suspect for Robbery #1? That question must be answered in the affirmative.
DeLaurentis arrested Yattoni for one crime on the basis of a positive identification by the victim. Proof of Yattoni's non-involvement in another crime did not directly undercut Nawa's identification. Nor did it cast such powerful circumstantial doubt on the identification as to render unreasonable DeLaurentis' belief in Yattoni's guilt based on that identification. After all, there were other logical explanations for the discrepancy besides Yattoni's total innocence. To name just one such explanation, there could have been two K-car bandits, working in cahoots but using the same stolen car.
Yattoni argues that DeLaurentis was fully aware of all the K-car robberies and investigations. But to grant that inference actually tends to make Yattoni's case even weaker. Descriptions of the criminal in the full range of incidents pegged his age at anywhere from 20 to 30, his weight at anywhere from 160 to 210, and his height at anywhere from 5' 9" to 6' 5" (Yattoni Ex. G). Thus if DeLaurentis really did share other police departments' knowledge of related incidents, he had ample reason to believe that more than one criminal was involved. It would follow that an exculpation of Yattoni in the Arlington Heights robbery would have little if any effect on the reasonable belief that Yattoni had committed the Oakbrook Terrace robbery.
In short, DeLaurentis' belief that Yattoni robbed Nawa was objectively reasonable as a matter of law, both on the day that he obtained the warrant and on the day that he executed it. This conclusion holds even if DeLaurentis had some nagging degree of internal doubt as to Yattoni's guilt in the Nawa crime. It also holds even if Yattoni were granted the inference that DeLaurentis initially suspected Yattoni of committing all the K-car robberies. DeLaurentis is therefore entitled to a summary judgment on Yattoni's Section 1983 claim.
State Law Claims
No independent basis of federal jurisdiction now exists over Oakbrook Defendants that would entitle this Court to hear Yattoni's false arrest and malicious prosecution claims against them as an independent matter. However, Section 1367(a) now permits federal courts to adjudicate such state-law claims against parties not otherwise subject to federal jurisdiction so long as those claims:
are so related to claims in the action within [the court's] original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of the United States Constitution.
Here the record makes it clear that the Waukegan and Oakbrook Terrace police departments shared information and, to a certain extent, acted in concert with one another. Their actions can fairly be said to form part of the same Article III case or controversy, entitling this Court to retain jurisdiction over the Oakbrook Defendants as to the state-law claims.
But that merely leads to the inevitable dismissal of Yattoni's remaining claims. Burghardt v. Remiyac, 207 Ill.App.3d 402, 406, 565 N.E.2d 1049, 1052, 152 Ill. Dec. 367 (2d Dist. 1991) (citations omitted) teaches:
The existence of probable cause is a complete defense to a malicious prosecution cause of action. An arrest under a judicially issued arrest warrant cannot give rise to a false imprisonment claim.
Probable cause is defined under state law just as it is under federal law (id.) As already stated, DeLaurentis had probable cause to obtain the warrant and to make the arrest. Thus the malicious prosecution claim must fail. And the issuance of the warrant defeats the false imprisonment claim as well. Oakbrook Defendants are entitled to a summary judgment on both state-law claims.
This is a troubling case. Detective DeLaurentis emerges free of Section 1983 liability, but with an undeniable cloud cast over his credibility (see n.5) as well as his policing skills. Yattoni has every right to be angry that DeLaurentis did not investigate more carefully before proceeding to arrest him. Police conduct that outrages those affected by it, however, does not necessarily offend the Constitution. Something worse than sloppy police work is required--a special degree of egregiousness, a level of utter carelessness and abuse of power not present on these facts--before Section 1983 can ease the victim's pain.
As to the Section 1983 claim, then, there is no genuine issue of material fact, and DeLaurentis is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. DeLaurentis and Oakbrook Terrace are equally entitled to a judgment on Yattoni's state law claims. They are dismissed as defendants to this action.
Counsel for Yattoni and for Waukegan Defendants are ordered to appear for a status conference at 9:00 a.m. on September 30, 1992 to discuss the future course of this case. Counsel for Oakbrook Defendants are directed to appear at the same time to discuss the potential for entry of an order effecting the finality of their dismissal under Rule 54(b) (see, e.g., National Metalcrafters v. McNeil, 784 F.2d 817, 821 (7th Cir. 1986)).
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: September 10, 1992