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Ramos v. City of Chicago

September 16, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge John W. Darrah


Plaintiff, Pedro Ramos, brought suit against the City of Chicago, Chicago Police Officers John Stanley, Jim Johnson, Cesar Claudio, Timothy Shanahan and Detective Michael Pagan. Ramos's Amended Complaint states claims for (1) false arrest in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights; (2) malicious prosecution in violation of Illinois law; (3) violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights; and (4) indemnification against the City of Chicago. Before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment.


On September 27, 2007, Jose Garcia, a Chicago Police detective, was in his back yard when he saw two men standing just inside the back door of his house. Defs.' 56.1(a)(3) ¶¶ 5, 8, 10. The two intruders noticed Garcia and fled into Garcia's house. Id. ¶ 11. As Garcia pursued, one of the intruders, later identified as Miguel Manzano, ran from the house, got into a station wagon and drove south. Id. ¶¶ 10, 12, 13. Garcia got into his own vehicle and followed Manzano south while calling 911 for backup. Id. ¶¶ 13, 14. Detective Pagan responded to the dispatch call and assisted Garcia in arresting Manzano. Id. ¶¶ 15, 16.

After Manzana was arrested, Pagan radioed to other officers that the second intruder might still be in Garcia's house. Id. ¶ 19. Officers Stanley, Johnson, Claudio and Shanahan converged on Garcia's house. Id. ¶ 20. Pagan later transmitted further information about the second intruder, including that he was named "Jose." Pl.'s 56.1(b)(3) ¶ 4. Meanwhile, Officer Reidy obtained information regarding the description and location of the second intruder. Defs.' 56.1(a)(3) ¶ 21. Reidy transmitted that description over the radio, stating, "Supposedly the other guy with this guy he lives at 7249 South Lawndale, first name Jose, there's also a little tree out front he supposedly was in the house [sic]" and "Let them know he's a male Hispanic in his 20s supposedly wearing a red shirt but he took it off probably has a white 'dago tee' on he's about 5'2" bald. Id. ¶ 21. Finally, one of the officers radioed that the second offender was a "Saint," meaning that he belonged to the "Saints" street gang. Pl.'s 56.1(b)(3) ¶ 7; Defs.' Resp. to Pl.'s 56.1(b)(3) ¶ 7.

Based on Reidy's radio transmission, Officers Stanley, Johnson, Claudio and Shanahan departed Garcia's house for 7249 South Lawndale. Defs.' 56.1(a)(3) ¶ 22. As Claudio approached the front door of 7249 South Lawndale and spoke with individuals there, Stanley noticed Ramos pulling away from the curb. Id. ¶ 25. Ramos, a Hispanic male, was wearing a red shirt and appeared as if he could be in his 20s. Id. ¶ 25. Stanley motioned for the vehicle to stop and asked Ramos for his driver's license. Id. ¶ 26. Ramos did not have a driver's license but produced his state identification to Stanley. Id. ¶ 27. Stanley asked Ramos to get out of the car, and Ramos complied. Id. ¶ 28. Stanley then handcuffed Ramos and placed him in the back of a police car, explaining that they were investigating a burglary. Id. ¶¶ 29, 30.

Approximately forty minutes after the burglary, Pagan drove Garcia to 7249 South Lawndale. Id. ¶ 31. Garcia immediately identified Ramos as the second intruder.

Id. ¶ 32. Based on Garcia's positive identification, Stanley arrested Ramos for the burglary. Id. ¶ 35.

Ramos was charged with residential burglary in violation of 720 ILCS 5/19-3. Id. ¶ 38. At the time of his arrest, Ramos was 33 years old, was 6'1" and weighed 320 pounds. Pl.'s 56.1(b)(3) ¶ 10. On May 29, 2008, a bench trial was held, and Ramos was found not guilty of residential burglary. Defs.' 56.1(a)(3) ¶ 41.


Summary judgment is appropriate when there remains no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Flanders Elec. Motor Serv., Inc., 40 F.3d 146, 150 (7th Cir. 1994). "One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses . . . ." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (Celotex). Thus, although the moving party on a motion for summary judgment is responsible for demonstrating to the court why there is no genuine issue of material fact, the nonmoving party must go beyond the face of the pleadings, affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file to demonstrate, through specific evidence, that there remains a genuine issue of material fact and show that a rational jury could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-27; Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 254-56 (1986) (Anderson); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (Matsushita); Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 923 (7th Cir. 1994).

Disputed facts are material when they might affect the outcome of the suit.

First Ind. Bank v. Baker, 957 F.2d 506, 507-08 (7th Cir. 1992). When reviewing a motion for summary judgment, a court must view all inferences to be drawn from the facts in the light most favorable to the opposing party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48; Popovits v. Circuit City Stores, Inc., 185 F.3d 726, 731 (7th Cir. 1999). However, a metaphysical doubt will not suffice. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. If the evidence is merely colorable or is not ...

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