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Aksoy v. Moreno

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

March 7, 2014

YILDIRIM AKSOY, Plaintiff,
v.
CHICAGO POLICE SERGEANT MORENO, et al., Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Yildirim Aksoy 1"Aksoy") sues Defendants Chicago Police Department Sergeants Raul Moreno ("Sergeant Moreno") and Willard Wright ("Sergeant Wright") (collectively, the "CPD Defendants") for false arrest under $1983, in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and for state-law malicious prosecution. Aksoy also sues the CPD Defendants and Stephen Kurkjian ("Kurkjian") for civil conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. In addition, Aksoy sues Kurkjian for state-law civil battery. Before the Court is the CPD Defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the motion is granted. The Court relinquishes jurisdiction over the remaining state-law civil battery claim against Kurkjian.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Local Rule 56.1

The Court has broad discretion "to require strict compliance with its local rules governing summary judgment." Modrowski v. Pigatto, 712 F.3d 1166, 1169 (7th Cir.2013) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Local Rule 56.1 is designed to conserve judicial time and resources. See Bordelon v. Chi. Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs., 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir. 2000) ("These rules assist the court by organizing the evidence, identifying undisputed facts, and demonstrating precisely how each side proposed to prove a disputed fact with admissible evidence." (internal quotation marks and citation omitted)). Pursuant to Local Rule 56.1, a litigant opposing a motion for summary judgment must 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." N.D.Ill. LR 56.1(b)(3)(B). "Local Rule 56.1's enforcement provision provides that when a responding party's statement fails to controvert the facts as set forth in the moving party's statement in the manner dictated by the rule, those facts shall be deemed admitted for purposes of the motion." Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003) (citing N.D.Ill. LR 56.1. (b)(3)(c).

Here, many of Aksoy's submissions do not comply with the requirements of the Local Rule. For example, Aksoy denies, in part, a substantial number of the CPD Defendants' statements of material fact without evidentiary support in the record. "An answer that does not deny the allegations in the numbered paragraph with citations to supporting evidence in the record constitutes an admission." Jupiter Aluminum Corp. v. Home Ins. Co., 225 F.3d 868, 871 (7th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). In addition, ffiffiy of Aksoy's responses are improper to the extent they are conclusory, argumentative, lack foundation, or otherwise include additional facts. See Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., 401 F.3d 803, 809 (7th Cir. 2005) ("Local Rule 56.1 requires specifically that a litigant seeking to oppose a motion for summary judgment file a response that contains a separate statement... of any additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment.'" (quoting N.D.Ill. LR 56.1(b)(3)(C) (additional citations omitted)); Menasha Corp. v. News Am. Mktg. In-Store. Inc., 238 F.Supp.2d 1024, 1029 (N.D. Ill. 2003) ("[T]he Court will disregard all argumentative, conclusory, unsupported or otherwise non-conforming portions of Menasha's Statement of Material Facts under L.R. 56.1.'"). All material facts submitted by the CPD Defendants and not properly contested or controverted by Aksoy are deemed admitted. Finally, Aksoy's proposed statement of additional facts is deficient to the extent that the record citations do not support the facts asserted or the facts are based on inadmissible hearsay. See N.D. m. LR 56.1(b)(3)(C); Brvant v. Bd. of Educ., Dist. 228, 347 F.Appx. 250, 253 (7th Cir. 2009) (non-precedential opinion) (citing Cichon, 401 F.3d at 809-10).

B. Facts[1]

Following a physical altercation between neighbors over noise, Aksoy was arrested for misdemeanor battery. Aksoy lived in a condominium on the first floor of the building located at 3516 North Lawndale Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Kurkjian and his family lived in a condominium directly above him. On the morning of April 8, 2010, Officer Robert Braun ("Officer Braun") was dispatched to a call regarding a disturbance at3516 North Lawndale Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Officer Braun was the first officer to arrive at the scene where he found Aksoy and Kurkjian in a loud verbal argument in the hallway of their building. Officer Braun then ordered both men outside and separated them. Officer Braun was told by a woman at the scene that Kurkjian was the brother-in-law of Sergeant Moreno. The woman told Officer Braun that Sergeant Moreno wanted to talk to him on the phone. Officer Braun testified that he stated, "I don't know Sergeant Moreno and I'm not talking to anybody on the phone." Pl.'s 56.1(b)(3)(C) Statement of Additional Facts Ex. E, at p 34:3-5. Officer Braun observed injuries on both Aksoy and Kurkjian. He testified that both men admitted to physical contact with each other: one kicked the other in the chest, and one kicked the other in the groin. Officer Braun further testified that he requested that a supervisor come to the scene when he determined that he was not going to be able to resolve the situation amicably.

