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Shammua Williams v. Obaldo

December 29, 2010

SHAMMUA WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OBALDO, ALFREDO Z. SILVA, LAURENCE T. STILES, DANIELLE N. PHILP, DAVID ADAMS, ADAM C. WOLBERS, AND CITY OF CHICAGO, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James B. Zagel United States District Judge

Judge James B. Zagel MICHAEL A. CARROLL, JAMES J.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

I. BACKGROUND

Defendants, the City of Chicago and seven of its police officers, seek summary judgment on the Plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims for false arrest and unlawful search as well as his state law claims for malicious criminal prosecution. The claims stem from an automobile stop the police made of the defendant, followed by his arrest and prosecution. I grant summary judgment on the malicious prosecution claim and deny it on the unlawful search claim. I grant summary judgment on the false arrest claim in part and deny it in part.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment under Rule 56 is appropriate if the evidence demonstrates that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56( c). See Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 422 (1986); see also Vision Church v. Vill. of Long Grove, 468 F. 3d 975, 988 (7th Cir. 2006). A court evaluates the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, making no determinations about the credibility of witnesses or the weight of the evidence. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); see also Abdullahi v. City of Madison, 423 F.3d 479, 484 (7th Cir. 2008).

The evidence submitted in summary judgment briefing and argument must be admissible at trial, though sworn testimony, such as from a deposition or affidavit, may be considered. Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007); Scott v. Edinburg, 346 F.3d 752, 759-60, n. 7 (7th Cir. 2003). An affidavit may not be offered, however, for the mere purpose of creating a triable issue of fact by contradicting prior sworn testimony. Cleveland v. Policy Mgmt. Sys. Corp., 526 U.S. 795, 806-07 (1999); see also Velez v. City of Chicago, 442

F.3d 1043, 1049 (7th Cir. 2006).

III. THE LOCAL RULE 56.1 DISPUTES

The Plaintiff requests that I strike many of the Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statements of undisputed material facts. My responses to the motions to strike are attached as an appendix.

III. STATEMENT OF FACTS

Having considered Defendants' asserted facts and Plaintiff's challenges to those facts, the following facts arise undisputed from the record.

Shammua Williams was headed to pick up his cousin, Corey Ross, in Chicago in the late afternoon or early evening of July 23, 2006. Riding along with him in the trunk of his car were a .40 caliber semi-automatic hand gun and a printed-out card with the words "Fugitive Recovery Agent" on it, along with Williams picture and name. Williams was wearing his seatbelt and obeying the speed limit. The front windows of the car were tinted and rolled down to some extent.*fn1

As he was about to make a turn from West Division Street onto North Pulaski Road, Williams was stopped by the Defendant officers. The officers approached Williams in his stopped vehicle. Williams eventually understood the police to want him to cut the engine. After cutting the engine, Williams was handcuffed and placed in a police SUV. The handcuffing was done with one arm over his shoulder and one behind his back.

Once Williams was secured in the police SUV, the police commenced a search of Williams' vehicle. In the cabin of the vehicle the police found Williams' wallet. From the wallet, the officers removed Williams' State of Illinois Identification card, his Social Security card, and a Firearm Owners Identification card. The two I.D.s bear Williams' name, picture, and signature, and the address "133 N. Austin, Chicago, Illinois 60614." Williams claims that he lives at an address not in Chicago, but in Berwyn, Illinois. He admits, however, that all of his forms of identification bear the Chicago address. He has no lease, utilities, or insurance policies tied to a Berwyn address.

In the trunk of the car the officers discovered a gun with two empty and detached magazines. There were no rounds for the weapon there or elsewhere in the car. The police also found a card bearing the title "Fugitive Recovery Agent," Williams name and picture, a "card number," and an expiration date. At the time, Williams was researching the process for becoming a Fugitive Recovery Agent. He happened upon an internet-based company that, if provided with proof of the appropriate state licensing requirements, would issue the Fugitive Recovery Agent's card. The card Williams had was not one of the official version but rather "a sample card...a phony badge of what a Fugitive Recovery badge would look like." The words "sample" or "phony" do not, however, appear on the card. Williams was asked if he was a police officer or enforcement officer and he responded that he was not. At no other time did he represent himself as an officer of any kind.

Williams' gun and card were confiscated, his vehicle towed and impounded. Williams was cited for a felony aggravated weapons charge on the basis of carrying the handgun in a vehicle, a violation of Chicago's registration ordinance (since declared unconstitutional), unlawful representation as a police officer, obstruction of driver's view for the tinted windows, not wearing a seatbelt, failure to carry a driver's license, and failure to carry insurance.

Williams was ultimately acquitted of his charges. He defaulted on the vehicle impoundment issue in an administrative proceeding.

IV. DISCUSSION

Williams initially brought six claims against the defendants: 42 U.S.C. ยง1983 claims for false arrest, unlawful search, and deprivation of due process and state tort claims for malicious criminal prosecution, malicious ...


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