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Vincent Humphrey v. City of Chicago

February 24, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Judge James F. Holderman

Name of Assigned Judge James F. Holderman Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge



The court's rulings on the parties' objections [81 & 82] to the court's proposed Final Jury Instructions are set forth in the Statement section of this order. An updated version of the Final Jury Instructions is attached.

O[ For further details see text below.] Notices mailed.


The court has reviewed the parties' objections to the court's proposed Final Jury Instructions. First, regarding plaintiff Vincent Humphrey's ("Humphrey") objections (Dkt. No. 81), the court has addressed the issue raised in paragraph 1. Additionally, the court intends to provide the "unlawful seizure" instruction, thereby mooting Humphrey's objection in paragraph 2. Next, Humphrey's objection to the "seizure" instruction is overruled. In United States v. Borys, 766 F.2d 304, 308 (7th Cir. 1985), the Seventh Circuit distinguished between arrests and investigative detentions:

Not all questioning of citizens implicates the Fourth Amendment. Consequently, the threshold question is whether a seizure has occurred. If a seizure of some sort has occurred, the inquiry becomes whether the detention amounted to a full-blown arrest, requiring probable cause, or whether it was only a limited investigative stop--a so-called Terry stop. . . . [T]he Fourth Amendment requires that reasonable suspicion support investigative stops.

Id. (internal citations omitted). Thus, the jury instruction defining "arrested" and "seized" differentiates between the probable cause required for an arrest and the reasonable suspicion required for an investigative detention.

Finally, Humphrey's objection to the "City of Chicago's Liability" instruction is overruled. Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the basis for Humphrey's federal, constitutional claims, the doctrine of respondeat superior is unavailable. See Darchak v. City of Chi. Bd. of Edu., 580 F.3d 622, 629 (7th Cir. 2009). Instead, Humphrey would have needed to assert a Monell claim against City of Chicago, which he has not done in this case. The jury instruction describing the City of Chicago's liability, however, does not impact the City of Chicago's indemnification of a Defendant Officer if the jury finds that Defendant Officer liable on Humphrey's federal, constitutional claims.

Regarding the Defendants' objections (Dkt. No. 82), the court has altered the fifth paragraph of the compensatory damages instruction to read: "The pain and suffering and the mental anguish and emotional distress that Plaintiff has experienced." This language tracks the allegations in Humphrey's First Amended Complaint. (See Dkt. No. 26 at 3-4.) Lastly, Defendants' objection to the nominal damages instruction is overruled. Because Humphrey may be able to prove that one or more Defendants violated his rights but nevertheless fail to prove compensatory damages, a nominal damages instruction is appropriate.



No. 09 C 7457 #2162


Members of the jury, you have seen and heard all the evidence and arguments of the attorneys. Now I will instruct you on the law.

You have two duties as a jury. Your first duty is to decide the facts from the evidence in the case. This is your job, and yours alone.

Your second duty is to apply the law that I give you to the facts. You must follow these instructions, even if you disagree with them. Each of the instructions is important, and you must follow all of them.

Perform these duties fairly and impartially.

Nothing I say now, and nothing I said or did during the trial, is meant to indicate any opinion on my part about what the facts are or about what your verdict should be.

During this trial, I have asked some witnesses a question myself. Do not assume that because I asked questions I hold any opinion on the matters I asked about, or on what the outcome of the case should be.

The evidence consists of the testimony of the witnesses, the exhibits admitted in evidence, and stipulations.

A stipulation is an agreement between both sides that certain facts are true.

If I have taken judicial notice of certain facts, you must accept those facts as proved.

During the trial, certain testimony was presented to you by the reading of a deposition. You should give this testimony the same consideration you would give it had the witness appeared and testified here in court.

Certain things are not to be considered as evidence. I will list them for you: First, if I told you to disregard any testimony or exhibits or struck any testimony or exhibits from the record, such testimony or exhibits are not evidence and must not be considered.

Second, anything that you may have seen or heard outside the courtroom is not evidence and must be entirely disregarded. This includes any press, radio, Internet or television reports you may have seen or heard. Such reports are not evidence and your verdict must not be influenced in any way by such publicity.

Third, questions and objections or comments by the lawyers are not evidence. Lawyers have a duty to object when they believe a question is improper. You should not be influenced by any objection, and you should not infer from my rulings that I have any view as to how you should decide the case.

Fourth, the lawyers' opening statements and closing arguments to you are not evidence. Their purpose is to discuss the issues and the evidence. If the evidence as you remember it differs from what the lawyers said, your memory is what counts.

Any notes you have taken during this trial are only aids to your memory. The notes are not evidence. If you have not taken notes, you should rely on your independent recollection of the evidence and not be unduly influenced by the notes of other jurors. Notes are not entitled to any greater weight than the recollections or impressions of each juror about the testimony.

In determining whether any fact has been proved, you should consider all of the evidence bearing on the question regardless of who introduced it.

You will recall that during the course of this trial I instructed you that I admitted certain evidence for a limited purpose. You must consider this evidence only for the limited purpose for which it was admitted.

You should use common sense in weighing the evidence and consider the evidence in light of your own observations in life.

In our lives, we often look at one fact and conclude from it that another fact exists. In law we call this an "inference." A jury is allowed to make reasonable inferences. Any inference you make must be reasonable and must be based on the evidence in the case.

You may have heard the phrases direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence is proof that does not require an inference, such as the testimony of someone who claims to have personal knowledge of a fact. Circumstantial evidence is proof of a fact, or a series of facts, that tends to show that some other fact is true.

As an example, direct evidence that it is raining is testimony from a witness who says, I was outside a minute ago and I saw it raining. Circumstantial evidence that it is raining is the observation ...

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