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Perkins v. O'Shaughnessy

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

March 7, 2014



THOMAS M. DURKIN, District Judge.

Darnez and Mickin Perkins allege that Chicago Police Officers Raquel Castaneda and Jennifer O'Shaughnessy violated the Perkinses' Fourth Amendment rights by including false information in an affidavit in order to obtain a warrant to search the Perkinses' home. R. 1 (Count I). The Perkinses also allege that the manner in which Officer O'Shaughnessy searched their home violated the Fourth Amendment and that Officer O'Shaughnessy lacked probable cause to arrest them. R. 1 (Count II). The Perkinses also seek to have the City of Chicago pay for any damages Officers Castaneda or O'Shaughnessy are found to have caused pursuant to 745 ILCS 10/9-102. R. 1 (Count V).[1] Officer Castaneda and the City have moved for summary judgment, R. 62, and Officer O'Shaughnessy has as well. R. 67. For the following reasons, the City and Officer Castaneda's motion is denied; Officer O'Shaughnessy's motion is denied with respect to the allegations in Count II pertaining to her arrest of the Perkinses, and granted with respect to Count I and the allegations in Count II pertaining to her search of the Perkinses' home.


On December 21, 2008 Officer Castaneda and her partner, Officer Yesenia Cortez, went to 4340 West Gladys Avenue in Chicago to investigate a complaint that two dogs had been left outside in the cold, as it was very cold that night. R. 85 ¶¶ 8, 10-11.[2] Officer Castaneda knocked on the front window of the house at 4340 West Gladys, and Mickin Perkins opened the door, R. 94 ¶ 5, although Officer Castaneda testified that she could not see who answered the door. R. 85 ¶ 12. Mickin Perkins told Officer Castaneda that the dogs had been outside for about 30 minutes to relieve themselves. R. 94 ¶ 5. Officer Castaneda called Mickin Perkins "a piece of shit, " and Mickin Perkins then slammed the door shut. R. 94 ¶ 6.

Officers Castaneda and Cortez then went to the back of the house where they saw two dogs chained up. R. 85 ¶ 13. Officer Castaneda testified that both dogs were dirty and had heavy chains and padlocks around their necks, R. 85 ¶ 14, but Officer Castaneda did not see any marks or bruising resulting from the chains. R. 94 ¶ 4. There was no food or water outside with the dogs, R. 85 ¶ 14, but there were two igloo doghouses with blankets inside. R. 94 ¶ 3. Officer Castaneda also testified that one of the dogs was very thin and that she could see the dog's rib cage, but the Perkinses dispute this. R. 85 ¶ 14.

Darnez Perkins came out on the back porch and identified himself as the dogs' owner. R. 85 ¶ 15; R. 94 ¶ 7. Darnez Perkins testified, "I showed [Officer Castaneda] my ID. I said, I work for the sheriff's department." R. 84-1 at 48:3-4. Yet Officer Castaneda disputes that Darnez Perkins identified himself by name. R. 94 ¶¶ 7-8.[3] The parties agree, however, that Darnez Perkins "flipped his badge, " and that Officer Castaneda responded by saying, "I don't give a fuck about that." R. 94 ¶ 8. Officer Castaneda testified that she could see Darnez Perkins's face, but also that the "lighting was not very [good].... [and that she] could see height [and] weight features." R. 85 ¶ 17.

Officers Castaneda and Cortez believed they had probable cause to arrest the dogs' owner for animal neglect or cruelty, and they called for a supervisor to come to the house. R. 85 ¶¶ 18-19. When Sergeant Keane arrived he went to the front door of the house and spoke with someone there for less than a minute. R. 85 ¶ 22. Darnez Perkins testified, "I told [Keane] where I worked, " R. 84-1 at 56:15, and that he showed Keane his identification. R. 84-1 at 57:3-4.

While still at the house, Officer Castaneda ran a search of 4340 West Gladys on the CLEAR system[4] and it returned a photo of Lennell Jones. R. 94 ¶ 12. Officer Castaneda determined that Lennell Jones was the man she spoke to about the dogs at the back porch of 4340 West Gladys. Id. [5] Officer Castaneda, Officer Cortez and Sergeant Keane left 4340 West Gladys without entering the house or arresting the Perkinses. Officers Castaneda and Cortez prepared a report of their investigation. R. 64-8.

