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Milan v. City of Chicago

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

December 3, 2013

TERRENCE T. MILAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge.

This matter is before the court on Defendants' partial motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, the partial motion for summary judgment is granted, and the remaining state law claims are dismissed without prejudice.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Terrence T. Milan (Milan) alleges that in September 2010, he was employed as a security guard for Reliance Security & Consulting Services (Reliance). Milan contends that on September 9, 2010, he picked up two friends in a vehicle (Vehicle) he borrowed from his girlfriend. At that time, Defendant Daniel Marcus (Marcus), Defendant Michael Salyers (Salyers), Defendant Michael Jolliff-Blake (Blake), Defendant Jesse W. Belcher (Belcher), Defendant James D. Cascone (Cascone), Defendant Nelson Lopez (Lopez), Defendant T. Czerniawski (Czerniawski), Defendant W. Hanson (Hanson), and Defendant B.K. Scanlan (Scanlan) (collectively referred to as "Arresting Officers") were employed as police officers for Defendant City of Chicago (City) and were part of a Mobile Strike Force. At approximately 10:45 p.m., Arresting Officers allegedly pulled over the Vehicle in the City. Arresting Officers allegedly ordered the occupants of the Vehicle to exit the Vehicle, handcuffed the occupants, and searched the Vehicle and its occupants. Arresting Officers also allegedly questioned Milan, who had been driving the vehicle, and discovered that Milan had been driving on a suspended license.

Milan contends that Arresting Officers found certain identification materials and his gun in the Vehicle. Milan contends that he was handled roughly during his arrest, and was chained to a wall for hours at the police station. In addition, the Vehicle was impounded by the City. Milan also contends that Marcus and Salyers prepared an arrest report with false statements with input from Defendant Robert W. Hartmann (Hartmann). Defendant Richard Aguinaga (Aguinaga) and Defendant M.J. Gallagher (Gallagher) allegedly approved the arrest report and the preparation of weapons charges against Milan. Felony weapons charges were allegedly brought against Milan and at a bench trial Milan was allegedly found not-guilty on such charges.

Milan filed the instant action and includes in his complaint claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 (Section 1983) alleging an illegal traffic stop, seizure, and arrest brought against Arresting Officers (Count I), Section 1983 claims alleging an unconstitutional search and seizure of Milan's person and the Vehicle brought against Arresting Officers (Count II), Section 1983 claims alleging an unconstitutional seizure of his property brought against Marcus and Salyers (Count III), Section 1983 excessive force claims brought against Marcus and Salyers (Count IV), Section 1983 unlawful detention claims brought against Marcus, Salyers, Hartmann, Aguinaga, and Gallagher (Count V), Section 1983 failure-to-intervene claims brought against all Defendants (Count VI), Section 1983 fraud perpetuating a seizure claims brought against Marcus and Salyers (Count VII), state law malicious prosecution claims brought against Marcus, Salyers, Cascone, Hartmann, Aguinaga, and Gallagher (Count VIII), state law intentional infliction of emotional distress claims brought against Marcus and Salyers (Count IX), and a state law indemnification claim brought against the City (Count X). Defendants now move for summary judgment on the claims in Counts I-VII.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when the record, viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, reveals that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Smith v. Hope School, 560 F.3d 694, 699 (7th Cir. 2009). A "genuine issue" of material fact in the context of a motion for summary judgment is not simply a "metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists when "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 (1986); Insolia v. Philip Morris, Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 599 (7th Cir. 2000). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must consider the record as a whole, in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; Bay v. Cassens Transport Co., 212 F.3d 969, 972 (7th Cir. 2000).

DISCUSSION

I. Voluntarily Dismissed Claims

In response to the instant motion for summary judgment, Milan agrees to dismiss the following claims: (1) all claims brought against Czerniawski, (2) all claims brought against Blake, (3) all Section 1983 illegal traffic stop, seizure, and arrest claims in Count I, (4) all Section 1983 unconstitutional search and seizure claims in Count II, and (5) all Section 1983 fraud perpetuating a seizure claims in Count VII. (Ans. SJ 1-2). All such claims are therefore dismissed. Therefore, Milan's remaining claims are the claims included in Counts III, IV, V, VI, VIII, IX, and X, that are brought against all Defendants except Czerniawski and Blake.

II. Seizure of Property Claims (Count III)

Defendants contend that Milan has failed to point to sufficient evidence to support his Section 1983 seizure of property claims in Count III. The Fourth Amendment provides for "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." Christensen v. County of Boone, IL, 483 F.3d 454, 459 (7th Cir. 2007)(internal quotations omitted)(stating in addition that "[o]nly government activity that constitutes either a search' or a seizure' is regulated by the Fourth Amendment"). Milan contends that Marcus' and Salyers' continued seizure of Milan's gun, security guard license, and credentials was arbitrary, unreasonable, and without legal cause, and violated Milan's Second and Fourth Amendment rights. (Compl. Par. 42-43).

In the instant action, it is undisputed that on the night of Milan's arrest, Arresting Officers had been deployed to patrol an area that police intelligence had indicated would be the site of a delivery of a firearm for use in a shooting. (SAF Par. 9). It is also undisputed that Marcus and Salyers observed Milan driving the Vehicle with tinted windows, no front license plate, and items hanging from the rear view mirror. (R SF Par. 17-18). Milan has not disputed, in response to the instant motion, that such conditions with the Vehicle violated Illinois law. It is further undisputed that Marcus and Salyers discovered that Milan had been driving on a suspended driver's license. (R SF Par. 22). Although Milan disagrees as to whether he was asked about his driver's license before or after the search of the Vehicle, Count III relates solely to an alleged illegal seizure and Milan has indicated that he is no longer pursuing his illegal search claims in this case. Milan does admit that he "did not have a valid driver's license at the time of the stop." (R SF Par. 22). Thus, it is undisputed that at that juncture Marcus and Salyers had discovered Milan had broken various state traffic laws, including driving without a valid driver's license. Milan also admits that Defendants had the right to take Milan into custody. (Ans. SJ 10). Since Marcus and Salyers had a valid basis to take Milan into custody, they also could impound his Vehicle and conduct an inventory search and seizure of property in the Vehicle. United States v. Cherry, 436 F.3d 769, 772-73 (7th Cir. 2006)(referring to ...


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