796 F.3d 749 (7th Cir. 2015), 14-1490, D.Z. v. Buell

Docket Nº:14-1490
Citation:796 F.3d 749
Opinion Judge:Bauer, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:D.Z., by his Next Friend, A. Thompson, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MARK BUELL, Defendant-Appellee
Attorney:For D. Z., by his Next Friend, A. Thompson, Plaintiff - Appellant: Christopher C. Cooper, Ph. D., Attorney, LAW OFFICE OF CHRISTOPHER COOPER, INC., Chicago, IL. For MARK BUELL, Defendant - Appellee: Robert Andalman, Brandon DeBerry, Attorney, A& G LAW LLC, Chicago, IL.
Judge Panel:Before BAUER, FLAUM, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:August 06, 2015
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
SUMMARY

D.Z., a minor, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming that, Evanston Police Officer Buell, violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment when he detained D.Z. in connection with a reported burglary. The district court granted Buell summary judgment, finding that Buell’s stop of D.Z. was supported by reasonable suspicion and that, assuming that D.Z.’s detention amounted to a custodial arrest,... (see full summary)

 
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796 F.3d 749 (7th Cir. 2015)

D.Z., by his Next Friend, A. Thompson, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

MARK BUELL, Defendant-Appellee

No. 14-1490

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

August 6, 2015

Argued November 14, 2014

Page 750

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 12 C 7580 -- Daniel G. Martin, Magistrate Judge.

AFFIRMED.

For D. Z., by his Next Friend, A. Thompson, Plaintiff - Appellant: Christopher C. Cooper, Ph. D., Attorney, LAW OFFICE OF CHRISTOPHER COOPER, INC., Chicago, IL.

For MARK BUELL, Defendant - Appellee: Robert Andalman, Brandon DeBerry, Attorney, A& G LAW LLC, Chicago, IL.

Before BAUER, FLAUM, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

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Bauer, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff-appellant, D.Z., a minor, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that defendant-appellee, Evanston Police Officer Mark Buell (" Buell" ), violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment when he detained D.Z. in connection with a reported burglary. Buell moved for summary judgment, raising, inter alia, the defense of qualified immunity. The district court granted Buell's motion, finding that Buell's stop of D.Z. was supported by reasonable suspicion and that, assuming that D.Z.'s detention amounted to a custodial arrest, Buell was entitled to qualified immunity because he had arguable probable cause to arrest D.Z. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On August 30, 2012, a resident in Evanston, Illinois, reported that she had observed a burglar in her home. She described the intruder to a police dispatcher as a " young boy, African American, [wearing] cargo khaki shorts, dark brown T-shirt or [a] dark shirt." Additionally, she told the dispatcher that she had observed the intruder running northbound down an alley. The dispatcher relayed the description of the intruder on the police dispatch radio, describing the suspect as a " black male, probably in his teens, wearing a dark shirt, and khaki cargo shorts."

Buell, in addition to several other Evanston police officers, heard the broadcast while he was driving with a fellow officer, Russell Brown. Upon hearing the broadcast, which did not include any detail about the direction of flight that the suspect took, the officers drove toward the location of the burglary. As they were searching in the area, one of them noticed an individual on a bicycle matching the suspect's description at a nearby intersection heading east. After notifying the police dispatcher of the sighting, the officers attempted to catch up to the cyclist but were unable to do so. Shortly thereafter, the dispatcher sent out a second description of the suspect, describing him as " a male, black juvenile with a dark shirt and khaki, uh, shorts or pants, cargo pants." Another officer alerted dispatch that he had spotted an individual on a bicycle at an intersection just south of the victim's house. The officer stopped the individual and detained him until the burglary victim could come to the scene for a " show up." When she arrived, however, she stated that the person who had been stopped was not the individual who had entered her home. The officer radioed to say that no other units were needed, and the search continued.

Around the same time, Officer Amy Golubski reported a suspect riding a bicycle near Chute Middle School, which is located less than a half mile south of the scene of the burglary. She described the cyclist--D.Z.--as riding a blue bike and wearing " cargo shorts [unidentifiable] dark navy or black ... [and] a light gray tank top, blue cap." Golubski was directed by someone over the radio to " put a stop" on the individual, so she exited her vehicle and pursued D.Z. on foot. Ultimately, Golubski was unable to catch up to D.Z., who rode his bike through the field in front of the school (a shortcut that he regularly took to get home). Buell heard Golubski on the radio state that she could not catch the suspect and spotted Golubski heading back quickly to her car. Both Buell and his partner stated that Golubski sounded out of breath over the radio, leading them to believe that D.Z. had tried to evade her.

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Buell then attempted to catch D.Z. by turning down a nearby street. He spotted D.Z. riding his bicycle and turning into the driveway of a home located less than a half mile from the victim's home. Buell stated that he saw D.Z. turn and look in his direction, before getting off his bike and heading to a fence at the top of the driveway. Unaware that the residence was D.Z.'s own, Buell sent out a radio dispatch that the suspect was " cutting through the yards," then exited his vehicle and pursued D.Z. on foot. Buell stated that he saw D.Z. put his hands on the fence, which led Buell to conclude that D.Z. was trying to flee. Buell ordered D.Z. to stop and put his hands up, an order that D.Z. promptly obeyed, and Buell placed him in handcuffs. Buell subsequently brought D.Z. to the front of the driveway and radioed for the burglary victim to be brought to the scene for another " show up." The victim arrived shortly thereafter and stated that D.Z. was not the intruder, at which point D.Z. was released.

D.Z. brought this action against Buell, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Buell violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment when he detained him on August 30, 2012. D.Z. also alleged various state-law claims against Buell and brought suit against the City of Evanston, alleging a " failure to train" claim, pursuant to Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978), and several state-law claims. D.Z. voluntarily dismissed his Monell claim against the City of Evanston and moved for summary judgment on his Fourth Amendment claims against Buell, which the district court denied. Buell also moved for summary judgment, raising the defense of qualified immunity as to D.Z.'s Fourth Amendment claims and state-law immunity as to D.Z.'s state-law claims. The district court granted Buell's motion for summary judgment, finding that Buell had reasonable suspicion to stop D.Z. and, assuming that D.Z.'s detention amounted to a custodial arrest, that Buell was entitled to qualified immunity because he had arguable probable cause to arrest D.Z. As to D.Z.'s state-law claims against Buell, the district court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction and dismissed those claims without prejudice. This appeal followed.

II. DISCUSSION

D.Z. contends that the district court improperly granted summary judgment to Buell on his § 1983 claims. He argues further that the district court erred in not considering the testimony and affidavits of his proffered expert. We review de novo the district court's grant of summary judgment. Catlin v. City of Wheaton, 574 F.3d 361, 365 (7th Cir. 2009). Summary judgment is appropriate when, after viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, the court finds that there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. We also review de novo a qualified immunity determination, Siliven v. Ind. Dep't of Child Servs., 635 F.3d 921, 925 (7th Cir. 2011), and review the district court's decision not to consider the testimony of D.Z.'s expert witness for an abuse of discretion, Good Shepherd Manor Found., Inc. v. City of Momence, 323 F.3d 557, 564 (7th Cir. 2003).

A. Qualified Immunity

" Qualified immunity protects public officials from liability for damages if their actions did not violate clearly established rights of which a reasonable person would have known." Catlin, 574 F.3d at 365. Neither party disputes that D.Z.'s constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizure was clearly established at the time of the incident. Thus, since the law was

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clear...

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