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Stainback v. Dixon

August 18, 2008

CHARLIE STAINBACK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RYAN DIXON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jeanne E. Scott United States District Judge

OPINION

JEANNE E. SCOTT, U.S. District Judge:

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment (d/e 29 & 31). Plaintiff Charlie Stainback alleges that Defendants Ryan Dixon and Douglas McFarland, both Macoupin County, Illinois Sheriff's Deputies, used excessive force in arresting and handcuffing him. Stainback further alleges that Defendant Macoupin County Sheriff Donald Albrecht was present at the scene, observed the use of excessive force, and did nothing to stop the wrongful conduct. The Defendants now move for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the Motions are allowed.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On April 3, 2006, at about 9:30 p.m., Defendants went to the home of Al Bauza, located at 775 Mulberry, Royal Lakes, Illinois, to execute an arrest warrant on Stainback.*fn1 Stainback does not dispute the validity of the warrant in this case. When the officers came to the door, Stainback came outside. The officers told him that they were taking him to jail.*fn2 They asked if anyone could post $200.00 bond for him. Stainback told them that his daughter who lived nearby would post the bond. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (d/e 31), Exhibit A, Deposition of Charlie Stainback (Stainback Deposition), at 32-33. Stainback was 62 years old at the time of the arrest. Id., at 8.

The officers then told Stainback to put his hands behind his back, but he did not do so. Rather, he told the officers that he did not want to be handcuffed. Id., at 35. The officers handcuffed Stainback anyway. The officers grabbed both of Stainback's arms and put them quickly behind his back. Id., at 36, 74-75. Stainback asked the officers to remove the handcuffs because they hurt his shoulders. Id., at 38. The officers told Stainback that they would take them off in a few minutes.

The officers then placed Stainback in the rear seat of a squad car. Stainback essentially sat on his hands while in the squad car. Id., at 40. The officers drove Stainback to his daughter's house. She posted the $200.00 bond, and the officers released him and removed the handcuffs. Stainback was handcuffed 15 to 20 minutes. Id., at 43.

Stainback thereafter experienced pain in both shoulders. On June 8, 2006, MRI studies of both shoulders showed that Stainback had rotator cuff muscle tears in both shoulders. Plaintiff's Response and Objection to Defendants Dixon and McFarland's Motion for Summary Judgment (d/e 33) (Plaintiff's Response), Exhibit 1, SIU Physician & Surgeons Clinic Note, at 1.

At Stainback's deposition, defense counsel asked Stainback about how the officers hurt him:

Q: No. I'm asking you when they put your arms behind you is there anything about that action that hurt you?

A: The way they did it I guess.

Stainback Deposition, at 37. Defense counsel then asked Stainback if he could be more specific,

Q: Maybe I'll try to be more specific. Anything besides just putting one arm behind your back and the other arm ...


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