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McBride v. Grice

September 8, 2008


The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Gorman United States Magistrate Judge


The parties have consented to have this case heard to judgment by a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), and the District Judge has referred the case to me. Now before the court is the Defendants' motion for summary judgment (#25). The motion is fully briefed and I have carefully considered the arguments and evidence presented by the parties. As explained below, the motion is granted.


This matter is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This Court therefore has federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1331. State law claims are asserted under this Court's supplemental jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. 1367.


The purpose of summary judgment is to "pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). Under Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment should be entered if and only if there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Jay v. Intermet Wagner Inc., 233 F.3d 1014, 1016 (7th Cir.2000); Cox v. Acme Health Serv., 55 F.3d 1304, 1308 (7th Cir. 1995). In ruling on a summary judgment motion, the court may not weigh the evidence or resolve issues of fact; disputed facts must be left for resolution at trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986). The court's role in deciding the motion is not to sift through the evidence, pondering the nuances and inconsistencies, and decide whom to believe. Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 922 (7th Cir.1994). The court has one task and one task only: to decide, based on the evidence of record, whether there is any material dispute of fact that requires a trial.

The court is to examine all admissible facts, viewing the entirety of the record and accepting all facts and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-movant, Erdman v. City of Ft. Atkinson, 84 F.3d 960, 961 (7th Cir. 1996); Vukadinovich v. Bd. of Sch. Trustees, 978 F.2d 403, 408 (7th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 844 (1993); Lohorn v. Michal, 913 F.2d 327, 331 (7th Cir. 1990); DeValk Lincoln-Mercury, Inc. V. Ford Motor Co., 811 F.2d 326, 329 (7th Cir. 1987); Bartman v. Allis Chalmers Corp., 799 F.2d 311, 312 (7th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1092 (1987), and construing any doubts against the moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144 (1970); Trotter v. Anderson, 417 F.2d 1191 (7th Cir. 1969); Haefling v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 169 F.3d 494, 497 (7th Cir.1999).

The existence of "some alleged factual dispute between the parties," or "some metaphysical doubt," however, does not create a genuine issue of fact. Piscione v. Ernst & Young, L.L.P., 171 F.3d 527, 532 (7th Cir.1999). "Inferences that are supported by only speculation or conjecture will not defeat a summary judgment motion." McDonald v. Village of Winnetka, 371 F.3d 992, 1001 (7th Cir. 2004). The proper inquiry is whether a rational trier of fact could reasonably find for the party opposing the motion with respect to the particular issue. See, e.g., Jordan v. Summers, 205 F.3d 337, 342 (7th Cir.2000).


Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are taken from the parties' statements of undisputed facts and the evidence submitted in support of those statements. Plaintiff Dytaniel McBride operates a retail clothing store in Peoria, Illinois, called Tha Place. Engelwood TP Corporation Inc., a subchapter S corporation, is the parent company of Tha Place.

McBride employed Lushonda Guyton to help with sales at Tha Place. On October 9, 2004, Guyton and McBride were the only two people working at the store; there were customers in the store. Guyton and McBride got into an argument.*fn1 McBride claims that Guyton became unruly, telling customers not to spend their money there and calling McBride a shyster. During the argument, clothing racks were knocked over.

McBride forcibly removed Guyton from the store by "placing her in a bear hug, lifting her off the floor and escorting her to the front door." (Def.'s Motion, p.1-2). McBride pushed a "panic button" which summoned the police. He also telephoned the Peoria Police Department. Guyton, who was in the parking lot, also called the Police Department.

The Department's dispatcher radioed Officer Brian Grice to go to Tha Place and investigate. Grice went to the store, arriving at about 3:20 p.m.. He first went into the store and spoke to McBride. According to McBride, Grice obtained McBride's identification. McBride told him that he and Guyton had an argument that had turned into a physical altercation. McBride showed Grice a scratch on his left arm, stating that Guyton was responsible. He also reported that he had escorted Guyton out of the store.

The officer's walkie talkie then conveyed the message that a girl was coming to the store, complaining about "being jumped." Grice then left the store and spoke to the "girl," who was Guyton. She showed him a swelling near her left eye and a small scratch on her forehead, and told him ...

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