600 F.2d 600 (7th Cir. 1979), 77-1698, Hampton v. Hanrahan

Docket Nº:77-1698, 77-1210 and 77-1370.
Citation:600 F.2d 600
Party Name:Iberia HAMPTON et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Edward V. HANRAHAN et al., Defendants-Appellees. UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Honorable Joseph Sam PERRY, Appellee, v. Jeffrey H. HAAS, Attorney at Law, Contemnor-Appellant. UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Honorable Joseph Sam PERRY, Appellee, v. G. Flint TAYLOR, Attorney at Law, Contemnor-Appel
Case Date:April 23, 1979
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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600 F.2d 600 (7th Cir. 1979)

Iberia HAMPTON et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,


Edward V. HANRAHAN et al., Defendants-Appellees.

UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Honorable Joseph Sam PERRY, Appellee,


Jeffrey H. HAAS, Attorney at Law, Contemnor-Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Honorable Joseph Sam PERRY, Appellee,


G. Flint TAYLOR, Attorney at Law, Contemnor-Appellant.

Nos. 77-1698, 77-1210 and 77-1370.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

April 23, 1979

Argued Aug. 14, 1978.

As Amended April 30, 1979.

Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied Sept. 12, 1979.

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Jeffrey H. Haas, G. Flint Taylor, Jr., James D. Montgomery, Dennis Cunningham, Charles Hoffman, Jonathan C. Moore, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiffs-appellants.

John O. Tuohy, Camillo F. Volini, Chicago, Ill., for defendants-appellees.

Before FAIRCHILD, Chief Judge, and SWYGERT and PELL, Circuit Judges.

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SWYGERT, Circuit Judge.

This appeal concerns a civil rights action for monetary damages brought by members of the Black Panther Party and the mothers of two deceased party members against federal and state law enforcement officers. The suit arises from a gun battle which occurred in Chicago during the early morning hours of December 4, 1969. Two Black Panthers were killed and four other Panthers were injured by the gunfire. The action was tried in the district court before a jury in 1976-1977. At the close of plaintiffs' case, the district court directed verdicts for some of the defendants. The district court directed verdicts for the remaining defendants at the conclusion of the trial. We reverse as to most defendants and remand for a new trial.


At 4:30 a. m. on December 4, 1969, fourteen Chicago police officers, detailed to the Special Prosecutions Unit of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, arrived at an apartment building located on the near west side of Chicago. They were equipped with a search warrant issued the previous day by a judge of the Cook County Circuit Court authorizing the search for and seizure of "sawed-off shotguns and other illegal weapons," at the first floor apartment, 2337 West Monroe Street. This apartment was occupied by nine members of the Black Panther Party ("BPP"). Seven officers took "cover" positions at the front and rear entrances of the apartment; seven entered the apartment. Immediately upon the police entry there was an enormous burst of gunfire. Two of the occupants, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, died as a result of the gunfire and four others, Ronald Satchel, Blair Anderson, Brenda Harris, and Verlina Brewer, were wounded. Louis Truelock, Deborah Johnson, and Harold Bell escaped without physical injury.

Many reverberations followed the incident. Among these were the arrest and imprisonment of the surviving occupants of the apartment, their prosecution by the Cook County State's Attorney for criminal offenses, a coroner's inquest, and an internal investigation by the Chicago Police Department. A federal and two state grand jury investigations were initiated. Indictments were returned by the Special Cook County Grand Jury against several of the present defendants for conspiring to obstruct justice. The case terminated when defendants' motions for acquittal were granted at the close of the prosecution's case. Finally, this civil action was initiated.

The mothers of Hampton and Clark, as administratrices of their sons' estates, and the seven survivors of the December 4 incident filed four separate actions in 1970 against a number of city and state defendants. The actions were consolidated in an amended complaint filed in the district court in April 1972. 1

The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint. The district court denied the motions by the fourteen police officers participating in the raid. The court dismissed the complaint as to the remaining defendants. 2 Upon appeal this court affirmed in part and reversed in part. Hampton v. City of Chicago, 484 F.2d 602 (7th Cir. 1973), Cert. denied, 415 U.S. 917, 94 S.Ct. 1413, 39 L.Ed.2d 471 (1974), ("Hampton I "). 3 Thereafter plaintiffs requested this court to

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supplement its mandate by directing that the case be reassigned to another judge for trial. We denied the request.

