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Jenkins v. Korolis

January 28, 2008

MELVIN JENKINS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHICAGO POLICE OFFICERS, KOROLIS #8820, EVERETT, #1861; MICHAEL F. SHEAHAN, AS SHERIFF OF COOK COUNTY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Marvin E. Aspen

MEMORANDUM ORDER AND OPINION

Presently before us is Defendants Chicago Police Officers Korolis and Everett's ("Defendant Officers") Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff Melvin Jenkins alleges that Defendant Officers are liable for violating his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985(2) ("Count I") and for wrongful imprisonment ("Count II").*fn1 In their motion, Defendant Officers argue that they are entitled to summary judgment because they did not personally arrest or detain, nor cause the arrest or detainment of, Plaintiff Melvin Jenkins, their actions were reasonable, and they are entitled to qualified immunity. For the reasons set forth below, we deny Defendant Officers' Motion for Summary Judgment.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On January 1, 2005, Defendant Officers observed a driver (now identified as Walter Jenkins) failing to keep in his lane, and when they ran the license plate numbers they discovered that the car had been reported stolen. (Def. Facts ¶ 4). Defendant Officers turned on their emergency equipment and attempted to pull the vehicle over. (Id.). The driver did not pull over, but instead continued to drive and crashed into a pole, at which point Defendant Officers called for back up. (Id. ¶ 5). The driver then exited the vehicle and attempted to flee, but Defendant Officers and other assisting officers chased him. (Id. ¶ 6). The driver was apprehended, although it is contested who actually performed the arrest. (Pl. Resp. to Def. Facts ¶ 6).

The assisting officers drove away with Walter Jenkins in their vehicle. (Def. Facts ¶ 7). Defendant Officers drove separately to the 10th District in order to process the driver upon his arrival. (Id.). However, while en route, Defendant Officers learned that the driver was not being taken to the 10th District, but to the hospital to be treated for injuries he sustained from the crash. (Id. ¶ 8). Upon returning to the 10th District, Defendant Officers began their paperwork regarding the arrest. Both Officer Korolis and Officer Everest have testified that they cannot remember exactly how they obtained the arrestee's identification information that evening, but they also indicated that it was most likely relayed to them by their assisting officers at the hospital after the arrestee identified himself or through some form of documentation that listed arrestee's identifying information. (Id. ¶ 9; Pl. Resp. to Def. Facts ¶¶ 9, 10; Everest Dep. at 11, 14-17; Korolis Dep. at 47). Despite the fact that Walter Jenkins was actually the individual in custody, the Arrest Report included Melvin Jenkins's address, date of birth, Identification Record ("I.R.") number,*fn2 driver's license number, height, and weight.*fn3

While Defendant Officers each filled in portions of the Arrest Report, both Defendant Officers claim that the I.R. number, height, and weight sections of the Arrest Report are not in their handwriting. (Korolis Dep. at 7-8, 20-21; Everest Dep. at 5, 14). In addition, Defendant Korolis testified that the I.R. number was not filled out when he turned it in to the desk sergeant for approval, and that it was possible that "other information regarding the guard detail, height and weight, ET Serpe" "could have been" entered after he signed off on the Arrest Report. (Korolis Dep. at 79, 96-97; Everest Dep. at 49).

After finishing their paperwork, Defendant Officers went to the hospital to interview the person they believed to be Melvin Jenkins. (Def. Facts ¶ 12). During this visit, Defendant Officers did not attempt to reverify the driver's identity, and the driver was arrested and charged under the name Melvin Jenkins. (Id. ¶ 13). In addition, it is unclear whether the driver was fingerprinted because while records indicate that an evidence technician took his fingerprints and photographs at the hospital, no fingerprint card has been located. (Id. ¶16, Ex. E; Pl. Resp to Facts ¶ 15). The driver was taken into custody upon his release from the hospital.

Shortly after January 1, 2005, Officer Everett testified before the Grand Jury. He was not asked to make an in-court identification and the individual that Defendant Officers had arrested on January 1, 2005 was not present in court. (Id. ¶ 17). As a result, an indictment was issued under the name Melvin Jenkins. (Id. ¶ 17).

On January 11, 2005, Walter Jenkins was released from custody pursuant to the Cook County Sheriff's Administrate Mandatory Furlough ("AMF") program under the name Melvin Jenkins. (Id. ¶ 18).*fn4 On his release form, not only did he indicate that his name was "Melvin Jenkins," but he also listed 7128 S. Woodlawn, Chicago, Illinois as his address, which was Plaintiff's address at the time. (Id. ¶ 19).

Also during January 2005, Plaintiff received a letter at his residence, 7128 S. Woodlawn, Chicago, Illinois, indicating that he had been indicted for car theft and would need to appear in court. (Id. ¶ 21). Plaintiff was assigned a trial judge on February 3, 2005 and appeared in court on February 10, 2005 represented by a public defender. (Pl. Resp. to Def. Facts, Exhibits F & G; Def. Facts ¶ 24).

Sometime between February 10, 2005 and March 10, 2005, Walter Jenkins violated the terms of his AMF release. (Def. Facts ¶ 20). On March 10, 2005, Plaintiff appeared in the Circuit Court of Cook County Second District, and the State's Attorney stated that there was an arrest warrant for Melvin Jenkins for violating the terms of the AMF program. (Id. ¶ 26). Plaintiff's attorney informed the judge that her client was "not the person who was arrested on this offense." (Pl. Resp. Ex. H at 2; Pl. Resp. ¶ 26). The judge ordered that Plaintiff be taken into custody. (Pl. Resp. Ex. H). Defendant Officers were not present in court either of these dates. (Def. Facts ¶¶ 25, 27).

Plaintiff's case was then continued each month until December 2005. (Id. ¶ 29). On December 1, 2005, the State agreed to have the Defendant Officers subpoenaed to come to court to identify the individual they had arrested on January 1, 2005. (Pl. Resp. ¶ 29). Plaintiff was released on an I-Bond on January 10, 2006 after 306 days in custody. (Id. at Ex. J). On January 26, 2006, the charges against Plaintiff were dismissed. (Def. Facts Ex. G).

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is proper only when "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed R. Civ. P. 56(c). A genuine issue for trial 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, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510 (1986). This standard places the initial burden on the moving party to identify "those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, which it believes ...


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