Roldan v. Town of Cicero, Case No. 17-cv-3707

CourtUnited States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
PartiesLUIS ROLDAN, Plaintiff, v. TOWN OF CICERO, et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberCase No. 17-cv-3707
Decision Date26 March 2018

LUIS ROLDAN, Plaintiff,
TOWN OF CICERO, et al., Defendants.

Case No. 17-cv-3707


March 26, 2018

Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.


Before the Court are the motion to dismiss [25] filed by Assistant State's Attorney Paul Joyce and the County of Cook (together, the "Cook County Defendants") and the motion to dismiss [28] filed by the Town of Cicero, Detective Jason Stroud, Detective John Savage, Detective Eduardo Zamora, Detective Alfred Auriemma, and Detective Attilio Fiordirosa (together, the "Town Defendants"). For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motions to dismiss [25; 28] are granted. To the extent Plaintiff's claims are dismissed without prejudice, Plaintiff is given until April 27, 2018 to file an amended complaint, if Plaintiff believes he can cure the deficiencies identified below. The case is set for status on May 2, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

I. Background1

On March 6, 2011, Plaintiff Luis Roldan was arrested by officers of the Cicero Police Department and was later charged with three counts of criminal sexual assault of J.T. [1, at ¶ 16.] On the night of March 6, 2011, Plaintiff arrived at the home of his friend's aunt, where his friend Abraham Ramos and other individuals—including J.T.—had been drinking vodka. Id. at

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¶¶ 20-22. Plaintiff brought some orange juice, which the group used to make mixed drinks. Id. at ¶ 22. After the group played some drinking games, id., Plaintiff, Ramos, J.T., and one of J.T.'s friends went to Walgreens to get some more orange juice. Id. at ¶ 23. Plaintiff and J.T. kissed inside of the Walgreens. Id. at ¶ 24. J.T. then got into an argument with Ramos outside of the Walgreens. Id. Plaintiff alleges that after this fight, J.T. asked him to have sex with her, and they had sex in his car. Id. at ¶ 25. J.T.'s friends testified that she seemed fine when they subsequently returned to the home of Ramos's aunt. Id. at ¶ 26. J.T. even made a video with one of her friends to post on Facebook. Id. at ¶ 26. The video indicated that J.T. was able to respond to her friend's questions and to walk without difficulty. Id. J.T. later had sex with Ramos in a bathroom. Id. at ¶ 28. Ramos testified that the sex was consensual. Id. After J.T. left the bathroom, she went to lie down in a bed in the home. Id. at ¶ 29. Her parents found her a few minutes later—apparently unconscious and wearing boy's pants—after they were contacted by parents of one of J.T.'s friends.2

Plaintiff and Ramos were charged with three counts of criminal sexual assault, on the theory that J.T. was so intoxicated as to render her unable to willingly consent. J.T. testified that it was her first time drinking. People v. Ramos, 2016 WL 634864, at *1 (Ill. App. Ct. Feb. 16, 2016).3 J.T. also testified that she did not remember anything after she fought with Ramos outside of the Walgreens. Id. at ¶ 31.

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On January 7, 2013, after a bench trial, Plaintiff and Ramos were both found guilty of criminal sexual assault. Id. at ¶ 32. The Illinois Appellate Court reversed both Plaintiff's and Ramos's convictions, finding that the state presented insufficient evidence to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Id. at ¶¶ 33-31.

On May 17, 2017, Plaintiff brought suit against Defendants under § 1983. Plaintiff alleges, upon information and belief, that J.T. had requested Assistant State's Attorney Paul Joyce and/or another assistant state's attorney for assistance in obtaining a U-Visa, which provides temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States for a period of four years. Id. at ¶ 39. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Joyce, Detective Jason Stroud, Detective John Savage, Detective Eduardo Zamora, Detective Alfred Auriemma, and Detective Attilio Fiordirosa all knew about this request but failed to disclose it to the judge or the defense attorneys. Id. at ¶¶ 39-42. Plaintiff purports to bring (1) a § 1983 claim for deprivation of his right to a fair trial and for wrongful conviction, (2) a Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claim for malicious prosecution, (3) a Monell Claim against the Town of Cicero, (4) a Monell Claim against Cook County, and (5) state law claims. Before the Court are the motions to dismiss filed by the Cook County Defendants [25] and the Town Defendants [28].

