191 F.3d 457 (7th Cir. 1999), 97-4150, Terrill v. Oleson

Docket Nº:97-4150.
Citation:191 F.3d 457
Party Name:Brian J. TERRILL and Roger Easley, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Shane A. OLESON, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:July 30, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 457

191 F.3d 457 (7th Cir. 1999)

Brian J. TERRILL and Roger Easley, Plaintiffs-Appellants,


Shane A. OLESON, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 97-4150.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

July 30, 1999

Submitted July 29, 1999. [*]

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA7 Rule 53 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. No. 97-CV-4061. Michael M. Mihm, Judge.

Before Hon RICHARD A. POSNER, Chief Judge, Hon. JOEL M. FLAUM, Hon. ILANA DIAMOND ROVNER, Circuit Judges.


Brian J. Terrill and Roger Easley brought suit alleging a plethora of constitutional violations arising from the events leading to their convictions for possessing drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana. The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint. Terrill and Easley appeal. We affirm.


We accept as true the facts alleged in the complaint. In May 1995, Geneseo, Illinois, police officer Shane A. Oleson stopped Terrill and Easley because their car had a broken tail light and Terrill, the driver, had failed to signal a turn. After Oleson informed them they were free to go, Oleson changed his mind and summoned fellow officers Larry Dawson and Michael Gawrysiak. Within minutes Dawson and Gawrysiak arrived on the scene with a drug detecting dog. The dog alerted, and the officers searched the trunk of the automobile. The search uncovered hundreds of pipes, a few screens, a scale, a small amount of marijuana, and a number of hemp-based products, all of which the officers confiscated along with the vehicle and a camcorder. Terrill and Easley allege that the officers illegally arrested them and that Henry County States Attorney Ted Hamer illegally prosecuted them. Terrill and Easley also allege that state Judges Clarke Barnes and Jay Hanson lacked jurisdiction, but tried them anyway, all the while refusing to appoint counsel. They further allege that Judge Hanson denied them due process by, among other actions, arbitrarily denying their motions and altering transcripts of various hearings.

In May 1997, Terrill and Easley sued police officers Oleson, Dawson, Gawrysiak; Judges Barnes and Hanson; prosecutor Hamer; the City of Geneseo; Henry County and the State of Illinois. Terrill and Easley allege constitutional violations arising from their initial detention, the search of their car, their arrests, prosecutions, and the confiscation of their property. On the defendants' motions to dismiss, the district court found the claims barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 114 S.Ct. 2364 (1994), absolute judicial immunity, qualified prosecutorial immunity, and the Eleventh Amendment.


In their appellate brief, Terrill and Easley do not present any arguments that the district court erred in dismissing their claims arising from the seizure of their car and camcorder, or their claims against the City of Geneseo. Consequently, Terrill and Easley have abandoned any objection to the dismissal of these claims. Doherty v. City of Chicago, 75 F.3d 318, 323 (7th Cir.1996). Although Terrill and Easley briefly mention their claims against the State of Illinois, that is all they do. Merely alluding to a claim is insufficient; appellants are required to make fully-developed arguments supported by citation to legal authority. Fed. R.App. P. 28(a)(9); Gagan v. American Cablevision, Inc., 77 F.3d 951, 965 (7th Cir.1996). Likewise, Terrill and Easley have failed to make minimally complete and comprehensible arguments as to why they believe the district court erred in dismissing their claims against Hamer and Henry County, and so they have forfeited any appellate review of these claims as well. Gagan, 77 F.3d at 965; United States ex rel. Verdone v. Circuit Court, 73 F.3d 669, 673 (7th Cir.1995). With respect to their other claims, we review the dismissal of a complaint de novo, accepting as true all well-pleaded allegations, and construing all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Hentosh v. Herman M. Finch Univ. of Health Sciences/The Chicago Med. Sch., 167 F.3d 1170, 1173 (7th Cir.1999).

Terrill and Easley contend that the district court should not have dismissed their claims that the defendant police officers did not have reasonable suspicion to detain them or probable cause to conduct the search or make the arrests. The district...

To continue reading