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Ron Dreyer and Nicklaus Dreyer v. Timmothy Carlton and Michael Luedtke

March 1, 2012

RON DREYER AND NICKLAUS DREYER, PLAINTIFF
v.
TIMMOTHY CARLTON AND MICHAEL LUEDTKE, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Gorman United States Magistrate Judge

E-FILED

Thursday, 01 March, 2012 04:29:50 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

ORDER

The parties have consented to have this case heard to judgment by a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), and the District Judge has referred the case to me. Now before the Court is the Defendants' Motion for summary judgment (#52). I have carefully considered the arguments and supporting evidence submitted by the parties. For the reasons stated herein, the Motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

Counts I and III of this case arise under the Constitution and laws of the United States. This Court has original jurisdiction over those claims under 28 U.S.C. 1331.

Counts II and IV are so related to the claims made in Counts I and III that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of the Constitution. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over those claims under 28 U.S.C. 1367.

Venue in this Court is proper, as both Plaintiffs reside within this District, both Defendants are employed within this District, and the events complained of took place within this District.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT GENERALLY

The purpose of summary judgment is to "pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). Under Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment should be entered if and only if there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Jay v. Intermet Wagner Inc., 233 F.3d 1014, 1016 (7th Cir.2000); Cox v. Acme Health Serv., 55 F.3d 1304, 1308 (7th Cir. 1995).

In ruling on a summary judgment motion, the court may not weigh the evidence or resolve issues of fact; disputed facts must be left for resolution at trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986). The court's role in deciding the motion is not to sift through the evidence, pondering the nuances and inconsistencies, and decide whom to believe. Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 922 (7th Cir.1994). The court has one task and one task only: to decide, based on the evidence of record, whether there is any material dispute of fact that requires a trial.

The court is to examine all admissible facts, viewing the entirety of the record and accepting all facts and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-movant, Erdman v. City of Ft. Atkinson, 84 F.3d 960, 961 (7th Cir. 1996); Vukadinovich v. Bd. of Sch. Trustees, 978 F.2d 403, 408 (7th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 844 (1993); Lohorn v. Michal, 913 F.2d 327, 331 (7th Cir. 1990); DeValk Lincoln-Mercury, Inc. V. Ford Motor Co., 811 F.2d 326, 329 (7th Cir. 1987); Bartman v. Allis Chalmers Corp., 799 F.2d 311, 312 (7th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1092 (1987), and construing any doubts against the moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144 (1970); Trotter v. Anderson, 417 F.2d 1191 (7th Cir. 1969); Haefling v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 169 F.3d 494, 497 (7th Cir.1999).

The existence of "some alleged factual dispute between the parties," or "some metaphysical doubt," however, does not create a genuine issue of fact. Piscione v. Ernst & Young, L.L.P., 171 F.3d 527, 532 (7th Cir.1999). "Inferences that are supported by only speculation or conjecture will not defeat a summary judgment motion." McDonald v. Village of Winnetka, 371 F.3d 992, 1001 (7th Cir. 2004). The proper inquiry is whether a rational trier of fact could reasonably find for the party opposing the motion with respect to the particular issue. See, e.g., Jordan v. Summers, 205 F.3d 337, 342 (7th Cir.2000).

If the undisputed facts indicate that no reasonable jury could find for the party opposing the motion, then summary judgment must be granted. Hedberg v. Indiana Bell Tel. Co., 47 F.3d 928, 931 (7th Cir. 1995), citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. If the non-moving party fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial, then summary judgment is proper. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322; Waldridge, 24 F.3d at 920.

A plaintiff may defeat summary judgment with his or her own deposition. Paz v. Wauconda Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centre, 464 F.3d 659, 664 -665 (7th Cir.2006); Williams v. Seniff, 342 F.3d 774, 785 (7th Cir.2003); Payne v. Pauley, 337 F.3d 767, 771-73 (7th Cir. 2003); Winskunas v. Birnbaum, 23 F.3d 1264, 1267 (7th Cir.1994) (plaintiff can present deposition testimony demonstrating the existence of a genuine issue of material fact to ward off the grant of summary judgment).

FACTS

As is conceded by the Defendants, there are plenty of disputed facts in this case. Defendants assert, however, that their motion has taken the facts in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs and has assumed the Plaintiffs' version of those facts; the disputes are therefore immaterial and do not preclude their entitlement to summary judgment. The following statement of facts, therefore, sometimes notes that there are disputes, but where that ...


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