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Shales v. Chauffeurs

May 2, 2007

JAMES D. SHALES, JOHN PAVLAK, AND TAMARA L. SMITH, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GENERAL CHAUFFEURS, SALESDRIVERS AND HELPERS LOCAL UNION NO. 330, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge George W. Lindberg

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Defendants City of Elgin, Steven Bianchi, Jason Lentz, and George Wolf have moved for summary judgment as to plaintiff James Shales' claims against them in Counts VII through IX of the second amended complaint. Defendant Local 330 has moved the court to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Count VI and dismiss that claim. For the reasons stated below, both motions are granted.

I. Factual Background

Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are undisputed. On August 5, 2004, Dominic Romanazzi reported to the Elgin Police Department that he had received a fax that contained Romanazzi's personal information and the handwritten note: "DOM, YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE. WE ARE WATCHING YOU AND THE BOYS." Romanazzi told the police that he suspected that Shales had sent the fax.

During the time relevant to this case, defendants Bianchi, Lentz, and Wolf were employed by the Elgin Police Department, Bianchi and Lentz as detectives, and Wolf as a sergeant. Wolf assigned Romanazzi's report to Bianchi for investigation. The fax had been sent at a Kinko's store in St. Charles, Illinois. The store's surveillance videotape showed Shales standing at the sales counter at the time the fax was sent, although it did not show Shales sending a fax.

In the afternoon of September 24, 2004, Bianchi, Lentz, and Wolf went to Shales' home in St. Charles to question him about the fax. Bianchi and Wolf stood on Shales' porch, while Lentz remained near the garage. Shales answered the door, and spoke with Bianchi through a screen door. Bianchi informed Shales that Romanazzi had signed a complaint against him, and asked him to step outside. Shales refused to leave the house until he had spoken to his lawyer, and turned and started walking toward the kitchen.

Bianchi told Shales he was under arrest. According to Bianchi, he made this statement while he was outside the home; according to Shales, Bianchi stepped into Shales' home, and then told Shales he was under arrest. Shales asked if he could call his lawyer, put on his shoes, and gather his personal belongings before going to the police station. Bianchi told Shales that he could do these things, but that for safety reasons an officer needed to accompany him. According to Bianchi, Shales opened the screen door and allowed him inside the house; according to Shales, Bianchi followed him inside uninvited. Bianchi remained with Shales in the house while Shales made a telephone call and got his keys, cellular phone, and wallet.

After Shales and Bianchi left Shales' house, Bianchi patted Shales down. The officers placed Shales in an unmarked squad car and took him to the Elgin Police Department. Shales posted bond and was released. Shales was subsequently convicted of telephone harassment, a misdemeanor, for sending the fax to Romanazzi.

Count VII of Shales' second amended complaint, brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Bianchi, Lentz, Wolf, and the City of Elgin, alleges that the officers violated Shales' Fourth Amendment rights by entering his house without a search warrant or Shales' consent, and arresting and searching him. Count VIII alleges a state law battery claim against Bianchi, Lentz, and Wolf. Count IX alleges an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against Bianchi, Lentz, Wolf, and the City of Elgin. In his response to the motion for summary judgment, Shales has withdrawn Count IX.

II. Analysis

Summary judgment shall be granted "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with [any] affidavits, 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). The court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000). The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating that no material issue exists for trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party has properly supported its motion, the nonmoving party must offer specific facts demonstrating that a material dispute exists, and must present more than a scintilla of evidence to support its position. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986).

A. Section 1983 Claims

1. Collateral Estoppel

Defendants first argue that Shales' Section 1983 claims against the officers are barred by the doctrine of collateral estoppel. In the criminal prosecution that arose from Shales' September 24, 2004 arrest, Shales moved to quash his arrest. Defendants contend that because the state court judge denied Shales' motions to ...


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