The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, Senior District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Talangea Robinson ("Robinson") has filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983
("Section 1983") action, together with a related state law
claim, against Village of Calumet Park ("Village") and three of
its police officers: Robert Gerritson ("Gerritson"), Jeffrey
DeVries ("DeVries") and Kimberly Reda ("Reda").*fn1 Robinson
charges that she was deprived of her constitutional rights under
the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments*fn2 in having been (1)
arrested without probable cause, (2) detained unlawfully and (3)
subjected to an unreasonable search and seizure. As already
indicated, Robinson also asserts a state law claim of false
arrest and imprisonment.
Each of Gerritson and DeVries has filed a Fed.R.Civ.P.
("Rule") 56 summary judgment motion, and both have complied (as
has Robinson) with this District Court's related LR 56.1.*fn3
For the reasons set forth in this memorandum opinion and order,
DeVries' motion is granted in its entirety and Gerritson's
motion is granted as to Robinson's Section 1983 claims but
denied as to her state law claim.
Summary Judgment Standards
Familiar Rule 56 principles impose on parties moving for
summary judgment the burden of establishing both the lack of a
genuine issue of material fact and the movant's entitlement to
judgment as a matter of law (Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986)). For
that purpose this Court must "read the record in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party," although it "is not
required to draw unreasonable inferences from the evidence"
(St. Louis N. Joint Venture v. P & L Enters., Inc.,
116 F.3d 262, 265 n. 2 (7th Cir. 1997)). As Pipitone v. United States,
180 F.3d 859, 861 (7th Cir. 1999) has quoted from Roger v.
Yellow Freight Sys. Inc., 21 F.3d 146, 149 (7th Cir. 1994):
A genuine issue for trial exists only when a
reasonable jury could find for the party opposing the
motion based on the record as a whole.
As with every summary judgment motion, this Court accepts
nonmovant Robinson's version of any disputed facts, but only so
long as it is supported by record evidence. What follows in the
Facts section is culled in that manner from the parties'
Robinson worked as the general manager of the Plaza Inn Hotel
in Calumet Park ("Plaza Inn") from about August or September
1999 until September 2000 (G.St. ¶ 2). Plaza Inn was owned by
Stazde Enterprises, Inc. ("Stazde") (Vlado Lenoch Dep. 6). Among
Robinson's duties was logging in the periodic deliveries by
Brinks, Inc. of $930 in small bills to be used by the hotel
staff for making change ("change deliveries" or "Brinks
deliveries") (G.St. ¶¶ 24, 33).
On September 22, 2000 Stazde Vice President Josef Lenoch
("Lenoch") reported to the Calumet Park police that Robinson was
suspected of stealing money from Plaza Inn (G.St. ¶¶
9-10),*fn4 and on September 27 the case was assigned to
investigator Gerritson (id. ¶ 13). For that purpose he was
given, along with the initial police report, additional
documents provided by Lenoch, including information as to
Robinson's employment and earnings and an internal Plaza Inn
memo documenting accounting shortages (id. ¶ 14).
After reviewing those papers and deciding that he needed more
information, Gerritson obtained more documents from Lenoch on
October 6 (id. ¶¶ 15-16). Among those materials were a spiral
notebook containing a handwritten log of entries indicating the
dates on which the $930 change deliveries were made (the "safe
log") and several dated receipts for Brinks deliveries signed by
Plaza Inn employees (id. ¶ 17). Hotel workers were required to
sign for the deliveries and put the money on or under Robinson's
desk, and Robinson would then record the deliveries in the safe
log and place the money in the change safe (id. ¶¶ 24, 34)
unless such funds (perhaps the entire amount) would have to be
made available to the hotel desk clerks to make their own change
(R.-G. Add.St. ¶ 7).*fn5 Numerous individuals had access to
the back office where that money was kept (id. 1 12).
