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MOATS v. VILLAGE OF SCHAUMBURG

March 14, 1983

EUGENE MOATS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PRESIDENT AND REPRESENTATIVE OF LOCAL 25, SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION; VIVIAN CRAWFORD, AND CINDY YOUNG, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE VILLAGE OF SCHAUMBURG, HERBERT AIGNER, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PRESIDENT OF THE VILLAGE OF SCHAUMBURG; ROBERT HAMMOND, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS CHIEF OF POLICE OF THE VILLAGE OF SCHAUMBURG; J. HENRY, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS POLICE OFFICER OF THE VILLAGE OF SCHAUMBURG; JAN BIERMAN, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PROSECUTING ATTORNEY OF THE VILLAGE OF SCHAUMBURG; J. EMIL ANDERSON & SON, INC., A CORPORATION; DONALD SHEPSON; AND W. JOHN BOYD, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William T. Hart, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs in this action are Eugene Moats ("Moats"), individually and as a representative of Local 25, Service Employees International Union ("Union"), and two members of the Union, Vivian Crawford ("Crawford") and Cindy Ann Young ("Young"). The "public defendants"*fn1 include the Village of Schaumburg ("Village"), a municipality located in Cook County, Illinois; Herbert Aigner ("Aigner"), President of the Village; Robert Hammond ("Hammond"), chief of the Village police; and Joseph Henry ("Henry"), a Village police officer.*fn2 In Counts III and IV, Young and Crawford allege that Henry falsely arrested them and used excessive force to effect Crawford's arrest. They also claim that the Village, Aigner and Hammond negligently or intentionally trained and supervised Henry in arrest procedures and failed to discipline Henry for his alleged use of unlawful practices. Finally, the plaintiffs in Counts III and IV charge a conspiracy among the public defendants to deprive them of their constitutional and statutory rights in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1985(3). Jurisdiction is asserted thereto and under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Money and punitive damages are sought.*fn3

Presently before the Court is a motion by the public defendants to dismiss the complaint or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, summary judgment is granted to each public defendant on the false arrest and excessive force claims and the section 1985(3) claim is dismissed.

FACTS

On February 4, 1982, Crawford and Young parked their car in a lot adjacent to the 1000 Plaza Drive Building in Schaumburg, Illinois. The building is managed by J. Emil Anderson & Son, Inc., through its agents, W. John Boyd ("Boyd") and Donald Shepson ("Shepson"). It is undisputed that Crawford and Young then distributed leaflets on behalf of the Union. The site of the distribution is contested, however. Crawford and Young now claim that they passed Union literature to motorists on a public street. To the contrary, Boyd says that leafletting occurred on private property under his control. In fact, Boyd reported the alleged incident to the Schaumburg Police, which relayed the complaint to Henry in his patrol car. The dispatcher's message allegedly recited: that a labor dispute was in progress at 1000 Plaza Drive; that the building's manager would sign a complaint for criminal trespass; that on other occasions the Union had been asked to leave the premises; and that two women in a red and white car were the subjects of the instant complaint.

Arriving at the parking lot, Henry spotted the red and white car. He found Crawford and Young inside and questioned them. Crawford admits in her affidavit*fn4 that she lied to Henry by denying any Union activity that day, either on private or public property. Instead Crawford told Henry that she was on the premises to wait for her daughter-in-law and grandson. After talking to Crawford, Henry talked to Boyd, who had come onto the parking lot with Shepson. Boyd expanded the story which had been given to Henry by radio dispatch: that the building had been having labor problems; that Union members had been on the property before, occasionally going inside and annoying people and partially obstructing doorways; that Union members had been warned that if they continued to come onto the premises, a trespass complaint would be filed; that Crawford and Young had passed out leaflets on the building's property that day; and that Boyd would sign a complaint for the arrest of Crawford and Young.

Crawford says that after Henry talked to Boyd, Henry accused her of lying. It is unclear whether Crawford actually admitted her lie to Henry on February 4, 1982, i.e., that she had been passing out Union literature. Although Crawford now admits to leafletting on a public thoroughfare, she neither admits nor denies Boyd's allegation that she had been leafletting on private property. Rather, the focus of Crawford's affidavit in opposition to summary judgment is her assertion that at no time was she warned orally or in writing that entry onto the parking lot was prohibited. She also says that she was not given an opportunity to leave the lot after it became apparent that her presence was unwelcome. Nor, she says, did Henry even ask her if she had been so warned.*fn5

Henry arrested Crawford and Young without an arrest warrant. He professes to a good faith belief that probable cause to arrest them for trespass existed. Henry handcuffed Crawford and Young and took them to the Village police station. Boyd came to the station and signed the complaint. Crawford says that the cuffs were unnecessary since she did not resist arrest, and that they were used to humiliate her and Young. She also says that Henry roughly twisted and pulled her arm behind her. Henry has not specifically responded to Crawford's allegation of excessive force, except to say that in arresting the plaintiffs he "acted without malice, spite or ill will."

Crawford and Young were charged, held for about two hours and released. Subsequently the case against them was dismissed.

DISCUSSION

A. False Arrest

Crawford and Young claim to be victims of false arrest because they think that it was unreasonable for Henry to believe that they had committed a trespass. In Illinois, the crime of trespass has two prongs: (1) entering or remaining on another's land and (2) notice to depart. Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 38, § 21-3(a) (1982). See also People v. Gregorich, 71 Ill.App.3d 255, 27 Ill. Dec. 555, 389 N.E.2d 619 (5th Dist. 1979). In order to establish a criminal trespass, actual notice of prohibited entry must be given. See, e.g., People v. Ulatowski, 54 Ill.App.3d 893, 10 Ill.Dec. 688, 368 N.E.2d 174, 177 (4th Dist. 1977). Where, as here, an arrest is warrantless, the arrest is justified only if, based on the totality of the circumstances, the arresting officer had a reasonable basis for believing that a crime had been committed or was in progress. See also People v. Walls, Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 38 § 107-2(c) (1982); 87 Ill.App.3d 256, 42 Ill.Dec. 347, 408 N.E.2d 1056 (1st Dist. 1980).

It is Crawford's and Young's position that, since they allegedly had no notice of prohibited entry or a reasonable chance to depart the premises, no trespass occurred. This Court, however, is not asked to decide whether the State of Illinois can successfully prosecute Crawford and Young for criminal trespass or whether there was probable cause to sustain a warrantless arrest. Rather, the issue here is whether Henry, in arresting Crawford and Young, violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

  Section 1983, in pertinent part provides: Every
  person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
  regulation, custom, or usage, of any State . . .
  subjects or causes to be subjected, any citizen of
  the United States . . . to the deprivation of any
  rights, privileges, or immunities ...

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