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Home / Case Digests / 01-2395 Ienco v. City of Chicago

01-2395 Ienco v. City of Chicago

“In [Newsome v. McCabe, 256 F.3d 747 (7th Cir. 2001)], we withdrew dicta in four of our previous opinions – which had each been understood to permit Section 1983 malicious prosecution claims but bar similar claims asserting that defendants’ actions violated due process rights. Newsome clarified the proper analysis, by holding that Section 1983 provides a remedy for certain forms of trial-based government misconduct based on violations of due process – not claims of malicious prosecution. Specifically, we held that ‘claims of malicious prosecution should be analyzed not under the substantive due process approach [embodied by the malicious prosecution formula], but under the language of the Constitution itself.’ Newsome, 256 F.3d at 751. Newsome teaches that, under these circumstances, the plaintiff must allege that the officers withheld information or evidence necessary for the fair and impartial trial guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Ultimately, we held that Newsome’s constitutional claim of malicious prosecution failed as a matter of law. Nonetheless, we recognized that Newsome did have a federal due process claim – that taking the facts as alleged ‘he did not receive a fair trial if the prosecutors withheld material exculpatory details.’ Newsome, 256 F.3d at 752.”

“Because our decisions prior to Newsome had been reasonably read to foreclose a due process action under facts similar to those in this case, we did not penalize Newsome for failing to convincingly argue such a cause of action at summary judgment. Similarly, under the facts of this case and the law at the time, Ienco had only one valid constitutional claim to pursue – malicious prosecution. After Newsome, Ienco still has only one timely constitutional claim to pursue – but it is for a violation of his due process rights under the 14th Amendment. Because Newsome was an intervening change in the law that benefits Ienco, he is entitled to take advantage of it on remand. See, e.g., Molnar v. Booth, 229 F.3d 593, 599 (7th Cir. 2000). On remand, Ienco should be permitted to amend his complaint to include allegations relevant to a viable due process claim under Newsome.”

“True, Ienco’s complaint made bare-bones allegations about the City’s customs and policies-in general. However, Ienco introduced no material evidence at summary judgment that Officers Angarone or McGann were acting pursuant to an official custom or policy of the City of Chicago. We also note that nowhere has Ienco suggested that the actions of Officers Angarone or McGann extended beyond their role in his particular case. See Williams v. Heavener, 217 F.3d 529, 532 (7th Cir. 2000) (‘Ordinarily, one incident is not sufficient to establish a custom that can give rise to Monell liability.’) Therefore, we affirm judgment as to the City.”

Affirmed in part, and reversed in part.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Castillo, J., Williams, J.


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