After considering the added documents, Gerritson wrote a
report documenting three unsuccessful attempts to "pick up"
Robinson on October 7 (G. Dep. Ex. 4; G. St. ¶ 22). According to
his testimony, he had then intended to ask her to discuss the
case with him voluntarily (G.Dep. 37). Then on October 12
Gerritson spoke with one of Robinson's coworkers (G.St. ¶ 23).
Nearly two more months passed before Gerritson attended a
December 6 meeting with Stazde accountant Bernie Nutile
("Nutile") and other Stazde executives (id. ¶¶ 25-28). Nutile
explained Plaza Inn's procedures for handling Brinks deliveries
and how she had calculated the cash
shortage (id. ¶ 31). Gerritson verified that the safe log was
in Robinson's handwriting and in her control (id. ¶¶ 32, 33)
and further confirmed that Robinson had failed to make log
entries documenting certain Brinks deliveries, even though there
were receipts for those deliveries signed by Robinson or other
hotel employees (id. ¶ 35). For example, documents revealed
that Robinson had logged $930 Brinks deliveries twice a week
from the start of her employment in September 1999 until January
2000 (id. ¶ 18). Then on February 18 Robinson personally
signed for a $930 Brinks delivery, but there is no record of
that delivery in the safe log (R. Dep.Exs. 2, 8). Other hotel
employees signed receipts for Brinks deliveries on February 25
and March 10, but the log does not reflect deposit of that money
in the change safe (R. Dep.Exs. 2, 9, 10). And although an April
30, 2000 memorandum authored by Robinson said that she had
stopped the Brinks deliveries as of March 15 because the funds
were not needed (R.-G. Add.St. ¶ 9), receipts signed by other
hotel employees showed that Brinks deliveries were accepted
(though not logged in) on March 17 and May 5 (R. Dep.Exs. 2, 11,
After the December 6 meeting Gerritson decided that he had
probable cause to arrest Robinson (G.St. ¶ 36). On January 3,
2001 he wrote a report documenting numerous unsuccessful
attempts to "pick up" Robinson over the preceding month (id. ¶
38). Then on January 12 Gerritson decided to go to Robinson's
house and arrest her (id. 39), asking Officer DeVries to
accompany him, although he did not discuss the evidence against
Robinson with DeVries (id. ¶ 40; D. St. ¶ 43). Both men rode
to Robinson's home in a police car, and they arrested her at
about 5 p.m. as she was getting out of her car (id. ¶ 42).
DeVries handcuffed Robinson and placed her in the back of the
police car, and they all returned to the police station (id. ¶¶
At the station Gerritson asked telecommunicator Reda to search
Robinson (G.Dep. 88). Before Reda took Robinson into a separate
room to be searched, Reda and Gerritson had a conversation
(R.-G. Add. St. ¶¶ 22, 25; G. St. ¶ 45). No one else was present
in the room during the search, and the door was closed (G.St. ¶¶
47-48). Robinson claims that she was subjected to a strip search
in which Reda required her to open her blouse, lift up her bra,
pull down her pants and take off her boots (R.-G. Add.St. ¶ 28).
After the search Robinson declined to give Gerritson a
statement, and Gerritson placed her in a holding cell (G.St. ¶¶
5154). He then went to obtain statements from some of Robinson's
former coworkers. At that time Gerritson was aware that the
State's Attorney's office in the Sixth District, of which
Village is part, expected police officers at least to attempt to
obtain a statement from an accused before seeking the approval
of charges by an Assistant State's Attorney (id. ¶ 56).
Gerritson maintains that he was also aware that if obtaining a
statement from an accused was not possible, he was expected to
obtain statements from other witnesses before calling the
State's Attorney's office (id. ¶ 57). But Alzetta
Bozeman-Martin ("Bozeman-Martin"), the Assistant State's
Attorney involved in the case, testified only as to an
expectation regarding statements from "suspects or proposed
defendants" (Bozeman-Martin Dep. 34-37). No evidence (other than
Gerritson's own statement) was presented as to any expectation
regarding statements from witnesses.