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Mims v. Hoffman

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

September 27, 2013

JANET MIMS, Plaintiff,
v.
THERESA HOFFMAN, et al. Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOHN J. THARP, Jr., District Judge.

After a confrontation with Chicago police officers, Plaintiff Janet Mims was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation; afterward, she was involuntarily admitted to Chicago Read Mental Health Clinic for six days. Mims alleges that the police officers, Theresa Hoffman and Mariam Hamad, falsely arrested her in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and that they committed the torts of assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Mims also brings claims of false imprisonment, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence against two doctors at Masonic Hospital, Melissa Gillespie and Brett Jones, and the hospital itself under the respondeat superior theory.[1]The officers and the City of Chicago have moved for partial summary judgment solely on the assault claim, for which Mims alleges the City is liable pursuant to the respondeat superior doctrine. The Masonic Hospital defendants move for summary judgment on all of Mims's claims.

FACTS

The following recitation of the facts is taken exclusively from the defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) Statements.[2]Mims did not respond file a response to either statement pursuant to Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(A)-(B), nor any statement of additional material facts pursuant to Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C). As to the City defendants' statement, however, Mims states in her response brief that the facts as set forth by those defendants are "uncontested." Mem., Dkt # 84-1 at 2. She made no such explicit admission regarding the Masonic Hospital defendants' factual statement, but her failure to file any response to the statement (she also did not file any response brief) results in the admission of the facts set forth in it. See L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C)("All material facts set forth in the statement required of the moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing party."); Keeton v. Morningstar, Inc., 667 F.3d 877, 884 (7th Cir. 2012).

On June 16, 2010, at around 9:15 a.m., Mims left her home near the intersection of Leland Avenue and Rockwell Street to attend a job interview. About two blocks from her home, she saw two police cars parked on the street, alongside each other. Both cars' headlights were on, and the officers inside the cars were looking in Mims's direction. Mims believes that she has been harassed by the police in the past and has documented these instances with photographs. Mims took out her cell phone to take a picture of the squad cars. Before she took the picture, one of the squad cars drove away. Inside the remaining car was defendant Mariam Hamad.

After Mims took a picture of Hamad's squad car, she put her phone away and continued walking east on Leland Avenue. Officer Hamad turned off the squad car's headlights and followed Mims in the car. Yelling out the window, Hamad asked Mims why she was taking her picture. As Plaintiff arrived at the corner of Leland and Western, Hamad pulled her squad car on the curb, jumped out, and immediately "got in [Mims's] face." Hamad again asked why Mims had taken the picture and asked, "do you think I'm a Muslim terrorist?" Mims stated that it was not against the law to take a picture; she then took out her cell phone and took another photograph. Mims's hand shook as she held her cell phone, and Hamad laughed, asked Mims why she was shaking, and told her she must be scared. Hamad asked, "Do you think I'm going to hit you?"; Mims replied that she "hope[d] not" and that she had not done anything wrong.

Hamad again told Mims that she needed to know why Mims was taking her picture, and asked repeatedly if Mims thought she was a terrorist. Hamad was yelling and angry. Mims believed that Officer Hamad was going to hit her because Hamad was "in [Mims's] face."

Mims walked away, crossing the street to the east side of Western Avenue. Hamad got back in her squad car and followed Mims across the street, continuing to yell at Mims. At the bus stop on the corner of Leland and Western Avenue, Mims called 911 to request a sergeant to come to the scene as she was having a disturbance on the street with an officer. Plaintiff then took additional pictures, including of Hamad's squad car and a janitor at the nearly CTA station.

Defendant Therese Hoffman, a Chicago police sergeant, arrived on the scene after Mims' 911 call. Hoffman spoke with Hamad for about seven to ten minutes. Hoffman then approached Mims and got very close to her face. Hoffman started yelling at Mims, asking why she took a picture of Hamad. Hoffman pointed her finger in Mims' face and, at one point, stepped on Mims's foot, causing Mims to back away. Mims felt scared.

Hoffman told Mims that it was against the law to take a picture, and that they were going to "take her in." Hoffman also told Mims that they believed she was acting erratically and that there was something wrong with her. Mims replied that she was not acting erratically and that they had no probable cause. Mims began to walk away but turned back to ask Sergeant Hoffman for her badge number. Hoffman said, "that's it." Hoffman and Hamad then grabbed Plaintiff and eventually handcuffed her and placed her inside Hamad's squad car.

The defendant officers took Mims to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital for the purpose of obtaining a mental health evaluation, pursuant to 405 ILCS 5/3-606, which permits peace officers to take such action if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a person is in need of immediate hospitalization to prevent harm to herself or others. Hoffman believed that Mims was not in full possession of her faculties, that she was not making sense or acting rationally, and that she was a danger to herself or others and was too unstable to take care for herself. Hamad also believed that Mims required hospitalization and that she was ill.

Upon her arrival, Mims was attended to by a nurse in the Emergency Department. Pursuant to the procedures for psychiatric patients, Mims was evaluated by a Crisis Team, including a social worker. The psychiatric evaluation documented "pressured speech, agitated motor responses, paranoid behavior, and refusal to cooperate."

Defendants Jones and Gillespie, both doctors, were working in the Emergency Department, and both evaluated Mims. Gillespie ordered a nurse to administer an anti-psychotic medication to Mims. Gillespie observed that Mims was suffering from some kind of psychosis and had to be stabilized for evaluation. The injection was the only physical contact Mims had with any staff from the hospital. Because she would not submit to evaluation and treatment, Mims was placed in restraints by the police officers for the protection of herself and the hospital staff. After receiving the injection, Mims calmed down, and the restraints were removed and never reapplied. Mims was in restraints for under 30 minutes.

Dr. Jones then evaluated Mims and determined that she was in need of mental health treatment and hospitalization. He noted that Mims had displayed poor impulse control, agitated affect, paranoid behavior, and pressured speech, and that she was aggressive, uncooperative, and agitated. Based on his evaluation, Dr. Jones certified that Mims was a person with mental illness who was reasonably expected to inflict harm on herself or others. Pursuant to that certification, Mims ...


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