Officer Castaneda testified that she later asked another police officer, Officer Josephine Christopher, to go to 4340 West Gladys to confirm the dog owner's name. R. 64-2 at 117:10-15. Officer Christopher testified that she spoke to a man at 4340 West Gladys who identified himself as "Derrick Johnson." R. 64-7 at 35:19-20. Darnez Perkins testified that Officer Christopher identified herself as "Officer Hines, " R. 84-1 at 62:9-21, he identified himself as "Darnez Perkins, " id. at 59:7-20, and he has never identified himself as "Derrick Johnson." Id. at 197:10-14. Officer Christopher testified that she never told anyone that the person she spoke to at 4340 West Gladys was Lennell Jones, and that she does not know whether the person she spoke to was Lennell Jones. R. 84-8 at 52:16-53:2. Officer Christopher also testified that she cannot remember whether Officer Castaneda told her what Lennell Jones looked like. R. 94 ¶¶ 23-24.

Officer Castaneda then contacted the Animal Crimes Unit and Animal Care and Control, and delivered a copy of the case report. R. 85 ¶ 28. Officer Castaneda spoke with Officer O'Shaughnessy about the case. Id. ¶ 29. Officer O'Shaughnessy was a member of the Animal Crimes Team and was "an approved humane animal investigator." R. 75-6 ¶ 2. Officers Castaneda and O'Shaughnessy viewed Lennell Jones's photo on the CLEAR database, and Officer Castaneda told Officer O'Shaughnessy that this was the man who told her that he owned the dogs. R. 85 ¶ 29-30. Officer O'Shaughnessy testified that Officer Castaneda told her that Officer Christopher had visited 4340 West Gladys and encountered Lennell Jones. R. 84-9 at 39:6-19.

Officer O'Shaughnessy testified that Officer Castaneda was the only person she spoke with about the dogs at 4340 West Gladys, and specifically, that she never spoke with Officers Christopher or Cortez. R. 84-9 at 126:8-21. In addition to the information Officer O'Shaughnessy learned from Officer Castaneda, Officer O'Shaughnessy ran an "Accurint" report search of 4340 West Gladys, and the search returned the name "Mickin Jones." R. 85 ¶ 32. Officer O'Shaughnessy also reviewed Lennell Jones's criminal history and learned that he was a convicted felon. R. 88 ¶ 28.

On February 4, 2009, Officer O'Shaughnessy prepared a complaint for a warrant to search Lennell Jones and 4340 West Gladys based on probable cause that a felon was in possession of "an unspayed or unneutered dog, " which is prohibited by criminal statute 720 ILCS 5/12-36. R. 84-11. The complaint did not concern animal abuse or cruelty, but stated in part:

On 21 Dec 08.... P.O. Castaneda #13253 and her partner P.O. Cortez #8181... were dispatched to 4340 W. Gladys by O.E.M.C. to investigate two dogs left outside all day in the cold weather.... P.O. Castaneda #13253 then proceeded to the rear yard where she observed 2 dogs outside, each having small igloo houses. The female dog had a big heavy chain around her neck which was fastened to a 6 foot fence. At this time a male black (n.k.a. Lenell [sic] Jones) exited 4340 W. Gladys through the rear door and related to P.O. Castaneda #13253 that the 2 dogs were in fact his.... P.O. Castaneda #13253 was able to positively identify the male black that exited the rear of the residence as Lennell Jones by checking the Chicago Police Departments [sic] Data Warehouse.
On 26 Dec 08, P.O. Christopher #5974 conducted a follow-up investigatio.... During this follow-up investigation P.O. Christopher was met by Lennell Jones who used the alias Derrick Johnson.
Lennell Jones was convicted of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse/Victim Under 13yoa on 12 Oct 95 under 95CR0446901 and sentenced to 5 years in IDOC. Lennel [sic] Jones was also convicted of PSMV on 17 Sept ...

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