The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
This matter is before the court on Plaintiffs' partial motion
for summary judgment on Counts II, III, IV, and VII and on
Defendants' motions for summary judgment. For the reasons stated
below, we deny Defendants' motion for summary judgment, grant
Plaintiffs' partial motion for summary judgment in its entirety,
and sua sponte enter summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs on
the remaining claims.
Plaintiffs, who refer to themselves as being
"African-American/Black," allege that they moved to Fox Lake,
Illinois in August 2001. (Compl. Par. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6). Defendants
are alleged former members of a White supremacist organization.
According to Plaintiffs, on the night of August 30, 2002,
Defendants accosted Plaintiffs Tywon Williams, Juwon Williams, Deona Williams, as
well as Deona Williams' male friend, while they were walking home
from a football game. Plaintiffs claim that two of the Defendants
possessed knives. Defendants allegedly made threats that included
racial epithets and told the group "You better get out of town
niggers!" (Compl. 2). Plaintiffs claim that the male members of
their group were able to flee from Defendants, but that
Defendants were able to trap Deona Williams against a parked car.
Defendant Shaun Derifield ("Derifield") allegedly took off his
shirt to expose a tattoo of a swastika and put a knife to Deona's
throat. While Deona allegedly pled with Derifield not to kill
her, he allegedly told her something to the effect of: "Remember
our faces, nigger! This is our town and you better get out before
we kill you! We're going to kill you and your whole f____ing
family if you don't get out of town!" (Compl. 2). After some time
passed, Defendants allegedly released Deona.
Plaintiffs brought the instant action and include in their
complaint a claim against all Defendants alleging a violation of
42 U.S.C. § 3604 of the Fair Housing Act ("FHA') (Count I), a
claim against all Defendants alleging a violation of
42 U.S.C. § 3617 of the FHA (Count II), a claim against all Defendants
alleging a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1982 of the Civil Rights Act
of 1866 ("Section 1982") (Count III), a claim against all
Defendants alleging a violation of the Ku Klux Klan Act,
42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) ("Section 1985(3)") (Count IV), an assault claim
against all Defendants (Count V), a battery claim against
Derifield (Count VI), a civil hate crime claim against all
Defendants (Count VII), a false imprisonment claim against all Defendants (Count VIII), and an intentional infliction of
emotional distress ("IIED") claim against all Defendants (Count
IX). Plaintiffs now move for summary judgment on Counts II, III,
IV, and VII. Defendant Harley Hermes ("Hermes") and Derifield
have each moved for summary judgment as well.
Summary judgment is appropriate when the record, viewed in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party, reveals that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c). In seeking a grant of summary judgment, the moving party
must identify "those portions of `the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with
the affidavits, if any,' which it believes demonstrate the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)). This initial burden may be satisfied by presenting
specific evidence on a particular issue or by pointing out "an
absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case."
Id. at 325. Once the movant has met this burden, the non-moving
party cannot simply rest on the allegations in the pleadings,
but, "by affidavits or as otherwise provided for in [Rule 56],
must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). A "genuine issue" in the
context of a motion for summary judgment is not simply a
"metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists when "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); Insolia v. Philip Morris, Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 599 (7th
Cir. 2000). The court must consider the record as a whole, in a
light most favorable to the non-moving party, and draw all
reasonable inferences that favor the non-moving party.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; Bay v. Cassens Transport Co.,
212 F.3d 969, 972 (7th Cir. 2000).
I. Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment
Hermes and Derifield have each moved for summary judgment.
However, neither motion offers a justification for a finding in
their favor as a matter of law. Hermes argues that he has more
than paid a price for his lapse in judgment" because he was
convicted of a criminal crime relating to the incident and he was
incarcerated. (H SJ Par. 2). Hermes also argues that "there is
nothing to be gained by continuing this trial." (H SJ Par. 1).
However, the law affords Plaintiffs a civil remedy as well as a
criminal remedy and Plaintiffs are entitled to pursue the entry
of a civil judgment against Hermes. Hermes further argues that
the incident "was the direct result of defendant's immaturity and
excess beer drinking." (H SJ Par. 1). However, such facts do not
excuse Hermes from civil liability. Hermes also argues that he
does not have any money, and Derifield likewise argues in his
motion that he does not have sufficient funds and that his "prospects of earning a decent wage
are glum. . . ." (Df SJ Par. 2). Such matters pertaining to
Defendants' financial status relate to Plaintiffs' ability to
collect on a civil judgment, rather than to the issue of civil
liability. Therefore, we deny Hermes' and Derifield's motions for
II. Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment
Plaintiffs move for summary judgment on Counts II, III, IV, and
VII. We first note that none of the Defendants responded to
Plaintiffs' motion or to Plaintiffs' Local Rule 56.1 statement of
material facts. Therefore, all of the facts contained in
Plaintiffs' 56.1 statement of material facts are deemed to be
undisputed. Local Rule 56.1; Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Servs.,
Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004) (stating that "that a
district court is entitled to expect strict compliance with Rule
56.1" and that "[s]ubstantial compliance is not strict
compliance"); Dent v. Bestfoods, 2003 WL 22025008, at *1 n. 1
(N.D. Ill. 2003); Malec v. Sanford, 191 F.R.D. 581, 585 (N.D.
Ill. 2000). We also note that Defendants have not even made any
effort in their motions for summary judgment to contest
Plaintiffs' version of the facts in this case.
Plaintiffs move for summary judgment on the FHA claim in Count
II, which they allege in the complaint is based upon a violation
of 42 U.S.C. § 3617 ("Section 3617"). (Compl. Par. 34). Section 3617 states that "[i]t shall be
unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any
person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his
having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of his having aided or
encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any
right granted or protected by section 3603, 3604, 3605, or 3606
of this title." 42 U.S.C. § 3617. Plaintiffs allege in the
complaint an interference with their "right to occupy a dwelling
without injury, intimidation, or interference because of their
race." (Compl. Par. 27). As is explained below, Plaintiffs have
clearly shown a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604. Also, even though
Section 3617 makes reference to violations of rights "granted or
protected by section 3603, 3604, 3605, or 3606" of the FHA, a
violation of such sections is not absolutely necessary in order
to recover under Section 3617. Stackhouse v. DeSitter,
620 F.Supp. 208, 210 (D.C. Ill. 1985) (stating that "§ 3617 may be
violated absent a ...