In December 1974 plaintiffs amended their complaint by naming four additional defendants, all connected with the federal government. In October 1975 plaintiffs moved to have the district judge recuse himself or to reassign the case. The motion was heard by another district judge and was denied.

The trial began January 5, 1976 and lasted approximately eighteen months. Thirty-seven thousand pages of testimony were taken. At the conclusion of plaintiffs' evidence, defendants moved for directed verdicts with costs. The motion was granted except for the seven police officers directly participating in the shooting incident, the court ruling that "no Prima facie case of a conspiracy or joint venture has been established as alleged in the Amended Complaint . . . ." The trial continued as to the seven remaining defendants and at its conclusion the case was submitted to the jury. After three days deliberation the jury announced it was deadlocked. The trial judge then directed verdicts in favor of these defendants and assessed costs against plaintiffs for $100,000. This appeal followed.

During the trial, Jeffrey H. Haas and G. Flint Taylor, attorneys for the plaintiffs, were found guilty of contemptuous conduct in the courtroom. They appeal from the contempt judgments.

The principal issue on appeal is whether the trial judge erred in directing verdicts for the defendants. We are convinced that he did err. Among the other issues presented which we deem necessary to discuss are the breadth of the official immunity available to defendants, the scope of discovery, the circumstances of the issuance of the search warrant, the companion diversity action filed by Verlina Brewer, the attorneys' fees and costs, and the contempt judgments. Before a discussion of the directed verdicts and these other issues, we believe it would be helpful to list the names of the defendants and to summarize the amended complaint.

Federal Defendants

Marlin Johnson Special Agent-in-Charge of Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Robert Piper Supervisor of the Racial Matters Squad of the FBI, Chicago office.

Roy Martin Mitchell Special agent of the FBI, Chicago office, assigned to the Racial Matters Squad.

William O'Neal Paid informant for the FBI.

State Defendants

Cook County State's Attorney's Office

Edward Hanrahan Cook County State's Attorney.

Richard Jalovec Assistant State's Attorney and supervisor of the Special Prosecutions Unit of the State's Attorney's Office.

James Meltreger Assistant State's Attorney.

Sheldon Sorosky Assistant State's Attorney.


Shooters: Daniel Groth, James Davis, Joseph Gorman, George Jones, Raymond Broderick, Edward Carmody, and John Ciszewski.

Nonshooters: William Corbett, Lynwood Harris, Fred Howard, Robert Hughes, Philip Joseph, William Kelly, and John Marusich.

All of the above defendants were Chicago police officers detailed to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Chicago Police Crime Laboratory

David Purtell Director.

John Koludrovic Supervising officer of the Mobile Crime Laboratory Unit.

John Sadunas Firearms examiner.

Chicago Police Department Internal Investigations Division ("IID")

Harry Ervanian Captain, Chicago Police Department, director of IID.

Robert Kukowinski Lieutenant, Chicago Police Department, head of Excessive Force Unit of the IID.

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John Mulchrone Deputy supervisor, Chicago Police Department.

John Meade Sergeant, Chicago Police Department.

The amended complaint contains seventeen counts. For convenience we shall segregate the counts into different categories.

Hanrahan, Jalovec, the raiders, and the four federal defendants are named in Counts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Counts 1 and 2 charge these defendants with intentionally and negligently depriving the occupants of the apartment at 2337 West Monroe Street of their civil rights under the Constitution and under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by participating in the planning and execution of the raid. Count 3 describes a conspiracy to deprive the occupants of the apartment of the equal protection of the laws, violating 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985(3), as well as the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Count 4 alleges, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1986, that these defendants failed to prevent the wrongs perpetrated in violation of section 1985(3).

Counts 5 and 6 are directed against Hanrahan, Jalovec, and the police officers participating in the raid. Count 5 alleges intentional deprivation of the occupants' civil rights by false imprisonment in violation of their First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights and their rights secured under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Count 6 charges a conspiracy for the deprivation of the occupants' civil rights by false imprisonment under the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985(3). Count 7 charges all defendants named in Count 6 and, in addition, Mitchell, Piper, and Johnson, with failing to prevent the alleged conspiracy and illegal acts described in Count 6, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1986.

Count 8 charges all defendants, except O'Neal, with conspiring to deprive the occupants of the equal protection of the laws and their due process rights by malicious prosecution in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985(3). Count 9 charges the same defendants as listed...

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