Judge Andersen Dismisses Excessive Force Claim Against The Town Of Cicero

In a Memorandum, Opinion and Order dated March 15, 2007, Northern District of Illinois Judge Wayne R. Andersen has dismissed plaintiff Rodolfo Sanchez's excessive force claim against the Town of Cicero. The court noted that "in order to successfully plead a cause of action against a municipality under 42 U.S.C. 1983, the plaintiff must allege unconstitutional conduct by a municipal employee that was perpetrated according to a municipal 'policy' or 'custom' and which directly caused plaintiff's injury," citing Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978). In dismissing the excessive force claim against the Town of Cicero, the court stated: "The plaintiff's first amended complaint fails to meet the pleading requirements for a section 1983 claim against a municipality. Plaintiffs have failed to allege that the unconstitutional conduct of the municipal police officers was perpetrated according to any policy or custom of the Town of Cicero. There are no allegations as to an express policy of the Town of Cicero endorsing excessive force by the police. There are also no allegations that use of excessive force is a widespread practice within the Town of Cicero police department amounting to a well-settled custom. Finally, plaintiffs have not alleged their unconstitutional deprivations were a result of the conduct of an individual with final policymaking authority in the Town of Cicero." The full opinion can be found at 2007 WL 844588. The Town of Cicero was represented by Kevin Horan and James Novy of the law firm of Rock Fusco, LLC.
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