The opinion of the court was delivered by: SUZANNE CONLON, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Abe Scott and his wife, Shirley Scott (collectively, "plaintiffs"),
sue Chicago Police Officers Frederick Hasenfang, David Monies, and Brian
O'Leary (collectively, "defendant police officers") and the City of
Chicago ("the city") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Specifically,
plaintiffs allege that the officers conducted a warrantless search of
their residence in violation of the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendments (Count I). Count I also alleges that the officers' misconduct
was part of the city's policy or custom of failing to properly train or
discipline officers. Count II alleges the officers conspired to deprive
plaintiffs of their constitutional rights. The officers and the city
jointly move for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
All facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted. On the evening of
February 9, 2002, plaintiffs planned to attend a party at a friend's
house in Chicago Heights. Pl's Facts at ¶ 6. Earlier that year,
plaintiffs purchased a home alarm system from ADT Security Services,
equipping every door with a contact sensor and the interior hallway
with a motion detector. Id. at ¶¶ 2-3. The alarm system
could be controlled from both a wall unit and a remote control; the
remote control contained a manually activated panic button.
Id. Before leaving for the party, plaintiffs armed the system.
However, on the way out of the house, Shirley Scott tripped the burglar
alarm. Id. at ¶ 8. Plaintiffs were already outside when they
realized the alarm was going off. In a hurry to leave for the parry,
Shirley Scott attempted to turn the alarm off with the remote control,
instead of returning to use the inside control pad. In doing so, she
accidentally activated the panic alarm instead of pressing the off
button. Id. at ¶¶ 8-9. Unaware of the mistake, plaintiffs
left for the party.
The alarm alerted ADT. Id. Pursuant to plaintiffs' prior
instructions, ADT contacted Shirley Scott's son, Darion Knight.
Id. Knight, in turn, called Shirley Scott to inform her that the
alarm was going off. Id. Shirley Scott immediately contacted ADT
to report that it was a false alarm and that she must have triggered the
panic alarm by mistake. Id. at ¶ 9. In the meantime, ADT
contacted the Chicago Police Department at 8:34 p.m. and advised that a
panic alarm had been triggered at plaintiffs' residence. Id at
¶ 11. At 9:03 p.m., the police dispatcher contacted Officer Hasenfang
and advised him to respond to the panic alarm at plaintiffs* home.
Id. at ¶ 12. The dispatcher advised Officer Hasenfang that
the call "had a lot of time on it," meaning that a substantial amount of
time had elapsed since the 911 center initially fielded the alarm call.
Id. Officer Hasenfang finished his dinner and proceeded to
plaintiffs' residence. Id. at ¶¶ 15-16. He did not activate
his siren or MARS lights. Id. at ¶ 19. He arrived at
plaintiffs' home about 15-20 minutes after receiving the call from
dispatch. Id at ¶ 21.
Once Officer Hasenfang arrived at plaintiffs' residence, he surveyed
the scene. He did not observe any activity in the vicinity of plaintiffs'
home. Id. at ¶ 22. Nor did he note any noises or movements
suggesting someone was in the house. Id, He heard the alarm
Officer Hasenfang testified at his deposition that in his
experience, panic alarms often turned out to be false alarms.
Id. at ¶ 23. Nevertheless, Officer Hasenfang proceeded to
investigate. He noticed that a rear screen door was damaged and
unsecured. Id. at ¶ 24; Hasenfang Dep. at ¶ 18. Behind
the damaged screen door was a sliding glass door. Officer Hasenfang
noticed scratches around the door's lock. Id. The parties
dispute whether the door was open. Cf. Hasenfang Dep. at ¶
18 (door was approximately six inches open), with Pl's Facts at
¶ 4 (alarm cannot activate if a door is open).*fn1 Officer Hasenfang
did not enter plaintiffs' home at that time. At 9:19 p.m., he retreated
to the garage and called for back-up. He advised the dispatcher that he
had "an open door on this panic alarm and nobody's answering,"
Id, at ¶ 25.
Between 9:24 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Officers O' Leary, Montes, Simpson,
Tunney and Sergeants Robinson and Flores advised the dispatcher they
would assist Officer Hasenfang. All officers arrived at plaintiffs'
residence about the same time. Sgt. Robinson arrived last, around 9:32
p.m. Id. at ¶ 29. Hasenfang explained the situation to the
other officers and they determined to enter plaintiffs' home.
