Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Fishering v. City of Chicago

February 18, 2009

LISA K. FISHERING, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Samuel Der-yeghiayan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the court on Defendant City of Chicago's ("City") motion for summary judgment. This matter is also before the court on Defendant James Spratte's ("Spratte") and Defendant Terance Nalls' ("Nalls") (collectively referred to as "Defendant Officers") motion for summary judgment. In addition, this matter is before the court on Defendant Eugene White's ("White") motion for summary judgment and Plaintiff Lisa K. Fishering's ("Fishering") partial motion for summary judgment on the claim brought against White in Count III. For the reasons stated below, we grant the City's motion for summary judgment, and we grant Defendant Officers' motion for summary judgment on the Section 1983 claims. We strike as moot all remaining motions. We also dismiss all remaining state claims without prejudice.

BACKGROUND

Fishering alleges that she is an interior designer. Fishering contends that in 2006, White and his wife hired Fishering to provide interior design services on a home that the Whites were "rehabbing." (Compl. Par. 9). According to Fishering, a dispute arose concerning her services for the Whites. Subsequently, on August 17, 2007, Spratte, a police officer for the City, allegedly came to Fishering's home to speak with her. Fishering was allegedly absent and Spratte left a message for Fishering to call him. Fishering claims that when she called Spratte, he told her that he was the uncle of White's wife and he was calling on her behalf because Fishering owed the Whites money. Spratte allegedly threatened Fishering that if she did not "make things right," she would be arrested. (Compl. Par. 12).

On September 17, 2007, White allegedly left a voicemail with a business associate of Fishering ("Associate"), indicating that Fishering had taken $45,000 and "skipped town" and that a warrant had been issued for her arrest. (Compl. Par. 13). Fishering alleges that on September 19, 2007, Nalls left a voicemail message with the Associate, identifying himself as a detective. Fishering alleges that later on September 19, 2007, Fishering and the Whites exchanged emails and the Whites demanded that Fishering return their money. On September 26, 2007, Fishering's counsel was allegedly informed that an arrest warrant had been issued for Fishering and Fishering turned herself in to the police. Fishering was allegedly held for six hours and then released without being charged.

Fishering brought the instant action and includes in her complaint false arrest and false imprisonment claims brought against Spratte and Nalls, (Count I), a Monell claim brought against the City (Count I), an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim brought against Spratte and Nalls (Count II), and a defamation per se claim brought against White (Count III). Defendants now move for summary judgment and Fishering moves for partial summary judgment on Count III brought against White.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when the record, viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, reveals that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In seeking a grant of summary judgment, the moving party must identify "those portions of 'the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)(quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)). This initial burden may be satisfied by presenting specific evidence on a particular issue or by pointing out "an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case." Id. at 325. Once the movant has met this burden, the non-moving party cannot simply rest on the allegations in the pleadings, but, "by affidavits or as otherwise provided for in [Rule 56], must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). A "genuine issue" in the context of a motion for summary judgment is not simply a "metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact 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 (1986); Insolia v. Philip Morris, Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 599 (7th Cir. 2000). The court must consider the record as a whole, in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, and draw all reasonable inferences that favor the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; Bay v. Cassens Transport Co., 212 F.3d 969, 972 (7th Cir. 2000). When there are cross motions for summary judgment the court must draw inferences "in favor of the party against whom the motion under consideration was made." McKinney v. Cadleway Properties, Inc., 548 F.3d 496, 500 (7th Cir. 2008).

DISCUSSION

I. Section 1983 Claims Brought Against Defendant Officers

Defendant Officers argue that there is not sufficient evidence to indicate that they are liable under Section 1983.

A. Fishering's General Objections to the Statement of Material Facts

At the beginning of Fishering's response to Defendant Officers' statement of material facts, Fishering indicates that she has "general objections" to the facts. (R OSF 1). Fishering contends that the facts are improper under Local Rule 56.1 since they are "compound, argumentative, and/or improper characterizations of deposition testimony." (R OSF 1). Fishering's objections are improper since the objections avoid providing responses to Defendant Officers' statement of material facts and thus are completely contrary to the requirements of Local Rule 56.1. The Seventh Circuit has stated that "a district court has broad discretion to require strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1." Judson Atkinson Candies, Inc. v. Latini-Hohberger Dhimantec, 529 F.3d 371, 382 (7th Cir. 2008). Local Rule 56.1 requires a non-movant to provide a response to a statement of material facts and such facts are deemed "admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing party." LR 56.1. In addition, any denial of material facts must be accompanied by "specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon." LR 56.1. Absent such citations to portions of the record, a denial is improper and the fact is deemed undisputed. Dent v. Bestfoods, 2003 WL 22025008, at *1 n.1 (N.D. Ill. 2003).

The paragraphs in Defendant Officers' statement of material facts are not improperly compound paragraphs simply because they contain more than one fact or one sentence. Local Rule 56.1 merely specifies that statements should include "short numbered paragraphs." LR 56.1. The local rule does not restrict a paragraph to one fact or one sentence. In fact, a statement of material facts that presents one fact at a time per paragraph would not be an efficient manner in which to present a statement of material facts and would not be consistent with Local Rule 56.1. Nor can Fishering refuse to answer the paragraphs presented by Defendant Officers by contending that they are argumentative. All of the paragraphs presented by Defendant Officers can be answered in the affirmative or the negative. We will give an example to illustrate this point. In Paragraph 45 of Defendant Officers' statement of material facts, Defendant Officers assert that "Detective Nalls, a financial crimes detective received the general offense report pursuant to a random assignment within one week of August 23, 2007." (OSF Par. 45). Fishering can either admit that fact or deny that fact and cite to a portion of the record that contradicts that fact and supports a denial. LR 56.1. Instead, Fishering only vaguely responds: "Objection; compound and argumentative." (R OSF Par. 45). Whether Nalls received the general offense report in the manner described in Paragraph 45 is either true or false and does not involve an argumentative statement. Defendant Officers further assert in Paragraphs 45 that "[p]rior to the filing of this lawsuit, Spratte and Detective Nalls had never met, did not know of each other, and had never spoken to each other." (OSF Par. 45). Such facts are not merely alleged by Defendant Officers in a vacuum. Defendant Officers cite to the depositions of Nalls and Spratte, which support such facts. (OSF Par. 45). Such facts are either true or false and Fishering could and should have either admitted or ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.