The opinion of the court was delivered by: Norgle, District Judge.
Eugene Sparing ("Sparing") brought this suit alleging that
James Keith ("Keith"), a police officer with the Village of
Olympia Fields, violated Sparing's civil rights by entering his
home and arresting him without a warrant and without probable
cause. Sparing seeks damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the
alleged civil rights violations, and also invokes the court's
supplemental jurisdiction to assert the Illinois tort of
malicious prosecution against Keith and the Village (where
appropriate, "Defendants"). Defendants now move for summary
judgment, while Sparing moves for summary judgment on his § 1983
claims. For the following reasons, the court grants Defendants'
motion and denies Sparing's motion.
On July 23, 1996, David Smith ("Smith") filed a criminal report
with the Olympia Fields Police Department. Smith, an accountant,
told Keith that he terminated an employment relationship with Tom
Sanfratello ("Sanfratello") on May 31, 1996. Smith complained
that Sanfratello took files from Smith's office, prepared checks
made out to himself, and forged Smith's signature on the checks.
Smith said his friend, Sparing, saw Sanfratello in Smith's office
on July 9, 1996 at 2:30 a.m. Sparing allegedly knocked on the
window to get
Sanfratello's attention, but Sanfratello ignored him.
On August 13, 1996, Keith telephoned Sparing, asking him to
verify Smith's version of events, and Sparing did so. Later the
same day, Keith questioned Sanfratello about the alleged
incident. Sanfratello disputed the story, claiming that he did
not leave Smith's employment until June 10, 1996. Sanfratello
admitted taking files, but claimed that he returned them to
Smith. Sanfratello also admitted signing checks, but maintained
he was a signatory on the account, and Smith owed him money.
Sanfratello also told Keith about a conversation he had with
Sparing's secretary, Linda Parker ("Parker"). Parker allegedly
told Sanfratello that Smith and Sparing were "up to no good."
(Defs.' Rule 12(M) stmt. ¶ 6.)*fn2 According to Sanfratello,
Parker said that Smith faxed a message to Sparing about Sparing's
alleged observation of Sanfratello at Smith's office. Sanfratello
gave Keith a copy of the fax, which read:
July 9, 1996 at 2:45 a.m. [you] observed Tom at
office copying files from computer and photocopying.
You knocked on windows and Tom ignored you. You left
and went home.
(Defs.' Rule 12(M) stmt. ¶ 7.)
On August 14, 1996, Keith telephoned Parker to investigate
Sanfratello's story, and prepared a written report of this
telephone interview. According to Keith's report, Parker told
Keith that she received the fax from Smith and gave it to
Sparing, who allegedly said "Dave [Smith] wants me to perjure
myself." (Defs.' Rule 12(M) stmt. ¶ 9.)
The next day, Parker telephoned Keith to tell him that Sparing
confronted her about the conversation she had with Keith the
previous day. According to Parker, she met Sparing for lunch,
where he asked her with whom she had been speaking. Parker did
not answer Sparing's question, but later Sparing drove her by the
Olympia Fields police station to "refresh her memory." Parker
then told Sparing that she spoke with the police about the fax
from Smith. According to Parker, Sparing responded "I thought you
were my friend," and asked "How could you do this to me?" and
"Don't you know this could lead to criminal charges against me?"
(Defs.' Rule 12(M) stmt. ¶ 10.) Parker claimed that Sparing then
fired her, told her that he would be evicting her from the house
she rented from him, and that he was taking back a van on which
she was making payments. Later the same day, Keith interviewed
Parker in person, where she restated the things she told Keith in
their telephone conversation.
Following this meeting with Parker, Keith went to Sparing's
residence/business and knocked on the door. A man answered the
door, and identified himself as Sparing. Keith then told Sparing
he was under arrest. At the time Keith announced the arrest,
Keith was standing outside the threshold, and Sparing was
standing inside the screen door. Then, Sparing asked if Keith had
a warrant. Keith replied that he did not need one because he had
probable cause to believe Sparing committed a crime. After Keith
announced the arrest, Sparing asked to put something down, and
walked farther into his residence. At that time, Keith stepped
inside Sparing's residence. Sparing returned to the doorway, and
walked outside with Keith, who then handcuffed Sparing and took
him to the Olympia Fields police station. Sparing was charged
with obstructing a peace officer in violation of 720 ILCS 5/31-1.
According to Sparing, Keith offered to release Sparing if he
would provide evidence against Smith. Sparing claims that during
the ride to the police station, Keith said "You're going to have
to change your story. You're going to have to cooperate. And if
you testify against Smith, then I won't arrest you." (Pl.'s Rule
12(N) stmt. ¶ 6.) Sparing also claims Keith said that if Sparing
"told the right story" and testified against Smith, "this will be
over for you." (Pl.'s Rule 12(N) stmt. ¶ 7.) Keith denies making
At the time of his arrest, Sparing claims he was selected to be
a director of a business that was in the process of going public.
As a member of the board of directors, Sparing would have been
entitled to purchase 100,000 shares of stock at $0.075 per share.
The stock, which is not yet publicly traded, sold for $2.00 per
share during the summer of 1999. Sparing asserts that he lost
this opportunity because Keith arrested him. Defendants disagree
and argue that Sparing was not officially approved as a director
at the time of his arrest.
On August 7, 1997, Sparing filed a four count complaint against
Keith, the Village, and William Bednar.*fn3 Count I, brought
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claims that Keith violated Sparing's
Fourth Amendment rights when he entered Sparing's residence
without a warrant. Count II, another § 1983 claim, alleges that
Keith violated Sparing's Fourth Amendment rights when he arrested
Sparing without probable cause. Count IV is brought under the
court's supplemental jurisdiction, and alleges the Illinois tort
of malicious prosecution against Keith ...