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GREEN v. HARRAH'S ILLINOIS CORPORATION

April 29, 2004.

JOHNNY L. GREEN, Plaintiff,
v.
HARRAH' S ILLINOIS CORPORATION, SHERRY TORRENS, individually and as an agent of HARRAH'S ILLINOIS CORPORATION, TONY CAPRETTI, individually and as an agent of HARRAH'S ILLINOIS CORPORATION CHARLES ANDREWS, individually, and as an agent of HARRAH'S ILLINOIS CORPORATION, CITY OF JOLIET, a municipal corporation, Police Officer, RICHARD OLSON, Star Number 292, individually and as agent of CITY OF JOLIET, Police Officer TOMAS PONCE, Star Number 160, individually and as agent of CITY OF JOLIET, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Defendant Harrah's Illinois Corporation's ("Harrah's") employees detained Plaintiff Johnny Green on the night of May 7, 2002 after he allegedly urinated on the floor of the casino. After Harrah's detained him in a holding cell, Joliet police officers arrested Plaintiff and took him to the Joliet Police Department, where he was held and released in less than an hour. Plaintiff filed an eight-count complaint, alleging violations of state and federal law, against Defendants Harrah's, Sherry Torrens, Tony Capretti, Charles Andrews, the City of Joliet, Officer Richard Olson, and Officer Tomas Ponce.*fn1 Defendants Harrah's, Torrens, and Capretti moved for summary judgment on all remaining counts. For the reasons discussed below, Defendants' motion is granted with respect to Counts V and VI(a).*fn2 The Court dismisses Plaintiff's remaining state-law claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

BACKGROUND*fn3

  On May 7, 2002, Sherry Torrens was working as a cocktail waitress in the slot machine area at Harrah's Joliet Casino in Joliet, Illinois. Tony Capretti was working as a security guard, and Chuck Andrews was working as the security shift manager, managing Capretti.

  While cleaning in the slot machine area that evening, Torrens observed Mr. Green urinating on the casino carpet. Torrens walked around the slot machines in order to verify her observation and to be sure Green was not spilling or pouring out a drink. A few seconds later, from a different vantage point, Torrens noted that the stream of urine was still flowing. Torrens concluded that Green was urinating on the carpet.

  Torrens notified Tony Capretti, who was stationed in her area, that she had observed a patron urinating in the casino. When Capretti went to the area Torrens had observed Plaintiff urinating, Plaintiff and his wife were no longer there. Torrens identified Plaintiff as an African-American man in his late forties wearing a blue shirt and accompanied by a woman, Capretti observed a dark spot on the carpet where Torrens indicated the urination had occurred. Observing the liquid on a towel, Capretti concluded that it looked like urine. Torrens went downstairs to make a written statement about the incident.

  A Harrah's security guard informed Charles "Chuck" Andrews of the situation. Andrews approached Plaintiff and, after speaking with Torrens, escorted him from the casino floor. Andrews informed Plaintiff that a witness had seen him urinating on the floor. Andrews took Plaintiff downstairs and placed him in a holding cell before calling Joliet police. Officer Richard Olson arrived and spoke with Torrens. He found her to be a credible witness, and subsequently placed Plaintiff under arrest. Because Olson's vehicle was not appropriate for custody of detainees, Officer Tomas Ponce came to Harrah's to take Plaintiff to the police station.

  Harrah's video surveillance of the incident shows only that Harrah's employees had approached Plaintiff, taken him downstairs, and held him in a small room until the police arrived. The video does not show Plaintiff urinating on the casino floor.

  LEGAL STANDARDS

 I. Summary Judgment

  Summary judgment is proper when "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 genuine issue of triable fact exists only if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Pugh v. City of Attica, 259 F.3d 619, 625 (7th Cir. 2001) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510 (1986)). The party seeking summary judgment has the burden of establishing the lack of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552 (1986). A party will successfully oppose summary judgment only if it presents "definite, competent evidence to rebut the motion." Equal Employment Opportunity Comm'n v. Roebuck & Co., 233 F.3d 432, 437 (7th Cir. 2000). The Court "considers the evidentiary record in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and draws all reasonable inferences in his favor." Lesch v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., 282 F.3d 467, 471 (7th Cir. 2002).

 II. Local Rules and Standing Orders

  A. Local Rule 56.1

  Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) requires a party opposing summary judgment to file a statement containing "a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement," and warns that "[a]ll material facts set forth in the statement required of the moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing party." Plaintiff cited this rule and then ignored it. Claiming that Defendants' organization and presentation of fact made it "impossible" for Plaintiff to present his responses as required by the rule, Plaintiff did not even attempt to respond with any specificity to Defendants' statement of facts. Instead, Plaintiff filed a statement of 242 additional facts, giving no indication of which statements correspond to any particular statement of fact by Defendant. Defendant's statements of fact were not improper under Rule 56.1, and Plaintiff was bound by the rules of ...


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