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Blanch v. Moritz

July 19, 2010

CHRIS BLANCH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICER MORITZ, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harold A. Baker United States District Judge

SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER

This cause is before the court for consideration of the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [d/e 19]

I. BACKGROUND

The pro se plaintiff filed a confusing array of documents which lead to this lawsuit. It began when the plaintiff sent a letter to the court on February 3, 2010, which was very difficult to read. Nonetheless, the plaintiff said he wanted to sue the Moline Police Department and two officers and referred to cases A, B and C. See April 14, 2010 Case Management Order. Due to statute of limitations concerns, the letter was opened as a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 and the plaintiff was advised to pay the filing fee or file a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. See Blanch v. Freiland, Case No. 10-4015.

The very next day, the clerk of the court received an envelope from the plaintiff with a motion to proceed in forma pauperis and three separate complaints labeled A, B and C. Complaints A and B were identical and became this lawsuit. See April 14, 2010 Case Management Order.

The court was unable to read most of the plaintiff's complaint due to the extremely small print. Therefore, the plaintiff was directed to file a new, readable complaint. April 16, 2010 Text Order. The plaintiff complied, and on May 10, 2010, the court found the plaintiff had alleged that Defendant Officer Moritz used excessive force against the plaintiff during an arrest on February 28, 2009. See May 10, 2010 Text Order. The plaintiff alleged that he called 911 at approximately 11:45 a.m. when he found a bag of crack cocaine in a field. The plaintiff says the defendant responded and used excessive force when placing him under arrest.

Defendant Moritz returned a waiver of service form and filed a motion for summary judgment. [d/e 19]. The plaintiff was filed various responses.

II. FACTS

The following facts are taken from the affidavits attached to the defendant's motion for summary judgment:

Richard Moritz states that he is a detective with the Rock Island Police Department and has received a copy of the complaint in this case. (Def. Memo, Moritz Aff., p. 1) Moritz says he does know who the plaintiff is, but has "never had any direct contact whatsoever with Chris B. Blanch while employed as a police officer for the City of Rock Island." (Def. Memo, Moritz Aff., p. 1-2) Moritz repeats that he has never placed the plaintiff under arrest and never placed handcuffs on the plaintiff.

Timothy McCloud says he is employed as a special agent for Internal Affairs by the Rock Island Police Department. (Def. Memo, McCloud Aff., p 1). McCloud says he has access to all Rock Island Police Department Records and has found no reports were prepared or submitted by Defendant Moritz or any police officer concerning the plaintiff on February 28, 2009. (Def. Memo, McCloud Aff., p 1).

Wayne Sharer says he is the Freedom of Information Act Officer for the Rock Island Police Department. (Def. Memo, Sharer Aff., p. 1). Sharer says at the request of Defendant Moritz, he checked all 911 calls for the date of February 28, 2009 and did not find any calls from the plaintiff.(Def. Memo, Sharer Aff., p. 1).

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment "should be rendered if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56c. Any discrepancies in the factual record should be evaluated in the non-movant's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). The party moving for summary judgment must show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "Only ...


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