Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

10/27/94 LAWRENCE A. WILLIAMS ET AL. v. KARL NAGEL

October 27, 1994

LAWRENCE A. WILLIAMS ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
KARL NAGEL ET AL., APPELLEES.



Bilandic, Harrison, Freeman

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bilandic

CHIEF JUSTICE BILANDIC delivered the opinion of the court:

The plaintiffs, Lawrence A. Williams, Mansion W. Clark, and Donald F. Merriweather were arrested for criminal trespass to land (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 21-3) when they entered a private apartment complex in Champaign, Illinois, owned by the defendants, the Nagel Group, Inc. The plaintiffs also filed suit against the City of Champaign and two Champaign police officers, alleging that the City had developed a policy of barring persons from the apartment complex in violation of plaintiffs' civil rights. (42 U.S.C. § 1983 (1988).) The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of all defendants. That judgment was affirmed by the appellate court. (251 Ill. App. 3d 176.) We grantedthe plaintiffs' petition for leave to appeal. (145 Ill. 2d R. 315.) For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the appellate court.

FACTS

The Nagel Group, Inc. (Nagel Group), a private corporation doing business as Champaign Housing Associates, owns and operates a multiunit rental apartment complex in Champaign known as Parkside and Mansard Square Apartments (Parkside Apartments). The Nagel Group receives Federal funds in the form of rent subsidies through the office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and abides by HUD's regulations. All tenants residing in the Parkside Apartments are subject to the provisions contained in the lease and the Parkside Apartments rules and regulations. The Parkside Apartments rules and regulations contain the following provision:

"32. BARRED: Management has the right to bar individuals from the property. You must inform your guests of all [Parkside and Mansard Square Apartments] rules and regulations. If rules and regulations are broken by your guests, they may be barred and/or arrested for criminal trespassing. If the rules and regulations are broken by a resident, it is grounds for termination of tenancy."

The management recorded the names of individuals that received the above notice on a "barred list." The Champaign police department and other local police authorities made recommendations to the management of Parkside Apartments to place individuals on the barred list because of their involvement in drug sales or other illegal activity. The following entities served notice to individuals barred from the complex: the Champaign police department, Yale Enforcement Service, Inc. (the security firm employed by Parkside Apartments), and the management of Parkside Apartments.

The barred notice provides that, effective immediately, the recipient of the notice is prohibited fromentering the premises of Parkside Apartments, including the common areas and parking lots, and is subject to arrest for trespass if found on the property. After an individual receives a barred notice, the management of Parkside Apartments decided whether that person's name should be placed on a "no trespass" list. If an individual who has received a barred notice and has also been placed on the "no trespass" list enters the premises of Parkside Apartments, they are subject to arrest for criminal trespass to land. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 21-3.) However, if an individual has only received a barred notice without being named on the "no trespass" list, management will not pursue criminal trespass violations against the individual if he or she enters the property.

The plaintiffs, who are not residents of Parkside Apartments, each received a notice barring them from entering the apartment complex and were subsequently arrested for criminal trespass to land because they entered the premises after they were barred therefrom. In their first amended complaint, plaintiffs claim that various friends and family members who are residents of Parkside Apartments extended open and permanent invitations to them to visit at their apartments. The plaintiffs allege that the barring practice employed by Parkside Apartments violates due process and constitutes impermissible State action because the Champaign police department decided which names should be placed on the "no trespass" list. Plaintiffs also claim that pursuant to section 21-3(c) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 21-3(c)), they had a statutory right to be present in the complex because of the invitations extended to them by certain tenants.

Before trial, the plaintiffs moved for both a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction toforce the Nagel Group to permit them to enter the apartment complex. Upon motion by the defendants, the trial court entered summary judgment in favor of all defendants. The plaintiffs appealed the denial of the temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and the order granting summary judgment in the defendants' favor.

