The opinion of the court was delivered by: HARRY LEINENWEBER, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Edward Strong ("Strong") brought suit against Defendants City
of Country Club Hills ("City"), Edwin Torres ("Torres") and Gregory Smith
("Smith") asserting violations of his privileges and immunities as
guaranteed by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 1343. Count I alleges that
police officers Torres and Smith unlawfully detained Strong and
maliciously charged him with aggravated assault and battery. Count II
claims that Torres and Smith violated Strong's right to freedom from
unreasonable searches and seizures. Count III alleges that, through the
tortious acts of Defendants and others, Strong "was deprived" of his
property without due process of law. Finally, Count IV charges that Torres
and Smith illegally searched Strong's automobile and illegally seized
property from it. For the
following reasons, Defendants' motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
I. LOCAL RULE 56.1 RESPONSES
Local Rule 56.1 of the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois ("Local Rule 56.1") establishes procedures that both
moving and opposing parties must follow in filing and responding to a
motion for summary judgment. Under Local Rule 56.1, the moving party must
submit a statement of material facts with "references to the affidavits,
parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon." Local
Rule 56.1(a)(3) (hereafter, "56.1 Statements"). In turn, the opposing
party must file "a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving
party's statement," and, in the case of disagreement, provide specific
references to supporting evidentiary material. Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(A).
If the opposing party does not respond and controvert the moving party's
statement of material facts, those facts are deemed to be admitted for
the purposes of the motion. Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B); Smith v. Lamz,
321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003).
Here, Strong did not respond to Defendants' 56.1 Statements. Therefore,
for the most part, Defendants' 56.1 Statements are admitted as true for
purposes of compiling this factual record and this motion. However,
Defendants' Statement 22 is admitted but interpreted in a limited
fashion, according to its underlying
factual support in the evidentiary materials. Statement 22 states that
"Certain items the police gave back to [Strong], but everything that had
to do with guns they did not return because his FOID card was revoked."
Purportedly, this "uncontested fact" is based on page 120 of the
transcript of Strong's deposition testimony. Reading that statement in
context makes clear that Strong testified only that the police returned
"everything" (excluding firearm related items) on a property list
prepared by the police. However, Strong also states on page 122 of his
deposition transcript that "From my conversation that I overheard at the
police station, I believe that the police officers took the computers and
whatever else they wanted to take." Strong further testifies, on page
121, that "one of my neighbors told me that they saw people running in
and out of my house, that the police left the doors wide open."
Therefore, the Court admits the literal text of Statement 22 as neither
side contests that the police returned "certain items" to Strong.
However, the Court does not read Statement 22 to imply, as an uncontested
fact, that the police returned everything not firearm related to
On the evening of January 14, 2001, Plaintiff Edward Strong ("Strong")
noticed three men in a truck pull up and park in his driveway. The men,
Pete Shimkus ("Shimkus"), Todd Osinski ("Osinski"), and Michael Gron
announced that they were there to repossess his 2000 Mercedes CLK 430
automobile, parked in Strong's open garage. Strong told the Repossessors
to get off his property. When one of the Repossessors responded by trying
to grab Strong's car key, Strong pushed him. Shortly thereafter, the
police arrived and both Strong and the Repossessors told the officers
their sides of the story. The Repossessors reported to the police that
Strong threatened them with a gun. According to Shimkus, Strong claimed
to be a police officer during the confrontation. At that time, the police
placed Strong under arrest, searched him, and escorted him to the police
station. The police gave his car key to the Repossessors.
At the police station, the Repossessors all filed aggravated assault
charges against Strong. The police officers then asked Strong for his
consent to search his home. When Strong refused, the police officers
obtained a search warrant and proceeded to search his residence. Upon
consent from the Repossessors, the police also searched the Mercedes
formerly belonging to Strong.
Strong claims that the police seized and did not return some items
seized from his house, such as his three computers. The police contend
that they have returned everything they took during the search, except
for Strong's guns and ammunition because his Illinois FOID card was
revoked. Some of Strong's neighbors report that the police left the doors
to Strong's house open, and that various people ran in and out of his
house with Strong's property.
Strong was never convicted of any charge in relation to the incidents
of January 14, 2001.
Summary judgment is appropriate if "the pleadings, depositions, answers
to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law." FED. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A fact is "material" if it could
affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law; a dispute is
"genuine" where the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return
a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
The burden is initially upon the movant to demonstrate the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
323 (1986). In assessing the moving party's claim, the court must view
all the evidence and any reasonable inferences that may be drawn from
that evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Miller
v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co., 203 F.3d 997, 1003 (7th Cir. 2000). Once the
moving party has met its burden, the nonmoving party "may not rest upon
the mere allegations" contained in its pleading, but rather "must set
forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial."
FED. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Becker v. Tenenbaum-Hill Assoc., Inc., 914 F.2d 107,
110 (7th Cir. 1990); Schroeder v. Lufthansa German
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