Thompson v. Vill. of Monee

CourtUnited States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
Citation110 F.Supp.3d 826
Docket NumberNo. 12–cv–5020,12–cv–5020
Parties Kenneth N. Thompson, Sr., Plaintiff, v. The Village of Monee, John Cipkar, Stephen Crescenti, James Jones, and Michael Drumm, Defendants.
Decision Date17 June 2015

Douglas B. Harper, The Law Office of Douglas B. Harper, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff.

Michael D. Bersani, Tony Salvatore Fioretti, Zrinka R. Davis, Hervas, Condon & Bersani, P.C., Itasca, IL, for Defendants.


AMY J. ST. EVE, District Court Judge:

On February 27, 2014, Plaintiff Kenneth N. Thompson, brought a nine-count Fourth Amended Complaint against Defendants Village of Monee, individual Monee police officers and Monee's Chief of Police alleging deprivation of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as state law claims. (See R. 120, ¶¶ 64–69 (Count III—Excessive Force); id., ¶¶ 70–77 (Count IV—Unreasonable Search and Seizure); id., ¶¶ 97–102 (Count VIII—Monell Claim); id., ¶¶ 70–77 (Count IX—Statutory Indemnification)).1 This Court has original jurisdiction over Plaintiff's constitutional claims and supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1367(a). Before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment as to Counts III, IV, VIII and IX brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a). For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendants' summary judgment motion.

I. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1

Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1"is designed, in part, to aid the district court, ‘which does not have the advantage of the parties' familiarity with the record and often cannot afford to spend the time combing the record to locate the relevant information,’ in determining whether a trial is necessary." Delapaz v. Richardson, 634 F.3d 895, 899 (7th Cir.2011) (quoting Waldridge v. Am. Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 924 (7th Cir.1994) ). Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide "a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue." Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir.2009) (quoting L.R. 56.1(a)(3) ). The nonmoving party must file "a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon." Id. (quoting L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B) ). The nonmoving party also may submit a separate statement of additional facts that requires the denial of summary judgment, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon to support those facts. See L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C) ; see also Ciomber v. Coop. Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 635, 643–44 (7th Cir.2008).

The purpose of Rule 56.1 statements is to identify the relevant admissible evidence supporting the material facts, not to make factual or legal arguments.See Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir.2006) (finding Rule 56.1 statements incompliant when they fail to adequately cite the record and are filled with irrelevant information, legal arguments, and conjecture"). The Court may disregard statements and responses that do not properly cite to the record. See Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., LLC, 401 F.3d 803, 809–10 (7th Cir.2005). Moreover, the requirements for responses under Local Rule 56.1 are "not satisfied by evasive denials that do not fairly meet the substance of the material facts asserted." Bordelon v. Chicago Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs., 233 F.3d 524, 528 (7th Cir.2000). "[D]istrict courts are entitled to expect strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1." Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 604 (7th Cir.2006).

At the outset, the Court notes that Plaintiff's statement of additional facts references and provides a copy of the Use of Force Policy from the Monee Police Department Policy Manual. (See R.203, Defs' Response to Pltf's Rule 56.1 Statements of Addt'l Facts, ¶¶ 26, 27.) Defendants admit the statements made regarding the policy, but argue that they are "immaterial because this Court denied Thompson's motion to add a Monell policy claim." (Id. ) The Court denied Plaintiff's motion to file an amended complaint to conform to the pleadings (R. 193) due to concerns of prejudice to Defendants whom, at that time, had already filed summary judgment. (See R. 196, Minute entry of March 10, 2015.) To the extent Plaintiff relies on the Use of Force Policy as a basis for its Monell claim in its Rule 56.1 Statement, the Court will not consider it here. The Court will, however, consider the Vehicle Towing Policy—also a subject of Plaintiff's motion to conform the pleadings—but only to the extent that Defendants have affirmatively put the policy at issue by relying on it in their summary judgment motion as it relates to Plaintiff's claim of unreasonable search and seizure of Thompson's vehicle. (See R.171, at 9; R.190, Pltf's Response to Defs.' Rule 56.1 Statement, ¶¶ 53–58.)

II. Relevant Facts

At all times relevant to the Fourth Amended Complaint,2 Plaintiff Thompson was a resident of the Village of Monee and Defendants Drumm, Crescenti, and Jones were police officers with the Monee Police Department. (Stmt. of Undisputed Facts, ¶ 1, 2.)3 Defendant Cipkar became Chief of Police for the Village of Monee around April 2011 when Chief Caruso's term ended. (Id., ¶ 3; R.121, Answer, ¶ 5.) Defendant Village of Monee is a municipal corporation of the State of Illinois. (Stmt. of Undisputed Facts, ¶ 4.)

