Mutter v. Madigan

Decision Date13 February 2014
Docket NumberCase No. 13–cv–8580
Citation17 F.Supp.3d 752
PartiesZachary M. Mutter, Plaintiff, v. Lisa Madigan (in her official capacity); Rahm Emanuel (in his official capacity); Christopher Kennedy (in his official capacity); The University of Illinois at Chicago; William Rodriguez (in his official capacity); The University of Illinois at Chicago Police Department; and Four Unnamed Members of the UIC Patrol (in their official capacities), Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Northern District of Illinois

Gerardo Solon Gutierrez, Attorney at Law, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff.

Michael T. Dierkes, Deborah Morgan Beltran, Illinois Office of the Attorney General, Jeffrey Scott Nowak, Ellen M. Babbitt, Ellen Frances Wetmore, Franczek Radelet P.C., Chicago, IL, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOHN W. DARRAH, United States District Court Judge

Defendants, the University of Illinois at Chicago; the University of Illinois at Chicago's Police Department; Christopher Kennedy, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois; William Rodriguez, the Associate Dean of Students at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and four unnamed members of the University student patrol (collectively, the University Defendants), move to dismiss Plaintiff Zachary Mutter's Complaint, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). For the reasons presented below, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [18] is granted, and the Complaint is dismissed. Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [21] is denied as moot.

BACKGROUND

Mutter, a former second-year dental student at the College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), has brought a seven-count Complaint against Defendants, alleging violations of his rights under the Second, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, as well as claims for tort and breach of contract. The action stems from UIC's expulsion of Mutter, after Mutter brandished but did not discharge a concealed firearm. Mutter, a nonresident of Illinois, does not hold an Illinois Firearm Owner's Identification (“FOID”) card for the gun, though he does have a valid Commonwealth of Virginia Non–Resident Concealed Handgun Permit.

The following facts are taken from Mutter's Complaint. On October 20, 2013, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Mutter and a fellow student, Natasha Kanchwala, were walking home from the library at Rush University Medical Center, when they witnessed a woman being brutally attacked by a large, unknown assailant, later identified as Kenneth Cambell. (Compl.¶ 4(h).) After Mutter yelled at Cambell to stop, Cambell started running at Mutter and Kanchwala and yelling threatening, racially charged comments at them. (Id ¶ 4(l).) Kanchwala called 911; Mutter then drew his handgun, a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and pointed it at Cambell, demanding that he stop. (Id. ¶ 4(m).) Cambell retreated, got into a car with the woman he had been attacking, and sped off. (Id. ¶ 4(n).) Mutter and Kanchwala continued walking to their apartments until they were confronted and threatened by Cambell again, who pulled up in the same car, parked directly in front of them, jumped out of the car, began screaming at them, and appeared to try to retrieve something from his pocket. (Id. ¶¶ 4(o)(q).)

During this second confrontation, Mutter saw a UIC Patrol vehicle with four unnamed students, acting as UIC patrol officers (the “Four Student Patrol Officers”), and attempted to flag the vehicle down for help. (Id. ¶ 4(r).) In response, the Four Student Patrol Officers locked their vehicle's doors and rolled up the windows. (Id. ¶ 4(s).) As Cambell continued to make his threats, Mutter pulled out his handgun again, causing Cambell to leave the area. (Id. ¶¶ 4(t)(u).) Mutter and Kanchwala called 911 again, and then Mutter walked to his nearby apartment and put his handgun away. The UIC Police subsequently arrived and conducted a preliminary investigation. When Mutter returned to the scene a few minutes later, he was handcuffed and arrested by the UIC Police. (Id. ¶¶ 4(v)(y).) On the request of the UIC Police, Mutter signed a consent form permitting a search of his house, during which the UIC Police retrieved Mutter's handgun and ammunition. The Four Student Patrol Officers signed complaints against Mutter for placing their lives in jeopardy in four separate counts of reckless conduct with a firearm and two counts of aggravated unauthorized use of a firearm. (Id. ¶ 4(x).) The UIC Police later approved the charges, Mutter was processed and fingerprinted, and his firearm was impounded. (Id. ¶ 4(aa).)

