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Sanders v. Cruz

July 29, 2010

DETERTORING SANDERS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DETECTIVE CRUZ, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: George W. Lindberg United States District Court Judge

Judge George W. Lindberg

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Detertoring Sanders, filed suit, pro se, against Chicago Police Detectives Cruz and Betty (Badie) and the Chicago Police Department alleging that he was subject to false arrest on November 30, 2007. On initial review, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims against the Chicago Police Department pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. See June 30, 2008, Order. Presently pending before the Court is the remaining two detective Defendants' motion for summary judgment. Defendants have raised five arguments as to why they believe they are entitled to summary judgment: 1) Plaintiff's suit is barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994); 2) Plaintiff's claim is barred by collateral estoppel; 3) Plaintiff's claim is barred because his arrest was made pursuant to a finding of probable cause; 4) Plaintiff has suffered no constitutional injury and is therefore not entitled to any relief; and 5) Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. For the reasons stated herein, the motion for summary judgment is granted.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper 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. 56©; see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-323 (1986). All of the evidence and the reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the evidence are viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant. Miller v. American Family Mutual Ins., 203 F.3d 997, 1003 (7th Cir. 2000). Summary judgment may be granted when no "reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). However, a party cannot defeat summary judgment by relying on unsubstantiated facts or by merely resting on its pleadings. See Hemsworth, II v. Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007); Greer v. Board of Educ. of the City of Chicago, 267 F.3d 723, 729 (7th Cir. 2001). Instead, the party that bears the burden of proof on an issue must affirmatively demonstrate, with admissible evidence, that a genuine issue of material fact exists that requires a trial. See Hemsworth, 476 F.3d at 490.

When Defendants filed their motion for summary judgment, they included a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment," as required by Timms v. Frank, 953 F.2d 281, 285 (7th Cir. 1992); Lewis v. Faulkner, 689 F.2d 100, 102 (7th Cir. 1982). This notice clearly sets out the requirements of this Court's Local Rule 56.1. In particular, the notice explains that Plaintiff's response must comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e) and Local Rule 56.1.

Local Rule 56.1(b) requires a party opposing a motion for summary judgment to file:

(3) a concise response to the movant's statement that shall contain:

(A) a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon, and

(B) a statement, consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any additional facts that require denial of summary judgment, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon.

L.R. 56.1(b). The district court may require strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1. See Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Serv., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004); Bordelon v. Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir 2000) (strict compliance with the local rules governing summary judgment is upheld given the importance of local rules that structure the summary judgment process); United States v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991) ("Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs").

Although pro se plaintiffs are entitled to lenient standards, compliance with procedural rules is required. Members v. Paige, 140 F.3d 699, 702 (7th Cir. 1998) ("[R]ules apply to uncounseled litigants and must be enforced"); Jones v. Phipps, 39 F.3d 158, 163 (7th Cir.1994); Fischer v. Ameritech, No. 98 C 7470, 2002 WL 1949726, *4 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 23, 2002) (Pallmeyer, J.). Despite being given this notice, Plaintiff's response to Defendants' motion is deficient. Plaintiff filed a response to the Defendants' Local Rule 56.1 statement of uncontested facts in which he attempts to dispute most of the proposed undisputed facts. However, as to statements of uncontested fact 1-4 and 14-19, Plaintiff issued no response. See "Plaintiff Reply to Defendant Summary Judgment" [#54].

With respect to the responses that Plaintiff did provide, they are non-responsive. For example, Defendants' proposed undisputed fact No. 8 states that on December 13, 2007, Delores Moore identified Plaintiff in a photo array and Defendant Badie issued not an arrest warrant, but an investigative alert with probable cause to arrest Plaintiff. Plaintiff's response is:

On December 13, 2007, Doleres Moore identified Plaintiff in a photo array and Defendant Badie issued an investigative alert with probable cause to arrest Plaintiff. If the investigative alert support probable cause to arrest why the 61st and Racine officer stop me on sever occurrences and did not arrest me in till January 13, 2008. And there was a 9 x 12 poster with my face on it with a magistrate judge consent on it when these officer arrested me. To verified the 9 x 12 poster with my ...


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