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Talmon Hegwood, Jr v. City of Berwyn

September 2, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Virginia M. Kendall


Plaintiff Talmon Hegwood ("Hegwood"), proceeding pro se, brought suit against Defendants for constitutional and state law violations stemming from his October 19, 2008 arrest. The Court granted K-Mart Department Store and Robert Hartz's Motion to Dismiss. Now the remaining defendants-the City of Berwyn and Officers Joseph Petersen and Paola Raimondi (collectively "Defendants")-move for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the Court grants their Motion for Summary Judgment on Counts I, II, and III and dismisses without prejudice Hegwood's supplemental state law claims in Counts IV, V, VII, VIII, IX, and X.


I. Local Rule 56.1

Defendants, as the moving party, must present facts supported by affidavits and evidence in the record showing there are no genuine issues of material fact and they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. L.R. 56.1(a). Each fact must cite to a specific piece of evidence. Id. To create a fact dispute, Hegwood, as the party opposing summary judgment, must respond to Defendants' facts by pointing out contrary facts that are supported by affidavits or admissible evidence in the record. Id. 56.1(b)(3)(B). Noting that a particular fact is "disputed," without supplying the required evidentiary support, is insufficient; the Court deems admitted facts that suffer such a deficiency. Id.

56.1(b)(3)(C) ("All material facts set forth in the statement required by the moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing party."). Not only must Hegwood support his responses to Defendants' Rule 56.1 facts with specific citations, but the evidence he offers must also be admissible. Gunville v. Walker, 583 F.3d 979, 985 (7th Cir. 2009).

Hegwood never responded to Defendants' facts 22 through 51 and his failure to "controvert" these facts as Local Rule 56.1 requires means they are all deemed admitted. Cracco v. Vitran Express, Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009) ("Because of the important function local rules like Rule 56.1 serve in organizing the evidence and identifying disputed facts, we have consistently upheld the district court's discretion to require strict compliance with those rules.").

Although as a pro se litigant the Court affords Hegwood leniency if he fails to comply with procedural technicalities, his pro se status does not give him a license to ignore the requirements of L.R. 56.1.*fn2 Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1061 (7th Cir. 2006); Greer v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Chicago, Ill., 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2003); Members v. Paige, 140 F.3d 699, 702 (7th Cir. 1998. At the February 1, 2011 status the Court noted Hegwood's vast experience litigating cases in federal court and carefully explained his obligation under the local rules to present exhibits and evidence to support his claims. Hegwood's 56.1 response contains few citations to admissible evidence, and he attached voluminous exhibits to his response rarely explaining in his brief the significance of these documents. See U.S. v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991) ("Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs"). The Court has sifted through this lengthy material and considered those additional proposed facts that Hegwood discussed in his response brief and are admissible.*fn3 See, e.g., Nitz v. Doe, No. 08 C 334, 2010 WL 4876648, at *1-3 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 22, 2010) (Hibbler, J.) (pro se litigants are entitled flexibility in complying with L.R. 56.1, but they cannot submit sizeable filings and leave the Court with no guidance on the location and importance of material evidence).

II. October 19, 2008 Incident*fn4

Three events that occurred on October 19, 2008 comprise Hegwood's claims: (1) his arrest; (2) the search of his duffel bag; and (3) feeding him a burrito at the jail that made him become ill.

A. Arrest

On October 19, 2008, Hegwood called the police to report a disturbance at a McDonald's in Berwyn, Illinois. (Hegwood 56.1 Resp. ¶ 13.) Joseph Petersen ("Petersen"), a police officer with the Berwyn Police Department, responded to the call. (Id. ¶¶ 3, 13.) Upon arriving at McDonald's, Petersen asked Hegwood for his identification. (Id. ¶ 15.) Hegwood provided his identification and Petersen conducted a warrant check over the radio.*fn5 (Id. ¶ 17.) Petersen received notification that there was an outstanding warrant for Hegwood from the Cook County Sheriff's Office. (Id. ¶ 18.) Petersen then handcuffed Hegwood and stated "you're under arrest because you have a warrant from the Cook County Sheriff's Office." (Id. ¶ 22.) Hegwood responded that he had recently been released from Cook County jail and that everything had "been cleared up." (Id. ¶ 23.) Petersen told Hegwood to "shut up" and led him to a marked Berwyn Police Department vehicle.*fn6 (Id. ¶ 24.)

B. Search

After the arrest, Hegwood asked Petersen to go back into McDonald's and pick up some personal items that he left on a table. (Id. ¶ 25.) Petersen retrieved Hegwood's duffel bag and portfolio, placed them in his police car, and transported them back to the Berwyn police station. (Id. ¶ 26.) After Hegwood arrived at the police station, Petersen noticed the duffel bag had a K-Mart price tag on it. (Id. ¶ 27.) Petersen performed an inventory of the bag and found clothing and hats inside; these items were still on hangers and had theft detection devices still attached. (Id.) There were no receipts for these items in the bag or on Hegwood. (Id. ¶ 35.)

Petersen then contacted the K-Mart Department Store in Forest Park and spoke with the manager, Robert Hartz ("Hartz"). (Id. ¶ 30.) Hartz told Petersen that $459.83 worth of inventory had gone missing from the store on October 19. (Id. ¶ 31.) Hartz also notified Petersen that the store had a surveillance video from October 19. (Id. ¶ 33.) The video showed Hegwood entering the store, taking an empty duffel bag, and filling it with items. (Id.) It also captured Hegwood leaving the store wearing a brown jumpsuit, which he was not wearing when he entered the store. (Id.) Finally, the video ...

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