A. June 26, 2010 Incident—Officers Crescenti and Jones

Officers Crescenti and Jones were dispatched to Thompson's residence after an abandoned 911 call registered from his address. (Stmt. of Undisputed Facts, ¶ 7.)4 Officer Crescenti was the first to arrive at the scene. (Id., ¶ 9.) As Officer Crescenti approached the area, he was met by Thompson's vehicle at the stop sign at Maple Court and Winfield Road. (Id., ¶¶ 10, 11; Stmt. of Addt'l Undisputed Facts, ¶ 2; see also Ex. F, Aerial Photograph.) Maple Court is the name for the cul-de-sac leading to Thompson's residence. (Stmt. of Undisputed Facts, ¶ 12.) As Thompson drove away from the cul-de-sac with three female passengers, he flagged down Officer Crescenti. (Id., ¶ 13.) Thompson exited his car and told Officer Crescenti that the women had threatened him with hammers and he wanted them out of his car. (Id., ¶ 14.) Officer Crescenti called out on the radio for backup officers to "push it," meaning to respond to the location quickly. (Id., ¶ 15.) Officer Crescenti wanted backup officers on the scene in case the situation escalated because he was not fully aware of the circumstances surrounding Thompson's assault complaint. (Id., ¶ 16.) Officer Jones arrived at the scene and spoke briefly with Officer Crescenti, Thompson, and the three women—who were now outside of the vehicle. (Id., ¶¶ 17–18.) While Officers Jones and Crescenti tried to speak with the women and investigate the assault allegation, Thompson yelled over the officers' efforts. (Id. ¶ 19.) Officer Jones advised Thompson to stop talking and stay put while he spoke with the women. (Id., ¶ 20.) Instead, Thompson got back into his vehicle and left the scene, driving in reverse. (Id., ¶ 21.) At that time, Officers Jones and Crescenti had no reason to believe that Thompson had committed a crime. (Stmt. of Addt'l Undisputed Facts, ¶¶ 8, 10.)

B. June 26, 2010 Incident—Officer Drumm

Officer Drumm was on a traffic stop, wearing a police uniform and driving a marked Monee squad car, when he heard the dispatch of the abandoned 911 call and Officer Crescenti's call for a faster backup. (Stmt. of Undisputed Facts, ¶¶ 22, 23.) Officer Drumm terminated the traffic stop and immediately responded to the intersection of Maple Court and Winfield Road. (Id., ¶ 24.) What followed is largely undisputed, as the events were captured by a camera mounted on the dashboard of Officer Drumm's squad car. As Officer Drumm pulled up to the intersection he saw Thompson driving in reverse and saw Officer Jones motioning and saying "Make that guy come back here". (Id., ¶ 25; Stmt. of Addt'l Undisputed Facts, ¶ 5.) When Officer Drumm received the instruction from Officer Jones at the intersection, Officer Drumm had no reason to believe that Thompson was the suspect fleeing from the scene of a crime. (Stmt. of Addt'l Undisputed Facts, ¶ 7.) Officer Drumm activated his squad car emergency lights and pursued Thompson's vehicle. (Stmt. of Undisputed Facts, ¶ 26.) Officer Drumm turned on his spotlight and shined it on Thompson's vehicle and, recognizing Thompson from previous encounters, used his PA system to specifically order him—by name—to stop the vehicle. (Id., ¶¶ 27, 28; Stmt. of Addt'l Undisputed Facts, ¶ 12.) Thompson appeared to stop his vehicle, which now faced Officer Drumm's squad car. (Id., ¶ 29.) As Officer Drumm drove around Thompson's vehicle and positioned his squad car in the cul-de-sac in an effort to block it, Thompson did not stop, but drove his car into his driveway and pulled forward into his open garage. (Id., ¶¶ 30, 31.) In response, Officer Drumm pursued Thompson's vehicle and pulled into the driveway. (Id., ¶ 32.) Officer Drumm was the only officer with Thompson and he did not know the circumstances surrounding Thompson's prior interaction with Officers Crescenti, Officer Jones, and the three females at the intersection. (Id., ¶ 33.) Nor did Officer Drumm know why Thompson left the scene. (Id .)

C. The June 26, 2010 Arrest

After Thompson drove into his open garage, he exited his vehicle and advanced toward Officer Drumm with his hands at his sides. (Stmt. of Undisputed Facts, ¶¶ 31, 37.) Officer Drumm did not know whether Thompson had any weapons on his person or in the car or garage, or whether there were any other people in the vehicle or in the open garage. (Id., ¶ 34.) Officer Drumm exited his squad car with his service weapon drawn and walked toward...

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