prosecution, or conspiracy, and that these claims are unfounded.
As noted above, the validity of the search in question must
also be deemed established by his lawful arrest and subsequent
conviction. Accordingly, his claim of an unlawful search is also
There remains Palma's individual claim against the police
officers. Basically, this involves an action for deprivation of
his right not to be subject to an unreasonable search and illegal
arrest. There is no question that he has presented a claim upon
which relief might be granted under section 1983 of the Civil
Rights Act. See Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 81 S.Ct. 473, 5
L.Ed.2d 492 (1961).
The prior criminal adjudication, in which Palma was found not
guilty of the gambling charge that arose from his arrest,
provides no reliable basis for judging this claim. While it might
be inferred from Palma's acquittal that there was no probable
cause for his arrest, one could also interpret his acquittal to
simply mean that the state failed to prove his guilt beyond a
reasonable doubt. The courts have almost unanimously held that
there is no necessary preclusive effect to be given an acquittal
in a subsequent civil action.*fn32 Preclusion is clearly
inappropriate in this instance.
Similarly, the undisputed facts presently before the Court are
insufficient to disclose whether cause existed for the arrest of
Palma. Factual issues still exist as to this matter and the
plaintiff is entitled to the benefit of any doubt. See Moutoux v.
Gulling Auto Electric, Inc., 295 F.2d 573, 576 (7th Cir. 1961).
Summary judgment, therefore, cannot properly be entered on this
To summarize the conclusions reached herein, we hold that since
the state court criminal proceedings necessarily determine that
the phones in question were being used for an illegal purpose, no
cause of action under the Civil Rights Act may be maintained by
any of the plaintiffs based on their removal. Further, we hold
that Frank Mamolella's conviction precludes him from maintaining
any action under the Act based solely on the fact that he was
We do not hold that a conviction bars any and all civil rights
actions in connection therewith. If the contention is, for
example, that excessive force was used in his arrest or he was
illegally detained, etc., the person convicted may nevertheless
seek redress for any such deprivation. No such claim is here
made. The final state court adjudication of guilt does, however,
preclude relitigation of that question and any claim of
deprivation of civil rights predicated solely on the alleged
falsity of the arrest or impropriety of the conviction.
Finally, we conclude that Palma has alleged a cause of action
which is not precluded by any prior judicial determination.
Whether or not the police conduct under all the circumstances
constituted a deprivation of his civil rights remains to be
determined in the light of the evidence adduced at trial.
For the foregoing reasons, it is clear that all of the claims
against the defendants are unfounded, except possibly the claim
of Palma against the individual defendants for unlawful arrest.
The motion of defendant Illinois Bell for summary judgment must
be granted. The motion of defendants, Powers, Healy, McGann, and
Tobin for summary judgment must be granted in part and denied in
part. An appropriate order will be entered.