Kristofek v. Village of Orland Hills

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Section 1983 Action
Case Number: 
No. 12-2345
Decision Date: 
March 11, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Reversed and remanded
Dist. Ct. erred in dismissing for failure to state cause of action plaintiff-police officer’s section 1983 action alleging that defendant terminated him in retaliation for plaintiff protesting fact that others in police dept. allowed individual, whom plaintiff had arrested on traffic violations, to go free only because said individual was politically connected. While Dist. Ct. found that plaintiff’s speech was not protected by First Amendment since his sole motive in making protest was to protect himself from civil and criminal liability, and thus did not pertain to matter of public concern, dismissal was not warranted where complaint contained allegations that plaintiff had mixed motive that included desire to bring about change in dept. that extended beyond his own personal interests. Plaintiff also stated similar viable cause of action against Village where allegations in complaint suggested that Chief of Police, who terminated plaintiff, had essentially de facto authority to set hiring and firing policy.