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FLOOD v. O'GRADY

September 17, 1990

JOHN J. FLOOD, PATRICIA MARY FLOOD and MARY JOSEPHINE FLOOD, Plaintiffs,
v.
JAMES O'GRADY, JAMES DVORAK, EARL JOHNSON, ROY PETERS and RICHARD SIMON, Defendants


Marvin E. Aspen, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: ASPEN

MARVIN E. ASPEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Plaintiffs have sued the defendants, the Sheriff of Cook County and other high-ranking officials in his administration *fn1" for damages and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 (1982). Specifically, plaintiffs charge violation of free speech and other infringements arising out of alleged incidents of intimidation and harassment. The defendants move for summary judgment, which, for the reasons set forth below, we deny in part and grant in part.

 Factual Background

 John Flood is President of the Combined Counties Police Association (CCPA), a union representing police officers in Cook County and various northern Illinois municipalities. In that capacity, Flood occasionally writes for the union's magazine, and is sometimes interviewed by the mainstream press. He remains on leave of absence from the Cook County Sheriff's office, as he has since the early 1970s.

 His wife, Patricia Flood, works as an administrator in the union office. His daughter, Mary Flood, an 18-year-old college student, resides with her parents in Northbrook, Illinois, and has done clerical work for the union on a part-time basis.

 The plaintiffs' complaint details four incidents of alleged intimidation and harassment either carried out or ordered by the defendants. These incidents, they maintain, came in response to Flood's open and public criticism of the sheriff's office, and Sheriff O'Grady in particular.

 The first incident took place on October 18, 1989, the same day that Flood was quoted in the Chicago Tribune story. Three men arrived unannounced at the Flood home in Northbrook at about 7:40 p.m. Flood asked them what they wanted. The men showed him Cook County Sheriff's office badges, and told Flood that Simon had sent them to pick up Flood's deputy sheriff's credentials. *fn2" Flood informed them that he had returned those credentials to O'Grady personally, and asked them to leave. Both Patricia and Mary Flood either saw or overheard Flood's exchange with the three men.

 The second incident occurred the following day, October 19, 1989. Flood received a letter at home from James Hogan, personnel director for the Cook County Sheriff's office. Hogan requested the return of Flood's deputy sheriff's credentials, and threatened arrest and prosecution if Flood did not comply. Flood promptly informed Hogan, as he had informed the men who came to his house the previous evening, that he had already returned the badge.

 The third incident took place on October 27, 1989 at a luncheon attended by law enforcement professionals. O'Grady swore at Flood and told him to turn his credentials in or he would be arrested.

 The fourth and final incident transpired during a raid on the New Junction Lounge, a restaurant and bar in Dixmoor, Illinois. While conducting the raid, led by defendant Peters, Cook County Sheriff's deputies found several completed petitions supporting Flood's nomination as the Democratic candidate for sheriff. Defendant Johnson, contacted by phone from the Lounge, instructed the deputies to remove the petitions and take them to a nearby sheriff's office.

 Summary Judgment

 Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is appropriate if "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). This standard places the initial burden on the moving party to identify "those portions of 'the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986) (quoting Rule 56(c)). Once the moving party has done this, the non-moving party "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). All inferences that can be drawn from the evidence presented are drawn in favor of the non-moving party-in this instance, the plaintiffs. Matsushita Elec. ...


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