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Jermain King v. Sheriff of Schuyler County Don L. Schieferdecker

July 6, 2011

JERMAIN KING, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SHERIFF OF SCHUYLER COUNTY DON L. SCHIEFERDECKER;
DEPUTY SHERIFF THOMAS KANOSKI, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge.

E-FILED

Wednesday, 06 July, 2011 04:55:25 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This cause is before the Court on the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Motion) (d/e 101) filed by Defendants Don L. Schieferdecker, Sheriff of Schuyler County, and Thomas Kanoski, Deputy Sheriff (collectively referred to as the Schuyler County Defendants). For the reasons that follow, the Motion is GRANTED.

I. INTRODUCTION

Beginning in May 2006, Plaintiff Jermain King worked as a Security Therapy Aid at the Illinois Department of Human Services' (IDHS) Rushville Sexually Violent Person's Treatment and Detention Facility (Facility). Plaintiff alleges he spoke out about the disparity in treatment of African American staff by IDHS and also submitted numerous written complaints. Plaintiff alleges IDHS and IDHS employees conspired to retaliate against him in various ways, which ultimately led to his discharge. As is relevant to the Schuyler County Defendants, Plaintiff alleges that certain IDHS employees falsely reported to the Schuyler County Sheriff's Department that Plaintiff was bringing drugs into the Facility. Plaintiff contends Sheriff Schieferdecker and Deputy Kanoski thereafter subjected him to an illegal full body strip search.*fn1

In May 2009, Plaintiff filed an eight-count Verified First Amended Complaint against the Schuyler County Defendants, IDHS, and 20 IDHS employees, pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3, 42 U.S.C. §1983, and state law. Following a motion to dismiss, two claims remain against the Schuyler County Defendants: (1) Count IV, which alleges the Schuyler County Defendants violated Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights by conducting a strip search of Plaintiff when he was arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant; and (2) Count VIII, a § 1983 municipal liability "Monell" claim against the Sheriff's Office and Sheriff Schieferdecker for liability for the illegal strip search. See Monell v. Department of Social Services of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978) (a local government is responsible under § 1983 "when execution of a government's policy or custom . . . inflicts the injury that the government as an entity is responsible").

The Schuyler County Defendants now move for summary judgment on Count IV of the Amended Complaint. The Schuyler County Defendants assert: (1) Sheriff Schieferdecker was not present when Plaintiff was searched at the Schuyler County Jail and had no personal involvement in the alleged constitutional violation; (2) Deputy Kanoski had an individualized reasonable suspicion that Plaintiff was carrying contraband at the time he was arrested and searched; and (3) Deputy Kanoski is entitled to qualified immunity.

II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

This Court has subject matter jurisdiction because Plaintiff's claims are based on federal law. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 ("The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States"). Venue is proper because the events giving rise to the claim occurred in Schuyler County, Illinois. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) (a civil action where jurisdiction is not founded solely on diversity of citizenship may be brought in a judicial district where a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred).

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); see also, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). A moving party must show that no reasonable fact-finder could return a verdict for the non-moving party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 254 (1986); Gleason v. Mesirow Fin., Inc., 118 F.3d 1134, 1139 (7th Cir. 1997). Facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and all reasonable inferences must be drawn for the non-movant. See Trentadue v. Redmon, 619 F.3d 648, 652 (7th Cir. 2010).

IV. FACTS PERTAINING TO THE MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

A. Plaintiff's Objections to the Statement of Undisputed Facts Plaintiff objects to or challenges a ...


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