Sergeant Wright received a call from the police dispatch and proceeded to Aksoy and Kurkjian's building. He arrived approximately thirty minutes after Officer Braun, who was already on the scene with Officer Hunger. Upon Sergeant Wright's arrival at the scene, one of the officers immediately conveyed to him-while he was still seated in his car and before any other facts of the case were told to him-that Kurkjian was related to Sergeant Moreno. Sergeant Wright knew Sergeant Moreno prior to April 8, 2010 as a professional acquaintance; and, he believed that for a short period of time they may have worked the third watch together. Nevertheless, Sergeant Wright testified that the fact that Sergeant Moreno was related to Kurkjian had no bearing on the case; rather, he wanted to know why he was there and what the facts of the case were.

Sergeant Wright testified that one of the officers informed him of the following: that there was a"battery between two subjects, " Statement of Uncontested Material Facts in Supp. of Sergeant Wright & Moreno's Mot. for Summ. J. ¶ 27, that Aksoy lived below Kurkjian, that there had been a history of complaints about noise problems coming from above, that Aksoy had gone up to complain about the noise and either punched or kicked Kurkjian in the chest, that he had pushed Aksoy back in self-defense, and that a babysitter was present in Kurkjian's condominium with his one year-old child at the time of the incident. Sergeant Wright also testified that one of the officers told him that when Aksoy was interviewed, he claimed to have been pushed and appeared aggressive and loud. Aksoy, however, denies that he was loud or aggressive while he was being interviewed by the officers.

As part of the investigation, Sergeant Wright asked one of the officers to contact dispatch to find out the chronology of the phone calls placed to 9-11. Sergeant Wright testified that in his experience as a police officer and a sergeant, the party who is the aggressor often calls 9-1-1 after the party who is the victim in an effort to refute the victim's version of events. Sergeant Wright learned from dispatch that the first call to 9-1-1 was placed by someone calling on behalf of Kurkjian, either the babysitter or Kurkjian's wife. Aksoy called 9-1-1 after someone called on behalf of Kurkjian.

Sergeant Wright also spoke with Kurkjian, who stated that his neighbor, Aksoy, had come upstairs, knocked on his door, and struck him. Kurkjian grabbed his chest and showed the officers marks on his face and neck that he said he received during the incident. Sergeant Wright observed physical injuries on Kurkjian, including scratches on his head. Kurkjian wanted to press charges against Aksoy, and signed a criminal complaint against him for misdemeanor battery. The criminal complaint states that Aksoy kicked him in the chest and scratched his face. On the other hand, Aksoy did not want to press charges against Kurkjian.

Based on his professional experience, the information he obtained from Officers Braun and Hunger regarding the incident, the chronology of the 9-1-1 calls, and the injuries he observed on Kurkjian, Sergeant Wright made the decision that Aksoy was the aggressor and that there was probable cause for Aksoy's arrest.

On the morning of April 8, 2010, Sergeant Moreno was at home and off duty when he received a phone call from his sister, who is married to Kurkjian. Sergeant Moreno's sister told him that she was driving home because her neighbor, Aksoy, had "beat up on" her husband. Statement of Uncontested Material Facts in Supp. of Sergeant Wright & Moreno's Mot. for Summ. J. ¶ 47. Sergeant Moreno told her to call 9-1-1. Several minutes later, Sergeant Moreno received a second call from his sister, wherein she stated that Aksoy had beat up her husband, went upstairs and kicked him, and that police were on the scene interviewing Aksoy and Kurkjian. Sergeant Moreno's sister also told him that nothing was being done. Sergeant Moreno then called the 17th District police station. The parties dispute the purpose of the call: whether Sergeant Moreno called the police station to request that a sergeant be sent to the scene or whether he called simply to find out if a sergeant had been sent to the scene. The CPD Defendants further submit that Sergeant Moreno testified that he was told that a sergeant had already been assigned. However, as Aksoy argues, Sergeant Moreno's testimony about this conversation is inadmissible hearsay, and it will not be considered. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2); Cortezano v. Salin Bank & Trust Co., 680 F.3d 936, 942 (7th Cir. ...


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