600 F.3d 742 (7th Cir. 2010), 09-1516, London v. RBS Citizens, N.A.
|Citation:||600 F.3d 742|
|Opinion Judge:||MANION, Circuit Judge.|
|Party Name:||Carolyn LONDON, et al., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. RBS CITIZENS, N.A., et al., Defendants-Appellees.|
|Attorney:||Aron D. Robinson (argued), Chicago, IL, for Plaintiffs-Appellants. Martin J. Bishop (argued), Foley & Lardner, LLP, Chicago, IL, for Defendants-Appellees.|
|Judge Panel:||Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and MANION and EVANS, Circuit Judges.|
|Case Date:||April 01, 2010|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit|
Argued Dec. 3, 2009.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Judgment creditor Chase Bank filed a citation under Illinois law seeking to discover any assets of judgment debtors Andrew and Carolyn London that Charter One Bank had in its possession. After being served with the citation, Charter One froze the funds in the Londons' checking account, some of which were Social Security benefits. When the Londons demanded that Charter One release their Social Security monies, which are exempt from attachment under federal and Illinois law, the bank refused. Although the citation was soon dismissed and their funds unfrozen, the Londons sued the Charter One defendants in federal court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim for which relief could be granted, and the Londons appeal. We affirm.
Andrew and Carolyn London sued RBS Citizens, N.A., Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, and Citizens Financial Group, Inc. d/b/a Charter One Bank, N.A. (collectively " Charter One" ) in the Northern District of Illinois, alleging the following facts in their complaint. In 2004, Chase Bank (which is not a party to this case) obtained a judgment against the Londons. On March 26, 2008, at Chase's request the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, issued a Citation to Discover Assets that named the Londons as defendants and Charter One as third-party respondent. The citation stated that Chase was owed money on the 2004 judgment against the Londons and directed Charter One to appear at a hearing on April 28, 2008, so that Chase could discover any of the Londons' property in Charter One's possession. In addition, the citation prohibited Charter One " from making or allowing any transfer or other disposition of, or interfering with, any property not exempt from execution or garnishment" that belonged to the Londons until further order of the court or termination of the proceedings. Significantly, a notice included with the citation indicated that " Social Security and SSI benefits" were exempt funds. The citation also warned Charter One that failure to comply could result in a judgment against it for any unsatisfied amount of the judgment. Chase served the citation and the notice on Charter One.
The Londons maintained several accounts with Charter One, one of which was a checking account. Both Mr. and Mrs. London received monthly Social Security benefit deposits in the checking account via electronic funds transfer (" EFT" ). Charter One's records designated these EFT deposits as Social Security payments from the United States Treasury. In February and March 2008, several deposits were posted to the Londons' checking account, some of which were Social Security EFTs. On April 10, Charter One informed the Londons that it had been served with the citation and was freezing their accounts. Charter One also assessed a $50 processing fee for its trouble. Mrs. London visited the bank on April 14 and 15 and demanded that it unfreeze the Social Security funds in her checking account; Charter One refused. On April 16, a Social Security deposit for $1721.50 was added to the Londons' checking account. A few days later (April 21), Mrs. London returned to the bank and asked it to release the funds from that deposit. Charter One declined her request. Then, on April 23, a $687 Social Security deposit
was made to the checking account. Mrs. London demanded the release of that deposit, too, but was again rebuffed by Charter One. As a result of Charter One's freezing of the checking account, several checks and bank drafts written by the Londons were refused and returned due to non-sufficient funds, for which the bank assessed various fees.
The Londons claim that the defendants were acting under color of state law when, without...
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