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Angelina Cianfaglione v. Terry Rogers

May 11, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCUSKEY U.S. District Judge


Friday, 11 May, 2012 12:13:00 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD


This case is before the court for ruling on the Motion for Summary Judgment [21] and the Motion to Strike [29] filed by the Defendants, Terry Rogers ("Rogers"), Dee Burgin ("Burgin"), Robert Wilson ("Wilson"), Beverly Weger ("Weger") and Edgar County, Illinois ("Edgar County"). This court has carefully reviewed the arguments of the parties and the documents filed by the parties. Following this careful and thorough review: (1) Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [21] is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part; and (2) Defendants' Motion to Strike Affidavits [29] is DENIED.


I. Background Events

On May 19, 2008, Plaintiff, Angelina Cianfaglione, who was a resident of Edgar County, Illinois, received a citation for driving on a suspended license. After pleading not guilty to driving on a suspended license and demanding a jury trial, Plaintiff failed to appear for a scheduled court appearance at the Edgar County Courthouse on August 14, 2008. Judge David Lewis ordered a warrant to issue for Plaintiff's arrest and set bond at $4,000. In the days between August 14, 2008 and August 20, 2008, Plaintiff alleges that: (1) she contacted the Sheriff of Edgar County and was told that a warrant would be issued for her arrest in a few days and that the bond would be $400 and that once issued, she could turn herself in at the jail; (2) she repeatedly checked the "Judici" website to see if her warrant had been issued and it had not; and (3) she contacted the Circuit Clerk's office on August 20, 2008 about the warrant and was told it was not yet issued.

II. Events on August 20, 2008

On August 20, 2008, Defendants Rogers and Burgin, who were deputies of the Sheriff of Edgar County, Illinois, were in a marked police vehicle in a close proximity to Plaintiff's home.*fn2 At approximately 5:00 p.m., Plaintiff, with her young son in the backseat of her vehicle, left her home to drive to a restaurant in Paris, Illinois. Defendant Rogers, at some point prior to August 20, 2008, became aware that there was a warrant ordered issued for Plaintiff's arrest relating to a missed court appearance. At the time Plaintiff started driving away from her home on August 20, 2008, Defendant Rogers called Assistant State's Attorney Allen A. Bell Jr. ("ASA Bell"), to ask him whether a warrant for Plaintiff's arrest was still in effect. ASA Bell provided an affidavit stating that on August 20, 2008, he informed Defendant Rogers "that a valid warrant for the arrest of [Plaintiff] was in existence and that he could seek to arrest her in connection with said warrant."*fn3 After receiving this information from ASA Bell, Defendants Rogers and Burgin pulled Plaintiff's vehicle over near the restaurant she was traveling to.

Plaintiff alleges that after she came to a stop, Defendants Rogers and Burgin walked up to her vehicle and asked her "have you been doing methamphetamine today" and "how much methamphetamine have you smoked today." Plaintiff immediately denied using or possessing any methamphetamine. At this point, there are factual disputes regarding the exact timing of events, however Plaintiff requested that Defendants Rogers and Burgin not continue their inquiry until the father of Plaintiff's child arrived to take the child away from the scene. This apparently occurred in approximately five minutes. During this five minute "delay," Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Rogers searched her purse and cell phone without her explicit consent.*fn4

After Plaintiff's child left the scene with his father, Plaintiff was now standing outside of her vehicle. At this time, Plaintiff's pockets were checked for contraband and her car doors and trunk were opened. Next, the narcotic detector canine-AJ, who was handled by Defendant Burgin-was brought out and walked around Plaintiff's vehicle. Defendants Burgin and Rogers allege that AJ made a signal, which was sitting down, for contraband.*fn5

After AJ allegedly made an alert on Plaintiff's vehicle, Defendants Burgin and Rogers searched Plaintiff's vehicle, but did not discover any narcotics or contraband. After the unsuccessful search of Plaintiff's vehicle, they placed her under arrest pursuant to the warrant they were informed existed for her arrest by ASA Bell. They placed her in handcuffs and transported her to the Edgar County Jail. Plaintiff's testimony regarding the force used to put on the handcuffs and during the remainder of her interactions with Defendants Burgin and Rogers is disputed, and will be discussed below.

Upon arrival at the Edgar County Jail, Defendants Rogers and Burgin ordered that Plaintiff be strip searched.*fn6 The sole basis for ordering this strip search was the suspicion that Plaintiff had illegal contraband on her person, a suspicion which was based solely on the narcotic detector canine alert made by AJ when walking around Plaintiff's vehicle. Defendants have not offered any other facts supporting this suspicion, such as a previous criminal history of illegal drug use or possession or any information that would have led them to believe that she was carrying illegal drugs on August 20, 2008. According to Plaintiff, Defendant Wilson, who was a deputy of the Sheriff of Edgar County and was working in the Edgar County Jail on the night in question, told Defendants Rogers and Burgin that they "shouldn't be doing this . . . because that's not even signed yet."

Pursuant to Defendants Rogers and Burgin's orders, Defendant Weger, a female part-time employee of the Office of the Sheriff of Edgar County, conducted a strip search of the Plaintiff. According to the Defendants' version of events, Plaintiff was subjected to an ordinary visual strip search. According to Plaintiff's version of events, she was subjected to a much more invasive type of search. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that she was ordered to strip off all of her clothes and bend over and touch her toes. After complying with this order, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Weger conducted a body cavity search with the assistance of a flashlight and rubber gloves. Plaintiff alleges, that in the process of completing a body cavity search, Defendant Weger touched her "vagina to spread her apart and touched [her] buttocks with her hands and spread the cheeks apart." No illegal drugs were found during the search of Plaintiff's person. Plaintiff was then allowed to put her clothes back on and was allowed to pay $400 bond*fn7 to Defendant Wilson who signed the Bail Bond Receipt and allowed Plaintiff to leave the Edgar County Jail.

The bench warrant for Plaintiff's arrest was issued and signed by Judge David Lewis on August 21, 2008. The warrant for Plaintiff's arrest was received by the Edgar County Sheriff, Timothy Cripes, on August 21, 2008, and was ...

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