Id. at ¶¶ 30, 34. While other officers entered plaintiffs'
home through the rear door, Officer Tunney stood watch outside the home
for any intruders trying to escape. Id. at ¶ 34, Upon entry,
the officers fanned out to search the premises. Id. Hasenfang
was first and searched the master bedroom. Id. Officer Simpson
and Sergeants Robinson and Flores noticed that the house was in disarray
and that the hvac floor covers had been removed. Id. at ¶
37. After establishing that the home was secure, the officers gathered in
plaintiffs' family room. Hasenfang emerged from the master bedroom
carrying three guns that he discovered laying on the bed. Id. at
¶ 38. Officers Simpson and Tunney and Sergeants Robinson and Flores
left shortly thereafter; Officers Hasenfang, Monies and O'Leary remained.
Id. at ¶ 39.
At 9:47 p.m., the police dispatcher informed the remaining officers
that plaintiffs' relative would arrive in 20 minutes. Id. at
¶ 41. When John Moore, Shirley Scott's brother, arrived, he saw only
one police car parked down the block. Id. at ¶¶ 42-44. Moore
waited outside for five minutes, and then rang plaintiffs' door bell.
Id. Two white police officers answered the door, and took Moore
to the back of the house. Id. As the officers showed Moore the
rear door and explained that they suspected burglars had entered there,
Moore noticed that the house was in total disarray and that the hvac
vents had been removed. Id. at ¶ 44. Returning to the family
room, Moore saw the officers examine plaintiffs' firearms on the dining
room table. Hasenfang 11/18/03 Dep. at p. 55. When the officers inquired
whether the firearms were registered, Moore responded that they were not
Id. Moore never saw a third officer in the home. Pl's Facts at
Another police officer then arrived. Id, The two officers left
Moore and went outside to talk to the arriving officer. Id. By
10:13 p.m., Officers Monies and O'Leary had left plaintiffs' home and
were on then-way to the 8th District station to inventory
the firearms discovered inside plaintiffs' home. Id at ¶ 47.
Meanwhile, Hasenfang completed a police report and gave it to Moore.
Id. at ¶ 49.
Shirley Scott returned home alone around 11:00 p.m., while Abe Scott
remained at the party. Id. at ¶ 50, No police were present.
Moore was still in the bedroom because every time
he tried to leave the room he triggered the motion sensor and set
off the alarm. Id. Abe Scott arrived around 3:00 a.m.
Id. at ¶ 51. He discovered that $750 in cash he had given
his wife for the mortgage payment was missing from the bedroom along with
his wife's jewelry. Id. Two mink coats were missing from a
closet; the closet door had been run off its tracks.
For purposes of their Monell claim, plaintiffs also introduce
evidence relating to the Police Department's disciplinary histories and
polices as well as the officers' individual disciplinary histories. Each
of the defendant police officers has been the subject of multiple
civilian complaints. Officer Hasenfang has been the subject of 22
civilian complaints in the last 12 years. Id. at ¶ 62.
Officer Monies had 19 civilian complaints in 10 years and Officer O'Leary
had 21 civilian complaints in 7 years. Id. None of these
complaints were sustained. Id.
Plaintiffs introduce multiple studies and reports on the Chicago Police
Department, including the 1997 Report of the Commission on Police
Integrity ("the Webb Report") and Internal Affairs Division Biennial
Reports from 1993 through 2000. The Webb Report discusses potential
changes in officer field training. Id. at ¶ 55. The biennial
reports record the complaints civilians have lodged against the Chicago
Police Department. Id. at ¶¶ 56-60. Plaintiffs submit the
testimony of Lt. Thomas Tranckitello, an Internal Affairs superintendent,
which discusses the process of filing and investigating civilian
complaints against Chicago police officers. Id. at ¶ 61.
Defendants submit the city's official policies regarding disciplinary
procedures, as well as statistics detailing the number of incidents
individual officers were involved in from 1993-2001. Def's Facts at ¶¶
21-33. Defendants also submit reports detailing the disciplinary activity
carried out by the Office of Professional Standards and the Internal
Affairs Division from 1993 2001. Id. at ¶ 27.
Plaintiffs concede the accuracy of these policies and both sets of data.
plaintiffs contend their evidence demonstrates that the city has
adopted a widespread custom in which officers understand that their
unlawful acts will not be subject to disciplinary measures.
The gravamen of plaintiffs' complaint is that the defendant police
officers illegally entered their home. According to plaintiffs, this
unlawful entry led to the seizure of plaintiffs' firearms as well as the
theft of cash, jewelry and the mink coats from the master bedroom.
Plaintiffs further contend that the theft was caused by ...