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Gholson v. Lewis

March 10, 2009

WILFORED GHOLSON AND KATRINA REESE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
OFFICER MARK LEWIS, 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 Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration. This matter is also before the court on Defendants' bill of costs. For the reasons stated below, we deny the motion for reconsideration. We also grant in part and deny in part Defendants' bill of costs.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs allege that on April 23, 2006, Plaintiff Wilfored Gholson ("Gholson") was inside of his apartment when police officers employed by Defendant Village of Riverdale ("Riverdale") gestured through his window for him to come outside. Plaintiffs claim that Gholson complied and that when he stepped outside he was immediately surrounded by several police officers including Defendant Officer Mark Lewis ("Officer Lewis"). Plaintiffs allege that the officers, including Officer Lewis, began to push Gholson back and forth. According to Plaintiffs, Gholson responded by sitting down on the pavement to avoid further contact with the officers. Plaintiffs allege that Plaintiff Katrina Reese ("Reese"), who resided in an apartment with Gholson, came out of the apartment building and the officers then instructed Reese and Gholson to return to their apartment, which they did.

Plaintiffs claim that a short time after Gholson and Reese returned to their apartment another officer knocked on the door and Reese answered the door. Plaintiffs allege that officers then entered the apartment, put handcuffs on Gholson, and placed him under arrest. Plaintiffs claim that Gholson was taken to the police station, processed and detained before being released on bond. Plaintiffs claim that Defendant Officer Frank Nowaski ("Officer Nowaski") drafted a complaint against Gholson falsely alleging that Gholson committed a battery against Officer Lewis. Plaintiffs claim that Gholson was prosecuted on the charge of battery and that the charge was resolved in Gholson's favor.

Plaintiffs initially brought an action in 2006 against Defendants, which was dismissed without prejudice for want of prosecution. Plaintiffs then refiled the instant action in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Defendants then removed the instant action to federal court. Gholson brings a claim alleging false arrest and excessive force in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") against Officer Lewis, Officer Nowaski, and Defendant Officer David Demik ("Officer Demik") (collectively referred to as "Defendant Officers") (Count I) and a claim alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution in violation of Illinois state law against the Defendant Officers (Count II). Gholson and Reese also bring a Section 1983 claim for warrantless entry into their apartment in violation of the Fourth Amendment against the Defendant Officers (Count III). Finally, Gholson brings a Section 1983 Monell claim against Riverdale (Count IV). On April 29, 2008, we denied Defendants' motion to dismiss. On November 19, 2008, we granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment on the federal claims. We also declined to exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' pendant state claims. Plaintiffs now bring the instant motion for reconsideration and Defendants have filed a bill of costs.

LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) ("Rule 59(e)") permits parties to file, within ten business days of the entry of a judgment, a motion to alter or amend the judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e); Fed. R. Civ. P. 6. Rule 59(e) motions do not give a party the opportunity to rehash old arguments or to present new arguments or evidence "that could and should have been presented to the district court prior to the judgment." Moro v. Shell Oil Co., 91 F.3d 872, 876 (7th Cir. 1996)(citing LB Credit Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp., 49 F.3d 1263, 1267 (7th Cir. 1995)). Rather, for a Rule 59(e) motion, the movant "must clearly establish either a manifest error of law or fact or must present newly discovered evidence" in order to be successful. LB Credit Corp., 49 F.3d at 1267 (quoting Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Meyer, 781 F.2d 1260, 1268 (7th Cir. 1986)). The decision of whether to grant or deny a motion brought pursuant to Rule 59(e) "is entrusted to the sound judgment of the district court. . . ." In re Prince, 85 F.3d 314, 324 (7th Cir. 1996).

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) ("Rule 54(d)") provides that the prevailing party shall be allowed to recover costs other than attorneys' fees unless a statute or other rule states otherwise or the court specifically disallows such costs. Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1920 (setting forth costs that are generally recoverable). The Seventh Circuit has made it clear that in reviewing a bill of costs, the district court should keep in mind that "there is a presumption that the prevailing party will recover costs, and the losing party bears the burden of an affirmative showing that taxed costs are not appropriate." Beamon v. Marshall & Ilsley Trust Co., 411 F.3d 854, 864 (7th Cir. 2005); see also Weeks v. Samsung Heavy Indus. Co., Ltd., 126 F.3d 926, 945 (7th Cir. 1997)(stating that "the presumption in favor of awarding costs to the prevailing party is difficult to overcome, and the district court's discretion is narrowly confined"). In addition to making sure that requested costs are recoverable, a district court must also ensure that the costs are reasonable. See, e.g., Majeske v. City of Chicago, 218 F.3d 816, 824 (7th Cir. 2000).

DISCUSSION

I. Motion for Reconsideration

In their motion for reconsideration, Plaintiffs argue that the court committed a manifest error of law in granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment on Plaintiffs' federal claims against Officer Lewis, Officer Noawski, and Riverdale since genuine issues of material fact remained with respect to Plaintiffs' claims. Plaintiffs have not moved for reconsideration with respect to any of the court's rulings on the claims against Officer Demik. In ruling on the motion for summary judgment, the court held the following: (1) that Officer Nowaski and Officer Demik were entitled to summary judgment on Gholson's Section 1983 false arrest and excessive force claims in Count I since there were no facts in the record indicating that either Officer Nowaski or Officer Demik participated in Gholson's arrest or used excessive force against him, (2) that Officer Lewis was entitled to summary judgment on Gholson's Section 1983 false arrest claim in Count I since the undisputed facts established that Officer Lewis had probable cause to believe that Gholson had committed the crime of battery and since Officer Lewis was entitled to qualified immunity as a matter of law, (3) that summary judgment was appropriate on Gholson's Section 1983 excessive force claim against Officer Lewis in Count I since the undisputed facts established that Officer Lewis was entitled to qualified immunity, (4) that all Defendants were entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim since there was no evidence in the record indicating that any of the Defendant Officers entered Plaintiffs' apartment without a warrant, and (5) that Riverdale was entitled to summary judgment on Gholson's Monell claim since Gholson had not shown any violation of a constitutional right and since there was no evidence in the record of a policy or custom condoning civil rights violations.

A. Claims Not Addressed By Plaintiffs

Although Plaintiffs broadly state in their motion for reconsideration that the court erred with respect to all of the federal claims against Officer Lewis, Officer Nowaski, and Riverdale, Plaintiffs have failed to mention or discuss several of the holdings of the court relating to those Defendants. First, Plaintiffs have devoted no argument in their motion to reconsider to the warrantless entry claims in Count III. Plaintiffs have not shown a manifest error of law and have not pointed to any new evidence that would ...


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