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Hardrick v. City of Bolingbrook

April 10, 2008

BOBBY HARDRICK, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF BOLINGBROOK, AND BOLINGBROOK POLICE OFFICERS LIMACHER, SALERNO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 06 C 1334-James F. Holderman, Chief Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Manion, Circuit Judge.

ARGUED OCTOBER 24, 2007

Before FLAUM, MANION, and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.

Bobby Hardrick ("Hardrick") filed a one-count complaint against Officers Limacher, Salerno, Riend, and Liazuk pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging unlawful arrest and unreasonable force in arrest in violation of his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and against the city of Bolingbrook, Illinois pursuant to a state indemnification statute, 745 ILCS 10/9-102. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. We reverse and remand.

I.

Because our review is based on a grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment, we take the facts in the light most favorable to Hardrick. Kannapien v. Quaker Oats Co., 507 F.3d 629, 635 (7th Cir. 2007). On March 14, 2005, Bolingbrook, Illinois police officers Limacher, Salerno, Riend, and Liazuk responded to a dispatch. The call reported a domestic dispute in a grocery store parking lot involving a black man wearing a black jacket choking a black woman wearing a red jacket. Upon arriving at the scene, Liazuk observed a man and woman who met the description, and Liazuk asked them to come over and speak with him. The man was Robert ("Bobby") Hardrick. The woman came over to Liazuk, but Hardrick continued to walk away. The woman stated that she and Hardrick had a verbal argument. Liazuk radioed his colleagues, and Limacher spotted Hardrick and stopped him, directing him to place his hands on Limacher's car. Hardrick complied, and Limacher patted him down for weapons and did not find any. Hardrick then told the officers that the altercation with the woman had only been verbal and not physical.

Limacher asked Hardrick for his name, to which Hardrick responded "Robert Carter." Limacher ran the name "Robert Carter" through dispatch. When nothing came back on the name, Limacher asked Hardrick if he had ever had an Illinois driver's license or had been arrested in Illinois. Hardrick responded in the negative to both questions. At that point, Limacher went to speak with the female while Liazuk spoke with Hardrick. The woman told Limacher that she did have an argument with Hardrick that was verbal and not physical. The woman also said that while she and Hardrick were friends she was not sure what his name was and thought his last name may be Hancock. Limacher next ran the name of "Robert Hancock" through dispatch and again received no record on file for that name.

Limacher returned to Hardrick and began to once again ask him for his name and if he had any identification from any other state. Hardrick first stated that in the past he had identification from Missouri. After a fruitless search of Missouri records, Hardrick told Limacher that it was possible that he had identification from Georgia. The Georgia search was similarly unproductive. In addition to his responses about his name, Hardrick told Limacher that he was thirty-two years old and that his date of birth was May 24, 1974, which would have made him thirty-one on the date in question. The total time of the exchanges from the initial stop was seven minutes.

Limacher, then, began to search Hardrick for identification. At this point, Hardrick ran away. Liazuk apprehended Hardrick and a struggle ensued. In answers to interrogatories, Hardrick contends that he was "peaceably waiting to be handcuffed" and that the officers beat him, breaking his wrist in two places.

Hardrick was charged in a criminal complaint in an Illinois state court with battery and resisting a peace officer. Hardrick moved to quash his arrest, and the state court held a hearing. Before the state court ruled on his motion to quash, Hardrick pleaded guilty to the charge of resisting a peace officer and the battery charge was not prosecuted. The resisting a peace officer charge read:

ROBERT L. HARDRICK, a male person, committed the offense of: RESISTING A PEACE OFFICER (Class A Misdemeanor) in that, said defendant knowingly resisted the performance of Eli Limacher, of an authorized act within his official capacity, being the arrest of Robert Hardrick, knowing Eli Limacher to be a peace officer engaged in the execution of his official duties, in that he fled from Eli Limacher and struggled while being handcuffed, in violation of Chapter 720, Section 5/31-1, of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, 2005.

On March 10, 2006, Hardrick filed a one-count complaint in federal district court against Limacher, Salerno, Riend, and Liazuk alleging unlawful arrest and unreasonable force in arrest in violation of his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments based on the officers' conduct during the March 14, 2005 incident. He also sued the city of Bolingbrook under an Illinois indemnification statute, 745 ILCS 10/9-102. Hardrick asserted that the officers used excessive and unreasonable force in the course of an unlawful arrest. Specifically, Hardrick alleged: "5. Defendants Limacher, Salerno, Riend, and Liazuk unlawfully arrested plaintiff on March 14, 2005. 6. In the course of making the above referenced arrest, one or more of defendants Limacher, Salerno, Riend, and Liazuk used excessive force and unreasonable force, causing plaintiff to sustain personal injuries."

Three months after filing their answer, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that Hardrick's claim for unlawful arrest was barred by his conviction for resisting a peace officer. The defendants reasoned that the conviction established probable cause for the arrest, thereby making it lawful. Citing Heck v. Humphry, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), the defendants further argued that his claim for excessive force was also barred by his criminal conviction. Hardrick responded by arguing that the existence of probable cause for his arrest for resisting a peace officer did not preclude a claim that he was unreasonably deprived of his freedom of movement prior to fleeing Limacher. As to his excessive force claim, Hardrick asserted that his plea for resisting a peace officer would not invalidate his excessive force claim because "defendants used excessive force after they apprehended [him], while he was 'peaceably waiting to be handcuffed.' " In support of his response, Hardrick attached his answers to defendants' interrogatories and a transcript of a hearing before the state court in his criminal case. In reply, defendants asserted that Hardrick's initial questioning took only seven minutes and thus was a valid stop pursuant to Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. It concluded that Hardrick's unlawful arrest claim was barred by Heck because Hardrick had previously pleaded guilty to resisting a peace officer and, under Illinois law, if there is physical resistance, the police officer has probable cause to arrest an individual. The district court further concluded that the officer's stop of Hardrick prior to his fleeing was a valid Terry stop. As for his excessive force claim, the district court also concluded that it was barred by Heck as well. In addition, citing Dillard v. Chicago Transit Authority, No. 00-C-8028, 2003 WL 22136309 at *2 n.1 (N.D. Ill., Sept. 16, 2003), the district court stated that Hardrick's "own unsworn answers to ...


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