The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID COAR, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff's Gordon and Crystal Anderson filed this action in January
1999. Their Complaint was subsequently amended twice, most recently in
July 2002. It is the Second Amended Complint ("Complaint") that now sets
forth Plaintiff's allegations in this case. This Complaint contains two
counts. Count I states a claim that the conduct of the Defendant Police
Officers violated both Plaintiff's rights under the Fourth Amendment.
Count II alleges that the Defendant City of Chicago violated Plaintiff
Gordon Anderson's due process rights when it destroyed his antique
firearm collection in advance of his trial.
The case comes before the Court now on the Defendants' Motions for
Summary Judgment. The Defendant Police Officers seek summary judgment on
Count I. The Defendant City of Chicago seeks summary judgment on Count
II. Both motions have been fully briefed and they will both be addressed
in this opinion. For the reasons set forth below, the Defendants' Motions
for Summary Judgment are granted.
Plaintiff Gordon Anderson ("Mr. Anderson") is the father of Plaintiff
Crystal Anderson ("Ms. Anderson").*fn1 Mr. Anderson was the owner of a
residence at 4049 W. Patterson. The residence at 4049 W. Patterson
consists of a basement unit, a first-floor unit, and a second-floor
unit. (PI. Aff. Opp. Summ. J., Ex. 10 at 31, lines 18-21.) The basement
level of the residence is divided into a living unit at the front of the
building, and a smaller common area at the back of the building
containing, among other things, a washer and dryer. (Pl. Aff. Opp. Summ.
J., Ex. 10 at 29, lines 14-23.) At all times relevant to this case,
Plaintiff's Gordon and Crystal Anderson resided in the second-floor unit;
the first-floor apartment was occupied by Ms. Debra Singleton; and the
basement unit was unoccupied.
On December 21, 1997, Chicago police officers responded to a complaint
that Mr. Anderson had issued threats against Placko.*fn2 (Def. Officers
Motion Summ. J., Ex. F) The police report indicates that Placko reported
he was "involved in a long running dispute" with Mr. Anderson. (Id.) The
police report also notes "Offender alluded [sic] to having numerous
weapons in the house." (Id.) The responding officer urged Placko to
obtain a restraining order against Mr. Anderson, but no further action
was taken on the complaint. (Id.)
At approximately 1:15 p.m. on January 31, 1998, Defendant Joseph
Gawlick, a Chicago Police Officer, received an anonymous call from a
concerned citizen that Mr. Anderson was stockpiling weapons in the
basement of the building at 4049 W. Patterson. (Def. Officers
Motion Summ. J., Ex. G at 26, lines 11-17.) At that time, Defendant
Gawlick was a Sergeant in the Gang Team Tactical Unit in the 17th
District of the Chicago Police Department. (Id. at 25, lines 13-14). In
response to this phone call, Defendant Gawlick "called in officers off of
the street from my unit to formulate a plan of going over to this house
and seeing Mr. Anderson." (Id. at 27, lines 7-10.)*fn3
Thereafter, the six Defendant Officers, Jesse Eng, Janine Hermonn, Mark
George, James Tarara, Michael Rice, and Joseph Gawlick, went to the
residence on 4049 W. Patterson. None of the Defendant officers were in
uniform. It is fairly contested whether the Defendants could see the
weapons through the window into the basement of the residence. (Compare
Def. Officers Statement of Uncontested Facts No. 15 with Pl. Aff. Opp.
Def. Motion Summ. J., Ex. 10 at 32, lines 6-24 and Def. Officers Motion
Summ. J., Ex. C at 160, lines 20-24.) At least two of the Defendant
officers knocked on the front door of the building and Ms. Singleton, the
first-floor tenant, let them in. (Def. Officers Motion Summ. J., Ex. D at
27, lines 3-8.) Ms. Singleton let at least two of the Defendant Officers
into the basement of the residence. (Id. at7) She also told them where to
find Mr. Anderson's guns in the basement. (Id. at 28.)
Meanwhile, four or five officers knocked on the front door of Mr.
Anderson's apartment.*fn4 (Def Officers Motion Summ. J., Ex. C at 156.)
At the time, Ms. Anderson was not at home and Mr. Anderson was sleeping.
(Id.) When he answered the door, the Defendant officers demanded to be
let in, claiming to have a warrant for Mr. Anderson's arrest. (Id.) When
they were unable to produce the warrant (which they never had), Mr.
Anderson told them, "No warrant, leave", and closed the front door. (Id.)
Mr. Anderson then attempted to return to sleep.
A few minutes later, Mr. Anderson heard his dogs barking at the back
door. (Id. at 165.) Four of the Defendant Officers knocked at the back
door of Mr. Anderson's apartment. (Id. at 166.) Again, Mr. Anderson asked
the officers if they had a warrant. When they informed him (truthfully
this time) that they did not have a warrant, he again told them to leave
and attempted to close the door. (Id. at 167.) Defendant Gawlick stuck
his foot between the door and the door jamb to prevent Plaintiff from
closing the door. (Id. at 167.) Next, Defendant Gawlick "pulled out a
snub-nose revolver . . . pointed that just close enough to the door, said
that if [Mr. Anderson] didn't let him in, he was going to knock the door
down and start shooting the dogs." (Id.) Mr. Anderson, fearful that
either he or his pets were about to be shot, permitted the Defendant
officers access to his apartment at that point. (Id.) Once the Defendant
officers were in the apartment, they immediately handcuffed Mr. Anderson
and placed him under arrest. (Id. at 168.) The Defendant Officers told
Mr. Anderson that they had found his guns in the basement. (Id. at
172-73.) Mr. Anderson was told that he was being arrested for illegal
possession of firearms. (Id. at 173.)
After arresting Mr. Anderson, the Defendant Officers asked him if he
had any more guns in the apartment. (Id. at 172.) Mr. Anderson told them
that there were some in a gun case in his office. (Id.) The Defendant
Officers proceeded to search Mr. Anderson's apartment, From the basement
and the apartment, the Defendant Officers seized thirty-two weapons from
4049 W. Patterson on January 31, 1998. The weapons were assigned
inventory numbers by the Chicago Police Department, ranging consecutively
from 1937601 to 1937633. (Pl. Comp. Ex. A.) The Standard Operating
Procedures of the Chicago Police Department require the weapons to be
transfered to the "gun vault" at 1011 South Homan in Chicago. (Def. City
Statement Uncont. Facts No. 21,)
Later on January 31, 1998, Defendant Officer Mark George executed
thirty-two quasi-criminal complaints charging Gordon Anderson with
"Failure to Register Firearms" in violation of Section 8-20-040 of the
Municipal Code of the City of Chicago. (Def. City Motion Summ. J., Ex.
At some point on January 31, 1998, Mr. Anderson's neighbor, Dane
Placko, swore a criminal assault complaint against Mr. Anderson based on
the events from December 20, 1997. (Def. Officers Motion Summ. J., Ex.
BC.) Mr. Anderson asserts that this complaint was signed and sworn to
after the Defendant Officers came to his home, Defendants do not proffer
a more specific ...