On October 25, 2013, Mutter was notified he was being placed on suspension, and, on October 29, 2013, UIC conducted a disciplinary hearing. During the hearing, Mutter was not allowed to speak, to cross-examine witnesses, or otherwise participate in the hearing, pursuant to the Student Disciplinary Handbook. He was permitted to call Kanchwala, who corroborated his version of the facts presented, but was not allowed to call any of the Four Student Patrol Officers. (Id. ¶¶ 4(bb)(ff).) Mutter was thereafter expelled and unenrolled from his classes, with the opportunity to reinstate in 2015. He appealed the decision, which was affirmed in UIC's favor on November 25, 2013. (Id. ¶¶ 4(gg)(hh).)

Mutter filed the instant lawsuit on November 27, 2013. Specifically, his Complaint asserts the following claims against the following Defendants:

• Count 1: violation of right to bear a concealed firearm, pursuant to the Fourteenth and Second Amendments (all Defendants);
• Count 2: wrongful arrest and prosecution in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments (Kennedy, UIC Police and UIC);
• Count 3: claim in tort for failure to adequately train (Kennedy, UIC Police and UIC);
• Count 4: violation of Substantive and Procedural Due Process (Kennedy, Rodriguez and UIC);
• Count 5: slander and libel (Kennedy, Rodriguez, UIC and UIC Police);
• Count 6: claim in tort for unsafe learning environment (Kennedy, Rodriguez, and UIC);
• Count 7: breach of contract (UIC).

(See Compl. pp4–6.) In addition, in Count 1, Mutter seeks declaratory relief from two additional Defendants, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to prevent the enforcement of 720 ILCS 5/24–1.6(C)(3). Mutter also seeks reinstatement as a dental student and monetary damages.

On December 4, 2013, Mutter filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, which this Court denied on December 11, 2013. The University Defendants have moved to dismiss Mutter's Complaint under Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), arguing that Mutter's claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment and that he has failed to state a claim.

LEGAL STANDARD

For purposes of a motion to dismiss under either Rule 12(b)(1) or Rule 12(b)(6), the court accepts all well-pleaded factual allegations as true and construes all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. See, e.g., Scanlan v. Eisenberg, 669 F.3d 838, 841 (7th Cir.2012) ; Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir.2008). A Rule 12(b)(1) motion challenges federal jurisdiction, and the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing the elements necessary for jurisdiction, including standing, have been met. Scanlan, 669 F.3d at 841–42. In ruling on a 12(b)(1) motion, the court may look outside of the complaint's allegations and consider whatever evidence has been submitted on the issue of jurisdiction. Ezekiel v. Michel, 66 F.3d 894, 897 (7th Cir.1995).

A Rule 12(b)(6) motion tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint. Christensen v. County of Boone, 483 F.3d 454, 458 (7th Cir.2007). A complaint must set forth a ‘short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,’ sufficient to provide the defendant with ‘fair notice’ of the claim and its basis.” Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1081 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) ). Although detailed factual allegations are not required, the complaint must allege sufficient facts “to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face” and which “allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955 ). Accordingly, [t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937.

ANALYSIS
Defendants' Motions to Dismiss Under Federal Rule 12(b)(1)

The University Defendants first argue that Mutter's Complaint must be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(1) because his claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment. The Eleventh Amendment states, [t]he Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.” U.S. Const. amend. XI. When properly raised as a defense, the Eleventh Amendment “bars actions in federal court against a state, state agencies, or state officials acting in their official capacities.” Council 31 of AFSCME v. Quinn, 680 F.3d 875, 881 (7th Cir.2012) (quoting Ind. Prot. & Advocacy Servs. v. Ind. Family & Soc. Servs. Admin., 603 F.3d 365, 370 (7th Cir.2010) ); see also Pennhurst State School & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 98, 104 S.Ct. 900, 79 L.Ed.2d 67 (1984).1 There are three exceptions to the state's sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment: (1) a state can consent to a suit; (2) Congress, acting under its constitutional authority, may abrogate immunity in the drafting of a federal law; and (3) the doctrine established by the Supreme Court in Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123, 28 S.Ct. 441, 52 L.Ed. 714 (1908), which “allows private parties to sue individual state officials for...

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1 cases
  • Mutter v. Madigan
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Illinois
    • February 13, 2014

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