II. Legal Standard

To survive a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the complaint first must comply with Rule 8(a) by providing "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief," Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), such that the defendant is given "fair notice of what the * * * claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,

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555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)) (alteration in original). Second, the factual allegations in the complaint must be sufficient to raise the possibility of relief above the "speculative level." E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "A pleading that offers 'labels and conclusions' or a 'formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Dismissal for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) is proper "when the allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 558. In reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the Court accepts as true all of Plaintiff's well-pleaded factual allegations and draws all reasonable inferences in Plaintiff's favor. Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A., 507 F.3d 614, 618 (7th Cir. 2007). However, "[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, the well-pleaded facts of the complaint must allow the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct." Langworthy v. Honeywell Life & Acc. Ins. Plan, 2009 WL 3464131, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 22, 2009) (citing McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011)). Evaluating whether a "claim is sufficiently plausible to survive a motion to dismiss is 'a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.'" Id. (quoting McCauley, 671 F.3d at 616).

III. Analysis

As a preliminary matter, there appears to be some confusion among the parties as to what claims are raised by Plaintiff. Plaintiff brings claims titled "Deprivation of Right to Fair Trial and for Wrongful Conviction" (Count I), and "Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment Claim for Malicious Prosecution" (Count II). Defendant Joyce argues that Count I of the complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim, asserting that there is no cause of action for "wrongful

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conviction." All the individual Defendants argue that Count II of the complaint should be dismissed, as the Seventh Circuit presently does not recognize a federal claim for malicious prosecution.

With respect to Count I, Plaintiff responds that he sufficiently has alleged a wrongful conviction claim because the complaint alleges that Defendants failed to disclose material as required by Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87 (1963), and Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), violating Plaintiff's right to a fair trial. Rabe v. United Airlines, Inc., 636 F.3d 866, 872 (7th Cir. 2011). Thus, regardless of how Count I is titled, Plaintiff alleges facts indicating that he seeks to bring a due process claim based on Defendants' alleged failure to disclose information as required by Brady and Giglio.

With respect to Count II, Plaintiff argues that because of the Supreme Court's decision in Manuel v. City of Joliet, Illinois et al., 137 S.Ct. 911 (2017), federal claims for malicious prosecution are now viable in the Seventh Circuit. Before Manuel, Seventh Circuit precedent held that pretrial detention following the start of the legal process could not give rise to a Fourth Amendment claim. Newsome v. McCabe, 256 F.3d 747, 750 (7th Cir. 2001). Although such claims could be brought under the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, a plaintiff bringing such a due process claim would have to show that state law failed to provide an adequate remedy. Fox v. Hayes, 600 F.3d 819, 841 (7th Cir. 2010). The availability of a state-law claim for malicious prosecution foreclosed such a finding. Id. In Manuel, the Supreme Court held that "pretrial detention can violate the Fourth Amendment not only when it precedes, but also when it follows, the start of the legal process in a criminal case." 137 S.Ct. at 918. However, the Supreme Court did not hold that there is a federal claim for malicious prosecution. Rather, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the Seventh Circuit to determine the elements

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of, or rules applicable to, a Fourth Amendment claim challenging pretrial detention after the start of the legal process. Id. at 922. Contrary to Plaintiff's position, the Seventh Circuit has concluded that "nothing in Manuel changed the general rule that the federal constitution does not codify state tort law." Hurt v. Wise, 880 F.3d 831, 843 (7th Cir. 2018). In any event, the fact that Plaintiff has used the terminology "malicious prosecution" is of no moment. What matters is whether Plaintiff has identified the constitutional right at issue. Based on the allegations in the complaint, it appears Plaintiff is seeking to bring a Fourth Amendment claim challenging his arrest and continued detention.

In addition to the claims raised in Counts I and II against the individual Defendants, Plaintiff also brings Monell claims (Counts III and IV) and state-law claims (Counts V and VI) against the Town of Cicero and Cook County. The Court addresses the arguments raised for dismissing each of these claims in...

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