74-1337.
Citation:513 F.2d 83
Party Name:Vertia BOYD, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Raymond ADAMS et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:March 27, 1975
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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513 F.2d 83 (7th Cir. 1975)

Vertia BOYD, Plaintiff-Appellant,


Raymond ADAMS et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 74-1337.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

March 27, 1975

Heard Jan. 8, 1975.

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David C. Thomas, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff-appellant.

Richard L. Curry, Corp. Counsel, Jerome A. Siegan, Asst. Corp. Counsel, Bernard Carey, State's Atty., John A. Dienner, III, Asst. State's Atty., Chicago, Ill., for defendants-appellees.

Before SWYGERT, CUMMINGS and SPRECHER, Circuit Judges.

CUMMINGS, Circuit Judge.

This complaint was filed under the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1988) seeking damages for illegal arrest and search, unlawful imprisonment and physical brutality. The defendants were the arresting police officers,

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Raymond Adams and Richard Hofman, then Chicago Superintendent of Police Conlisk, the City of Chicago, then State's Attorney of Cook County Hanrahan, and Assistant State's Attorney Paul S. Kayman.

The complaint alleges that at 2:30 p. m. on February 9, 1972, plaintiff was a passenger in an automobile driven by Tommy Jones. The other passengers were Donald Jones and William Taylor. They were driving to Austin High School in Chicago to pick up the mother of the Jones brothers. After circling the school, the automobile was stopped by the defendant police officers who were in plain clothes and driving an unmarked police car. The policemen searched the three male occupants of the automobile and the automobile itself and found nothing incriminating. Plaintiff refused to be searched. She alleges that the defendant police thereupon "pushed her violently against the Jones vehicle, then grabbed her and pushed her over to their police car. They shoved her violently against the police car as well, all the while using abusive language toward her and threatening her." Plaintiff claims that at all times relevant to the complaint she was pregnant. She was then arrested and transported to the Austin Police Station and eventually to the Central Police Station where she was incarcerated for five hours while charges of disorderly conduct and resisting a police officer in the performance of his duty were preferred against her. Plaintiff alleges that the assault upon her caused a miscarriage in September 1972.

Plaintiff appeared in court on June 7, 1972, for trial of the charges brought against her by police officer Adams. Defendant Assistant State's Attorney Kayman purportedly agreed to dismiss the charges on the condition that she execute a release of the police officers and the City of Chicago for liability. The release was attached to the complaint, but plaintiff claims that it was executed under duress, coercion and fear of further punitive and harassing action. 1

In addition to the damages sought, plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that the release she executed was void and unenforcible and also sought an injunction against the practice of exchanging a dismissal of criminal charges for a release from civil liability. Finally, the district court was asked to enjoin the State's Attorney and his assistant from prosecuting plaintiff and from taking any other retaliatory action.

In a memorandum opinion, the district court granted the City's motion to dismiss and Superintendent Conlisk's motion for summary judgment, and those rulings are not involved in this appeal. In that opinion, the district court also granted the State's Attorney's and Assistant State's Attorney's motion to dismiss on immunity grounds before our decision in Hampton v. City of Chicago, 484 F.2d 602 (7th Cir. 1973), certiorari denied, 415 U.S. 917, 94 S.Ct. 1413, 39 L.Ed.2d 471, was released. 364 F.Supp. 1180 (N.D.Ill.1973). In a subsequent, unreported memorandum opinion, the district court held the release valid and dismissed the claim against the two policemen.

Prosecutorial Immunity

The district court relied upon our opinion in Littleton v. Berbling,468 F.2d 389, 409-410 (7th Cir. 1972), reversed on other grounds sub nom. O'Shea v. Littleton,

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414 U.S. 488, 94 S.Ct. 669, 38 L.Ed.2d 674, and the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employee Tort Immunity Act, Ill.Rev.Stat., Ch. 85, § 1-101 et seq. (1969), in concluding that defendants Hanrahan and Kayman were immune from suit under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act. The court thereupon dismissed the action as against the two prosecutors. We agree that the then State's Attorney and his assistant are immune from monetary liability for damages under Section 1983 because dismissing the charges in exchange for the release was within the "quasi-judicial" function of the prosecutor and not among the "investigatory activities normally performed by laymen, such as police officers." Hampton v. City of Chicago, supra, 484 F.2d at 608; Tyler v. Witkowski, 511 F.2d 449, 450-451 (7th Cir. 1975). 2

While this Court agrees that defendant prosecutors are immune from liability for the compensatory and punitive damages sought, a different question is presented by plaintiff's prayer for injunctive relief forbidding the future exchanging of dismissals for releases from liability and preventing further prosecution of plaintiff or other retaliatory conduct by the prosecutors. The district court never discussed this aspect of the case. 3

Prosecutorial immunity is a derivative of judicial immunity. Littleton v. Berbling, supra, 468 F.2d at 408-410; Robichaud v. Ronan, 351 F.2d 533, 536 (9th Cir. 1965). In Jacobson v. Schaefer, 441 F.2d 127 (7th Cir. 1971), a case dealing with judicial immunity, this Court said:

"We point out again that we are applying the judicial immunity doctrine only to damage suits against judges. The...

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