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CHAPALA v. HOFFMAN ESTATES POLICE DEPARTMENT

January 6, 2004.

GERALD CHAPALA, Plaintiff,
v.
HOFFMAN ESTATES POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PAUL PLUNKETT, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Gerald Chapala has sued Hoffman Estates and various of its officials for their alleged violations of his federal constitutional rights and state law. The case is before the Court on defendants' Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 56(c) motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted as to the federal claims and the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law claims.

Facts*fn1

  On September 24, 2001, plaintiff was employed as a patrol officer by the Hoffman Estates Police Department. (Defs.' LR 56.1(a)(3) Stmt. ¶¶ 1, 5.) At the end of his shift, sometime between 11:00 p.m. and midnight, plaintiff encountered defendant Caceres in the locker room. (Id. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff says that Caceres repeatedly taunted him saying, "Gerry, Gerry, your shotgun is talking to Page 2 you." (Id. ¶ 6.) Caceres denies that he taunted plaintiff. Instead, he says, plaintiff was agitated when Caceres arrived in the locker room and attacked Caceres without provocation while making statements like "the end is near" and "the Giant is coming." (Id. ¶ 7.)

  Immediately afterwards, Caceres reported the incident to Lieutenant Hish. (Id. ¶ 16.) Hish, in turn, called defendant Richardson at home to relay the story. (Id.) The next morning, Richardson told defendant Herdegen, the Chief of Police, what had happened. (Id. ¶ 17.) Herdegen then scheduled a meeting with the Village Manager, the Village Attorney and defendant Jones, Director of the Village Department of Health and Human Services, to discuss the situation. (Id. ¶ 18.) The three decided to place plaintiff on paid administrative leave pending his completion of a fitness for duty evaluation. (Id. ¶ 19.)

  When Herdegen called to schedule the fitness evaluation, he discussed the proposed plan of action with Dr. Selvig. (Id. ¶¶ 20-21.) Selvig suggested that plaintiff be stripped of his weapons before speaking with Herdegen and that he be taken to an emergency room for an evaluation. (Id. ¶¶ 22-23.)

  Herdegen told defendant Paez to meet plaintiff at the department's entrance and take his weapons. (Id. ¶ 27.) Paez met plaintiff and told him that Herdegen wanted to speak with him about the events of the previous night. (Id. ¶¶ 28-30.) Paez asked plaintiff for his off-duty weapon and plaintiff surrendered to him a gun known as a K-40. (Id. ¶ 31.) Unbeknownst to Paez, plaintiff also had high-powered, 9mm, semi-automatic pistol concealed in his waistband, which he did not surrender. (Id. ¶¶ 32-33.) The Department had not authorized plaintiff to carry that weapon. (Id. ¶ 33.) Page 3

  Plaintiff then went to Herdegen's office where he met with Herdegen and Richardson. (Id. ¶ 34.) Herdegen told plaintiff that they were launching an investigation into the incident that occurred the previous evening and that he was being placed on administrative leave. (Id. ¶¶ 38-39.) Herdegen also asked plaintiff to go to the hospital for an evaluation, a request which plaintiff refused. (Id. ¶ 43.) Herdegen asked plaintiff to reconsider, and told him he would order to plaintiff to go, if necessary, and discipline plaintiff if he refused to obey the order. (Id. ¶ 44.)

  At that point, plaintiff asked to speak to a lawyer. (Id. ¶ 45.) After doing so, plaintiff told Herdegen that, though he did not agree to go to the hospital, he would do so cooperatively. (Id.)

  Herdegen, Richardson and plaintiff went to the hospital together. (Id. ¶ 47.) At the hospital, plaintiff surrendered the concealed semi-automatic weapon to Herdegen. (Id. ¶¶ 49-50.)

  Upon their arrival, a caseworker named Maria interviewed plaintiff. When she finished, she told Herdegen that plaintiff should be signed into the hospital. (Id. ¶¶ 55-57.) When Herdegen expressed surprise, Maria said that she thought committing plaintiff was the appropriate thing to do, given the previous evening's incident and the comments plaintiff made during his interview with her. (Id. ¶¶ 58-60.)

  At about the same time, Paez called Richardson at the hospital. (Id. ¶ 62.) Paez told Richardson that he had found five magazines, each with a thirty-round capacity, and 145 rounds of bullets commonly used in an AK-47 assault rifle in a backpack plaintiff had left in Paez's office. (Id. ¶¶ 64-65.) Richardson reported Paez's discovery to Herdegen. (Id. ¶ 66.) Based on all of the information he had received, Herdegen decided to sign the petition to commit plaintiff. (Id. ¶¶ 70-71, 77.) Page 4

  The physician who examined plaintiff in connection with the petition was Dr. Giacomin. (Id. ¶ 84.) Given the description of the precipitating incident and his own examination of plaintiff, during which plaintiff evaded his questions and made repeated statements that the doctor characterized as paranoid, Dr. Giacomin felt that plaintiff needed to be hospitalized for an evaluation. (Id. ¶¶ 85-90.) After Giacomin examined plaintiff, he concluded that plaintiff was mentally ill and in danger of harming himself or others, (Id. ¶ 93.)

  Ultimately, plaintiff was committed to Alexian Brothers Mental Health Center on September 25, 2001, where he stayed until ...


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