Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

McDowell v. Village of Lansing

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

October 2, 2013

MARLO McDOWELL, Plaintiff,


AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge.

On August 31, 2012, Plaintiff Marlo McDowell filed the present Amended Complaint against Defendants Village of Lansing, Illinois ("Lansing") and Lansing Police Officer Michael Rodriguez ("Officer Rodriguez") alleging a Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. McDowell also brings a "wilful and wanton" negligence claim pursuant to the Court's supplemental jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). Before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a). For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendants' summary judgment motion and dismisses this lawsuit in its entirety.


I. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1

Local Rule 56.1 "is designed, in part, to aid the district court, which does not have the advantage of the parties' familiarity with the record and often cannot afford to spend the time combing the record to locate the relevant information, ' in determining whether a trial is necessary." Delapaz v. Richardson, 634 F.3d 895, 899 (7th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted). Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide "a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue." Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009). "The opposing party is required to file a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon." Id. (citing N.D.Ill. R. 56.1(b)(3)(B)). Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C) requires the nonmoving party to present a separate statement of additional facts that requires the denial of summary judgment. See Ciomber v. Cooperative Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 635, 643-44 (7th Cir. 2008).

In general, the purpose of Local Rule 56.1 statements and responses is to identify the relevant admissible evidence supporting the material facts, not to make factual or legal arguments. See Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 2006) ("statement of material facts did [] not comply with Rule 56.1 as it failed to adequately cite the record and was filled with irrelevant information, legal arguments, and conjecture"). "When a responding party's statement fails to dispute the facts set forth in the moving party's statement in the manner dictated by the rule, those facts are deemed admitted for purposes of the motion." Cracco, 559 F.3d at 632. In sum, "[f]or litigants appearing in the Northern District of Illinois, the Rule 56.1 statement is a critical, and required, component of a litigant's response to a motion for summary judgment. The purpose of the local rule is to make the summary judgment process less burdensome on district courts, by requiring the parties to nail down the relevant facts and the way they propose to support them." Sojka v. Bovis Lend Lease, Inc., 686 F.3d 394, 398 (7th Cir. 2012). With these standards in mind, the Court turns to the relevant facts of this case.

II. Relevant Facts

On June 25, 2011, McDowell went to the Bottoms Up restaurant and bar in unincorporated Cook County outside of Lansing at about 3:30 a.m., after he had finished his shift as a bar manager at O'Keefe's. (R. 34, Defs.' Rule 56.1 Stmt. Facts ¶ 5, R. 36, Pl.'s Rule 56.1 Add'l Stmt. Facts ¶ 1.) When he got to Bottoms Up, McDowell sat with his friends Richie Birkenfeld, Don Birkenfeld, and Noelle Folden. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 9, Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 3.) McDowell and his friends were at Bottoms Up until 4:00 a.m., which was closing time. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 10.) At that time, a fight occurred between Richie Birkenfeld and McDowell against four or five other people, including Steven Morandi and Ricky Ramirez, an off-duty police officer. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶¶ 10, 11, 28, Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶¶ 4-7.) The fight eventually moved to the parking lot of Bottoms Up. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 14.) At some point, McDowell told Folden to call the police and she called 911. ( Id. ¶¶ 15, 25; Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 15.)

After being dispatched to Bottoms Up, Officer Rodriguez arrived at the scene while the fight was ongoing. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶¶ 16, 43, 45; Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶¶ 16, 19.) Prior to arriving at the scene, dispatch informed Officer Rodriguez that a fight was in progress and that one of the individuals was an off-duty police officer. (Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 17.) Upon arriving, Officer Rodriguez exited his vehicle, approached the fight with his Taser drawn, and ordered everyone to the ground, to which everyone complied but Morandi. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶¶ 17, 49, 51, Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶¶ 22, 23.) At that time, Officer Rodriguez was the only law enforcement officer at the scene. ( Id. ¶ 50.) Moments after McDowell got to the ground - no more than one or two minutes - Morandi kicked McDowell in the face. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 18, Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 33.) After he kicked McDowell, Morandi then got on the ground. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 39.) Thereafter, the Cook County Sheriff's Police Department arrived and arrested the offenders, took statements, and filled out the police reports.[1] (Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 36; Defs.' Ex. B, McDowell Dep., at 9, 48.)

An ambulance then took McDowell to the Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, where he underwent surgery on his jaw because it was fractured. (Pl.'s Stmt. Facts ¶ 39.) The Cook County State's Attorney prosecuted Morandi in November 2011. (Ex. B, McDowell Dep., at 59, Ex. F, 11/21/11 transcript).


Summary judgment is appropriate "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A genuine dispute as to any material fact exists if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). In determining summary judgment motions, "facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party only if there is a genuine' dispute as to those facts." Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 167 L.Ed.2d 686 (2007). The party seeking summary judgment has the burden of establishing that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). After "a properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the adverse party must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255 (quotation omitted). "A plaintiff must begin to meet this burden by submitting admissible, supporting evidence in response to a proper motion for summary judgment." Harney v. City of Chicago, 702 F.3d 916, 925 (7th Cir. 2012).


I. Substantive Due ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.