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Hurem v. Quadri

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

June 12, 2013

DZEVAD HUREM, Plaintiff,
v.
NASREEN QUADRI, MOSHIM QUADRI, CHICAGO POLICE OFFICERS; NICKOLAS TAVARES, JOHN DINEEN, LILLIAN BEDIA, CAROL FONTANETTA, HECTOR DAVILA, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

VIRGINIA M. KENDALL, District Judge.

Plaintiff Dzevad Hurem filed this suit against Nasreen and Moshim Quadri and City of Chicago Police Officers Nickolas Tavares, John Dineen, Lillian Bedia, Carol Fontanetta, and Hector Davila ("the Officers") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Illinois state law, and the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago. Hurem's Complaint alleges (1) "Deprivation of Property" (Count I) in violation of the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, 735 ILCS 5/9-101, and the City of Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance, 5-12-160; and (2) "Deprivation of Liberty" (false arrest) (Count II) and excessive force (Counts III and IV) in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Each of the four counts is pleaded against the Officers while the Quadris were alleged only to be responsible for Counts I and II. Specifically, Hurem alleges that he was living in an apartment legally based on an oral lease agreement with the Quadris when he was forcefully evicted by the Officers. After his arrest, Hurem suffered a major heart attack and was hospitalized for over one week. Hurem claims that the Officers caused that heart attack after Officers Bedia and Fontanetta forcefully kneed him in the chest and the remaining officers failed to intervene or otherwise protect him. The civilian defendants have settled with Hurem and only the police officer defendants remain. The Officers have moved pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 for summary judgment on Counts I, II, and IV of Hurem's Second Amended Complaint ("the Complaint"). For the reasons stated herein, the Court grants that motion.

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL UNDISPUTED FACTS[1]

Nasreen Quadri ("Mrs. Quadri") purchased 6126 N. Damen Ave., apartment 3F, on October 4, 2011 from a foreclosure. (Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 12.) At some point subsequent to the purchase Mrs. Quadri was informed by the manager of the building at 6126 N. Damen Ave., Cagan Management, that the police were called to her apartment because individuals were drunk and fighting inside the unit. (Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 13.) Cagan Management indicated to Mrs. Quadri that it had not been informed that someone was living in the apartment, to which Mrs. Quadri responded by stating that no one was supposed to be living in the unit. Id.

Mrs. Quadri visited the unit on January 5, 2011 with realtor Daniel Ju and locksmith Kerry Douvikas. ( Id. ¶ 14.) When Mrs. Quadri approached the apartment she encountered Hurem inside. ( Id. ¶ 15.) Chicago Police Department Officers were called to the apartment. ( Id. ¶ 16.) Hurem told the officers that he obtained keys to the apartment from the previous tenant and that he had paid Mrs. Quadri's husband, Mohsim Quadri, rent but had never been provided a receipt. ( Id. ¶ 16.) When Hurem was asked to provide evidence that he lived in the apartment, he produced a piece of paper with Mr. Quadri's phone number on it. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 10.) The officers then instructed Mrs. Quadri to obtain legal counsel. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 11.) The only officer at 6126 N. Damen Avenue that day who Hurem has sued in this case is Defendant Davila. (Def. 56.1 St. ¶ 18.) However, Officer Davila never entered the apartment nor was he informed about what had occurred inside. ( Id. )

Two days later, Mrs. Quadri returned to the apartment accompanied by her husband, Daniel Ju, and Kerry Douvikas. ( Id. ¶ 19.) Hurem was still living in the apartment and refused to leave, prompting Mr. Ju to call 911. ( Id. ¶ 21.) Officers Bedia and Fontanetta were assigned by police dispatch to respond to the call and Officers Tavares, Davila, and Dineen responded as back-up officers. ( Id. ¶ 22.) All five officers arrived at the apartment building and met the Quadris, Ju, and Douvikas outside. ( Id. ¶ 24.) The Quadris showed paperwork to the Officers demonstrating ownership of the apartment and stated that the apartment should be vacant since neither of them knew Hurem. ( Id. ) The Officers then approached the apartment and asked Hurem for proof of residence. ( Id. ¶ 25.) Hurem again stated that he was residing in the property but could not provide a lease for the apartment nor any bills or mail addressed to him at the 6126 N. Damen address. ( Id. ¶ 32.) Hurem also did not provide any names of individuals who could support his assertion that he paid money to Mr. Quadri. ( Id. ¶34.) Hurem did however state that he had paid rent to Mr. Quadri and had Mr. Quadri's phone number on a piece of paper. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 28, 36.) Mr. Quadri stated that he did not receive any money from Hurem. Id. At that point the Officers gave Hurem the option to leave the apartment. (Def. 56.1 St. ¶ 37.) Hurem refused and was arrested on January 7, 2011 for criminal trespass to residence. (Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 38-39.)

