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Hill v. City of Chicago

January 26, 2009

HAROLD HILL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Amy J. St. Eve United States District Court Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

AMY J. ST. EVE, District Court Judge

On January 30, 2007, Plaintiff Harold Hill filed an eleven-count Amended Complaint against the City of Chicago and present and former Chicago Police Officers in the Violent Crimes Division at Area 3, including Kenneth Boudreau, John Halloran, James O'Brien, Andrew Christopherson, Daniel McWeeny, Michael Kill, William Moser, and John Paladino (the "City Defendants"), as well as Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Michael Rogers. At this stage of the litigation, the following counts remain: (1) Hill's due process claim (Count I); (2) his Fifth Amendment coerced confession claim (Count IV); (3) two conspiracy claims (Counts VII and VIII); and (4) his failure to intervene claim (Count X).*fn1 Before the Court are Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. For the following reasons, the Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants' motions. Specifically, Hill's Fifth Amendment coerced confession claim in Count IV-- as well as his Section 1983 conspiracy claim based on his coerced confession claim in Count VIII -- as alleged against Defendants Boudreau, Halloran, and Rogers survive summary judgment. Also, Hill's failure to intervene claim based on his coerced confession as alleged against Halloran and Boudreau in Count X also survives summary judgment. Issues of fact remain with respect to each of these claims.

BACKGROUND

I. Introduction

On October 14, 1990, Kathy Morgan was killed and left in an abandoned building in Chicago, Illinois. (R. 275-1, Pl.'s Rule 56.1 Stmt. Add'l Facts ¶ 1; R. 224-1, Rogers' Rule 56.1 Stmt. Facts ¶ 1.) The building and Morgan's body were set on fire in an apparent attempt to hide the crime. (Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 1.) On March 20, 1992, Hill was 18-years-old and is presently a 34-year-old resident of Chicago. (Id. ¶ 2; R. 231-1, City Def.'s Rule 56.1 Stmt. Facts ¶ 1.) Defendants Boudreau, Halloran, O'Brien, Kill, Christophersen, McWeeny, Moser, and Paladino were homicide detectives in the Chicago Police Department's Area 3 Violent Crimes Division at the time of the Morgan homicide in October 1990. (City Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 2.) These Detectives were also in Area 3 at the time that Hill was taken into custody in relation to the Morgan homicide in March 1992, except for Defendant Kill. (Id. ¶¶ 2, 3.) Defendant City of Chicago is a municipal corporation that employs or employed Defendant Detectives. (Id. ¶ 6.) Defendant Rogers was a Cook County Assistant State's Attorney assigned to the Felony Review Unit in March 1992. (Id. ¶ 4; Rogers' Stmt. Facts ¶ 8.)

II. The Morgan Investigation

On October 14, 1990, Chicago firefighters found Morgan's body in an abandoned building on West Garfield Boulevard in Chicago. (Id. ¶ 8.) Detectives Kill and McWeeny investigated the scene of the Morgan homicide; viewed the body; supervised collection of the evidence; conducted a canvass of the area; interviewed the first officers on the scene; spoke with witnesses and/or bystanders; spoke with family members; debriefed the detectives handling the homicide; and prepared reports regarding their investigation. (Id. ¶ 9.) Detectives Moser and Paladino continued the Morgan homicide investigation by going to the medical examiner's office to discuss the preliminary findings regarding Morgan's death. (Id. ¶ 10.) Thereafter, Moser and Paldino interviewed the victim's family members, including her father, her ex-husband, and her son, and also visited the crime scene to find additional evidence. (Id.) Moser and Paladino prepared police reports regarding their investigation. (Id.)

III. Hill's Arrest

In the late evening hours of March 20, 1992, two Chicago police officers arrested Hill for possession of a stolen automobile and possession of a handgun. (Id. ¶ 13; Rogers' Stmt. Facts ¶¶ 16, 17.) Hill was then transported to the Seventh District Police Station at 61st Street and Racine Avenue in Chicago. (City Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 13.) Hill then admitted to committing two armed robberies -- one in Chicago and one in Oak Lawn, Illinois. (Id. ¶ 14; Rogers' Stmt. Facts. ¶ 18.)

During the follow-up investigation of the Chicago armed robbery, Hill participated in a line-up at the Area 3 Station at 39th Street and California Avenue on March 21, 1992. (City Def.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 15; Rogers' Stmt. Facts ¶ 23.) Detectives Boudreau and Halloran participated in conducting the line-up. (City Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 15.) Boudreau and Halloran also asked Hill about other crimes, and Hill indicated that he had knowledge of the Morgan homicide. (Id. ¶ 16; Rogers' Stmt. Facts ¶ 25.) Twenty-six hours after his arrest, Hill gave a court-reported statement implicating himself and two other men, Dan Young and Peter Williams, in the Morgan crimes. (City Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 18; Rogers' Stmt. Facts ¶ 7; Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 26.) Hill maintains that Boudreau and Halloran, along with Assistant State's Attorney Rogers, coerced his confession. (Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶¶ 7-23.) Further, Hill contends that Boudreau, Halloran, and Rogers coerced Williams' confession, although it was later confirmed that Williams was incarcerated at Cook County Jail on the day of Morgan's homicide. (Id. ¶¶ 31-36.)

IV. Hill's Criminal Case

Hill's criminal case commenced on March 22, 1992 with a probable cause to detain and bond hearing in the Circuit Court of Cook County. (City Def.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 29.) On April 13, 1992, Hill was indicted. (Id. ¶ 30.) In September 1994, Hill and his co-defendant Dan Young were tried simultaneously -- but to separate juries -- for Morgan's sexual assault and homicide. (Id. ¶ 34.) Hill's confession was introduced as evidence against him during his trial. (Id. ¶ 55.) In addition, both Hill and Young testified at trial, maintaining their innocence and asserting that law enforcement coerced them into giving their confessions. (Id. ¶ 48.) In September 1994, the juries convicted Hill and Young for Morgan's sexual assault and homicide. (Id. ¶ 58; Rogers' Stmt. Facts ¶ 7.) Over a decade later, DNA evidence exonerated Hill and Young after which their convictions were vacated by agreement with the Cook County State's Attorneys' Office.*fn2

(Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 62; R. 50-1, Amend. Compl. ¶ 2.)

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, 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). A genuine issue of material fact exists if "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, 91 L.Ed. 2d 202 (1986). In determining summary judgment motions, "facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party only if there is a 'genuine' dispute as to those facts." Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 1776, 167 L.Ed.2d 686 (2007). The party seeking summary judgment has the burden of establishing the lack of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). After "a properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the adverse party 'must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). At summary judgment, the "court's role is not to evaluate the weight of the evidence, to judge the credibility of witnesses, or to determine the truth of the matter, but instead to determine whether there is a genuine issue of triable fact." National Athletic Sportswear, Inc. v. Westfield Ins. Co., 528 F.3d 508, 512 (7th Cir. 2008).

ANALYSIS

I. Due Process Claim -- ...


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