On review, the appellate court determined that the plaintiffs failed to file a timely appeal from the trial court's denial of the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Additionally, the appellate court upheld the trial court's grant of summary judgment in defendants' favor, finding that the plaintiffs had presented no facts to show that their constitutional rights were violated. In this regard, the appellate court found that plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate "state action" necessary to establish a due process violation. The appellate court also found that plaintiffs had no common law or statutory right pursuant to section 21-3(c) of the Criminal Code to enter the complex. Accordingly, the appellate court affirmed the judgment of the trial court.

ANALYSIS

A motion for summary judgment should be granted when the pleadings, depositions, and affidavits reveal that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 110, par. 2-1005(c); Balla v. Gambro, Inc. (1991), 145 Ill. 2d 492, 508, 164 Ill. Dec. 892, 584 N.E.2d 104.

I

Before this court, the plaintiffs initially challenge the appellate court's determination that their due process rights were not violated. The plaintiffs argue that summary judgment was improperly granted because thepolice involvement in barring plaintiffs from visiting their relatives and friends constitutes State action that violates their constitutional rights to freedom of movement, freedom of association and due process afforded by both the United States and Illinois Constitutions. In addition, plaintiffs argue, the barring practice employed by the defendants subjects them to false imprisonment and is an unlawful restraint upon their right to liberty.

The fourteenth amendment to the Constitution provides in relevant part that "no State shall * * * deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law * * *." (U.S. Const., amend. XIV.) The fourteenth amendment erects "no shield against merely private conduct, however discriminatory or wrongful." ( Shelley v. Kraemer (1948), 334 U.S. 1, 13, 92 L. Ed. 1161, 1180, 68 S. Ct. 836, 842; Moose Lodge No. 107 v. Irvis (1972), 407 U.S. 163, 32 L. Ed. 2d 627, 92 S. Ct. 1965.) Therefore, in order to establish a violation of constitutional rights, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the conduct complained of is conduct by the State rather than conduct of private parties. Where the conduct is that of a private party, a plaintiff may establish State action by showing that the State has "significantly involved itself with invidious discriminations." ( Reitman v. Mulkey (1967), 387 U.S. 369, 380, 18 L. Ed. 2d 830, 838, 87 S. Ct. 1627, 1634.) Upon such a showing, the discriminatory action will be imputed to the State and thereby fall within the ambit of the constitutional prohibition. There is no hard and fast rule to determine whether allegedly discriminatory conduct is private or whether the conduct amounts to "State action." "Only by sifting facts and weighing circumstances can the nonobvious involvement of the State in private conduct be attributed its true significance." Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority (1961), 365 U.S. 715, 722, 6 L. Ed. 2d 45, 50, 81 S. Ct. 856, 860.

In Blum v. Yaretsky (1982), 457 U.S. 991, 1002, 73 L. Ed. 2d 534, 545, 102 S. Ct. 2777, 2785, the United States Supreme Court outlined a three-part analysis to determine whether State action exists. First, the complaining party must show that "'there is a sufficiently close nexus between the State and the challenged action of the regulated entity so that the action of the latter may be fairly treated as that of the State itself.'" ( Blum, 457 U.S. at 1004, 73 L. Ed. 2d at 546, 102 S. Ct. at 2786, quoting Jackson v. Metropolitan Edison Co. (1974), 419 U.S. 345, 351, 42 L. Ed. 2d 477, 484, 95 S. Ct. 449, 453.) The purpose of [the close nexus] requirement is to assure that constitutional standards are invoked only when it can be said that the State is responsible for the specific conduct of which the plaintiff complains." (Emphasis in original.) ( Blum, 457 U.S. at 1004, 73 L. Ed. 2d at 546, 102 S. Ct. at 2786.) Second, the State can be held responsible for private conduct only when it has exercised coercive power or has provided such significant encouragement, either overt or covert, that the conduct must in law be deemed to be that of the State. ( Blum, 457 U.S. at 1004, 73 L. Ed. 2d at 546, 102 S. Ct. at 2786; see also Flagg Brothers, Inc. v. Brooks (1978), 436 U.S. 149, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.