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Jones v. Clark

September 21, 2009

CHRISTINA JONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRAIDWOOD POLICE OFFICERS CRAIG CLARK NO. 110 AND DONN KAMINSKI, NO. 11, INDIVIDUALLY, AND THE CITY OF BRAIDWOOD, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wayne R. Andersen District Judge

MEMORANDUM, OPINION AND ORDER

This case is before the Court on the motion of Defendants Officer Craig Clark ("Clark"), Officer Donn Kaminski ("Kaminski"), and The City of Braidwood ("The City") for summary judgment in their favor on all claims asserted in Plaintiff's Amended Complaint and on the motion of Plaintiff Christina Jones ("Jones") for summary judgment on Count I, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. For the reasons stated below Defendants' motion is denied with respect to Counts I and V. Defendants' motion is granted on Counts II, III, and IV. Plaintiff's motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

On August 16, 2005, Defendants Officers Clark and Kaminski received a radio dispatch report stating that a citizen was concerned that a person, possibly a construction worker, was taking pictures of houses. Pl.'s Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (hereinafter, "PSF") ¶ 7. Officer Clark was the first officer to arrive at the scene and he observed Jones walking across the street and wearing an orange reflective vest, dark pants, shirt and hat. Def.'s Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (hereinafter, "DSF") ¶¶ 10-11. At the time, Jones was working as a meter reader for her employer, Commonwealth Edison ("ComEd"), and she was dressed in her ComEd uniform. PSF ¶¶ 6, 10. Officer Clark stopped Jones and asked to speak with her. DSF ¶ 13. At some point, Jones showed Officer Clark her official ComEd identification cards, one with her full name "Christina A. Jones" and the other with "Christina A.," both depicting her picture, however, her driver's license was in her car, which was parked at a nearby church. PSF ¶¶ 17, 22, 23. Additionally, Jones showed Officer Clark a pair of binoculars she used to read meters. DSF ¶ 19. Jones told Officer Clark that she needed to get back to work because she had 500 meters to read that day. Id. at ¶ 24. Jones then walked a few feet away and proceeded to make a phone call. PSF ¶ 26. Officer Clark requested several times that Jones give him her date of birth. However, Jones did not answer but instead questioned why she had to give further information. Id. at ¶¶ 24, 25, 27.

On his way to the scene, Officer Kaminski stopped to speak with a nearby neighbor who confirmed to him that there was a ComEd worker in the area reading meters. DSF ¶ 34, 35. When Officer Kaminski arrived on the scene, he observed Jones on the phone, standing a few feet from Officer Clark. Id. at ¶ 40. Officer Kaminski asked Jones if she had given Officer Clark what he needed, and Jones responded that she had. Id. at ¶ 42. Officer Kaminski informed Jones that, if she did not give them her identification, she could be arrested for obstruction and he then proceeded to handcuff and arrest her. PSF ¶ 35, 36. While Officer Kaminski was patting Jones down, Jones stated "this is harassment" and "this is happening because I am black in Braidwood." DSF ¶ 47.

After Jones arrived at the Braidwood Police Station, Officer Kaminski escorted Jones to the door of the station. Id. at ¶ 52. At this time, Officer Kaminski was repeating Jones's statements "oh my god" and "oh my goodness" with an altered tone of voice, while rocking and bobbing his head. Id. Officer Kaminski then stated to Jones "you wanted to make it racial out there, now it is racial." Id. at ¶ 53. In the booking room, Officer Kaminski removed a baseball hat from Jones's head. Id. at ¶ 54. Jones claims that Officer Kaminski ripped the hat from her head without first requesting that she remove it herself. PSF ¶ 30.

After Jones's bond paperwork was finished, Officer Clark advised Jones that she was free to leave. DSF ¶ 60. Jones was charged with "obstructing a peace officer." Pl.'s Amended Compl. (hereinafter, "Compl.") ¶ 14. The charge was pending for over two years, but was eventually terminated with a directed verdict in Jones's favor. Pl.'s Statement of Additional Facts ¶ 34.

Based on the events above, Plaintiff Jones filed a complaint alleging: (1) Count I against the individual defendants for unlawful detention and false arrest in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (2) Count II against the individual defendants for violation of due process and related rights under §§ 1983, 1985; (3) Count III against the individual defendants for selective prosecution and violation of equal protection and related rights under §§ 1983, 1985; (4) Count IV against the individual defendants for violation of equal protection rights under § 1983; and (5) Count V against all defendants for state supplemental claims of assault, false arrest, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Standard of Review

A motion for summary judgment will be granted "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Further, the entry of summary judgment is proper against a party "who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and in which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). When the non-moving party bears the burden of proof on a dispositive issue, that party must go beyond the pleadings and present "specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Id. at 324. In determining whether there exists a genuine issue of material fact, the court must view the record and draw all inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Beard v. Whitley County REMC, 840 F.2d 405, 409 (7th Cir. 1988).

DISCUSSION

I. Summary Judgment is Granted in Defendants' favor with Respect to Count II

In Count II of her amended complaint, Jones alleges that the individual defendants violated her due process and related rights by attempting to coerce and deprive her from exercising her speech and from freely accessing the courts. Compl. ¶ 26. Jones has presented no genuine issue of material fact with regard to Count II. Jones admits that neither Officer Clark nor Officer Kaminski ever approached her about signing a waiver of civil claims in exchange for the City of Braidwood dropping criminal charges against her. Pl.'s response to DSF ¶ 62. Further, in her response to defendants' memorandum of law, Jones concedes that Count II of ...


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