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MYATT v. CITY OF CHICAGO

November 24, 1992

MICHAEL MYATT, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARVIN E. ASPEN

 MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge:

 Plaintiff Michael Myatt ("Myatt") brings this action against the City of Chicago ("City"), the Board of Trustees of Community College District No. 508 ("Board") and individual defendants Clarence Lewis ("Lewis") and Ronald McInerney ("McInerney") for violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, assault and battery, and various pendent state claims. Although this action is ready for trial, there are several preliminary motions before this Court. The City, later joined by the Board and the individual defendants, has moved to bifurcate the proceedings. *fn1" In his response to the bifurcation motion, plaintiff offered to proceed on only the Monell "code of silence" claim against the City if the trial were not bifurcated. *fn2" The City then moved for summary judgment on the "code of silence" claim. *fn3" Additionally, the City also moved to strike certain paragraphs from plaintiff's 12(n) statement of additional facts. Finally, Lewis, McInerney, and the Board request that this court, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), grant summary judgment in their favor on Counts II, III, and VI of Myatt's complaint in their entirety, and on Count V as it applies to McInerney. For the reasons set forth below, we grant the defendants' motion for bifurcation, deny the City's motion for summary judgment on the "code of silence" claim, grant summary judgment for the individual defendants and the Board on Counts II and VI, and deny summary judgment on Counts III and V.

 I. Summary Judgment Standard

 Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), summary judgment is appropriate where there is no genuine issue of material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In determining whether to grant summary judgment, a court must view the record and all possible inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655, 82 S. Ct. 993, 994, 8 L. Ed. 2d 176 (1962); Williams v. Williams Electronics, Inc., 856 F.2d 920, 922 (7th Cir. 1988). Summary judgment should be denied "where there is reason to believe that the better course would be to proceed to a full trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 255, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2513, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986).

 II. Factual Background

 Lewis and McInerney are Chicago police officers employed by the Board as security officers at Wright College ("Wright"), where Myatt is a student. Both individual defendants knew that the other was a Chicago police officer. On October 11, 1989, Lewis and McInerney were on duty as security officers at Wright. Lewis had been recommended for the security job by his supervisor. As college security officers who were also police officers, the two men were authorized to carry weapons and make arrests on college property. *fn4"

 Sometime that afternoon, Myatt attended a basketball practice. After the practice, he was with a group near the men's locker room. At the same time, Lewis and McInerney were investigating a complaint of excessive noise in the hallway. Seeing the group near the locker room, the officers approached and asked the individuals to produce college identification cards. Lewis took the cards, told the students to wait for him outside of the security office, and went upstairs to talk to the basketball coach.

 Instead of waiting near the security office, Myatt and several others went upstairs to complain to the basketball coach that they were being harassed by security officers. The coach, Dennis Lewis, told the men to go home, indicating that he would take care of the matter the next day. Myatt, however, needed his I.D. card in order to go to the library and work on a term paper. Instead of going home, then, Myatt left the coach's office and followed Lewis and McInerney into the gymnasium.

 Once inside the gym, Myatt asked Lewis and McInerney for his I.D. back. Hearing Myatt, Lewis turned around to face him and words were exchanged. The officer then reached out to grab Myatt, who pushed his hands away. Myatt then struck Lewis in the chest with a soft blow.

 A struggle, witnessed by other individuals in the gym, ensued between Lewis and Myatt. At one point, Lewis succeeded in throwing Myatt to the ground and pointed a gun at his head. Additionally, Lewis allegedly slammed plaintiff repeatedly into some pull-out bleachers. At some point during the incident, Lewis told Myatt that he was a police officer and that Myatt was under arrest. *fn5" McInerney did not touch Myatt at any point during this altercation. McInerney did call 911, identify himself as an off-duty police officer, and request that a technical unit and a wagon be sent to Wright. Requesting a technical unit and a wagon constitutes police department procedure. See Police Department General Order 84-3.

 After the altercation subsided, Lewis took Myatt to the college security office. Here, Myatt alleges that Lewis hit him with a gun on the back of his head, hit him in the chest and face, kicked him, and stomped on his stomach and shoulder.

 Lewis signed state criminal complaints charging Myatt with disorderly conduct and battery. Later, Lewis also charged Myatt with criminal damage to property for damages sustained to Lewis' clothing. In April of 1990, Myatt went to trial on the criminal charges. On April 5, 1990, he moved for a directed verdict on the criminal damage charge. The state court granted the motion.

 The court, however, denied Myatt's proposal to instruct the jury on self-defense. After oral argument by the ...


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