After his arrest, Hurem was transported to the 24th District Police Station. (Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 41.) Hurem alleges that during his arrest and subsequent period in custody he was hit, kneed, kicked, and struck by a female police officer. (Dkt. No. 26.) However, Hurem now agrees that Officer Fontanetta never kit, kneed, kicked, struck, or otherwise touched him. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶¶ 46-47.) At the police station, Hurem began to complain of chest pains and was subsequently taken to St. Francis Hospital. (Def. 56.1 St. ¶ 41.) Hurem was eventually released from police custody directly to the medical facility due to the estimated duration of his hospital stay and the need for emergency surgery to address his chest pain. ( Id. ¶ 42.) Mrs. Quadri was informed that Hurem was released from police custody and that if the Quadris wished to reinstate charges they could do so at a later date. (Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 43.) Mrs. Quadri was instructed to leave Hurem's property in the apartment; however she removed the items on January 16, 2011. (Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 44.)

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is appropriate where 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 movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Summary judgment is warranted where no rational trier of fact could find for the non-moving party. Trade Fin. Partners, LLC v. AAR Corp., 573 F.3d 401, 406 (7th Cir. 2009). In determining whether a genuine issue of fact exists, the Court must view the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the party opposing the motion. Bennington v. Caterpillar Inc., 275 F.3d 64, 658 (7th Cir. 2001). See also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). The Court is not required to "draw every conceivable inference from the record - only those inferences that are reasonable." Bank Leumi Le-Israel, B.M. v. Lee, 928 F.2d 232 236 (7th Cir. 1991).

However, the Court will "limit its analysis of the facts on summary judgment to evidence that is properly identified and supported in the parties' [Local Rule 56.1] statement." Bordelon v. Chicago Sch. Reform Bd. Of Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 529 (7th Cir. 2000). Where a proposed statement of fact is supported by the record and not adequately rebutted by the opposing party, the Court will accept that statement as true for the purposes of summary judgment. And adequate rebuttal requires a citation to specific support in the record; an unsubstantiated denial is not adequate. See Albiero v. City of Kankakee, 246 F.3d 927, 933 (7th Cir. 2001); Drake v. Minnesota Mining and Mfg. Co., 134 F.3d 878, 887 (7th Cir. 1998) (Rule 56 demands something more specific than the bald assertion of the general truth of a particular matter[;] rather it requires affidavits that cite specific concrete facts establishing the existence of the truth of the matter asserted.").

DISCUSSION

I. Deprivation of Liberty (False Arrest) - Count II

Hurem claims that the Officers falsely arrested him without probable cause for criminal trespass to residence in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and are therefore liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Actions under section 1983 provide redress for constitutional violations committed under color of state law. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. To recover for a constitutional violation under this cause of action, a plaintiff must show "(1) they were deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, and (2) the deprivation was visited upon them by a person or persons acting under color of state law." McKinney v. Duplain, 463 F.3d 679, 683 (7th Cir. 2006).

However, probable cause is a complete and absolute defense to a claim of unlawful arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Brooks v. City of Aurora, 653 F.3d 478, 483 (7th Cir. 2011); Mustafa v. City of Chicago, 442 F.3d 544, 547 (7th Cir. 2006). "A police officer has probable cause to arrest if a reasonable person would believe, based on the facts and circumstances known at the time, that a crime had been committed." McBride v. Grice, 576 F.3d 703, 707 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court assesses probable cause objectively by looking "at the conclusions that the arresting officer reasonably might have drawn from the information known to him rather than his subjective reasons for making the arrest." Holmes v. Village of Hoffman Estates, 511 F.3d 673, 679 (7th Cir. 2007). Thus, if the officers had probable cause to arrest Hurem for any crime, his arrest was lawful. See Devenpeck v. Alford, 543 U.S. 146, 153-54 (2004). "Usually in a § 1983 false-arrest case the jury determines whether the arrest was supported by probable cause; but if the underlying facts are undisputed, the court can make that decision on summary judgment." Abbott v. Sangamon County, Ill., 705 F.3d 706, 714 (7th Cir. 2013) (citations omitted); see also Annan v. ...


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