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THOMPSON v. MUELLER

September 10, 1997

RONALD GENE THOMPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK C. MUELLER, MICHAEL TURMAN, and THE VILLAGE OF HOFFMAN ESTATES, an Illinois municipal corporation, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA

 This matter is before the court on defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Motion granted.

 I. BACKGROUND

 In the late evening hours of July 20, 1995, plaintiff Ronald Thompson -- a police officer who was not on duty at the time -- and his friend Brian Knight visited the Barrington Square Theater in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Thompson and Knight were conversing in the parking lot near Thompson's car. Ronald Joseph, a theater employee and acquaintance of Thompson, joined in the conversation.

 Defendants Mark Mueller and Michael Turman are police officers. In the late evening hours of July 20, 1995, they were patrolling the parking lot of the Barrington Square Theater in an unmarked car. The officers observed Joseph, the theater employee, running to Thompson and Knight. They decided to investigate. They stopped their vehicle approximately 60 feet from where Thompson, Knight, and Joseph were conversing.

 Upon seeing the officers staring at him, Thompson -- not realizing that they were police officers -- shouted: "What the fuck are you looking at?" The officers exited their vehicle. As the officers exited, Joseph, trying to avoid an altercation, walked toward the officers' vehicle apologizing for Thompson's behavior. Officer Turman identified himself to Joseph as a police officer.

 Knight moved toward the officers and an altercation ensued between Knight and Turman. Officer Mueller, coming to the aid of his partner, joined the altercation. Thompson, coming to the aid of his friend, attempted to remove Mueller from the fight. Indeed, he grabbed Mueller with enough force to pull him from the altercation.

 Thompson was subsequently arrested -- he spent the night in jail at the Hoffman Estates Police Department. *fn1" He was charged with aggravated battery and resisting arrest.

 As part of Thompson's defense against the charges, he filed a motion to quash the arrest claiming that the officers lacked probable cause. A two-day hearing was held before a Cook County circuit judge. Extensive testimony was heard from numerous individuals, including everyone involved in the altercation. Additionally, two memoranda of law were filed by Thompson supporting his position that the officers lacked probable cause to arrest Thompson.

 The judge ultimately concluded that "reasonable grounds," i.e., probable cause, existed for the arrest of Thompson; thus, the motion to quash the arrest was denied.

 The following month, a bench trial was held before the same judge. The judge concluded that the state failed to prove it case beyond a reasonable doubt and acquitted Thompson of the aggravated battery and resisting arrest charges.

 Defendants seek summary judgment on the false arrest, false imprisonment, and ...


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