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Simmons v. Mavens

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois

June 2, 2014

Myron Simmons, Plaintiff,
v.
Jessica S. Mavens, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

FREDERICK J. KAPALA, District Judge.

Defendant Solis' motion for summary judgment [93] is granted. Defendants City of Rockford and Winnebago County are dismissed. This case is closed.

STATEMENT

Myron Simmons has sued Simon Solis, [1] a Rockford police officer, alleging false arrest, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and malicious prosecution. Simmons' amended complaint does not state the basis for his claims, but the court presumes he intends to bring his claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Nevertheless, currently pending before the court is Solis' motion for summary judgment as to all of Simmons' claims. For the reasons which follow, that motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Local Rule 56.1

As part of the summary judgment process in the Northern District of Illinois, movants are required by local rule to offer a Rule 56.1 statement. Rule 56.1 additionally requires a party opposing summary judgment to respond to the movant's Rule 56.1 statement with a "concise response" including "numbered paragraphs, each corresponding to and stating a concise summary of the paragraph to which it is directed, " "a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement... and... supporting materials relied upon, " and "a statement, consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any additional facts that require denial of summary judgment, including references to... supporting materials relied upon." Local Rule 56.1(b)(3). Solis has offered a compliant Rule 56.1 statement, which contains numbered paragraphs setting out his version of the facts and has citations to the record where the support for each fact can be found. As part of the motion, Simmons was sent a Rule 56.2 notice, which explains the responsibilities to an individual proceeding pro se, as Simmons is, in responding to a Rule 56.1 statement.

Despite that, Simmons has not provided a compliant response to the Rule 56.1 statement or a statement of additional facts. District courts have consistently demanded strict compliance with the Rule 56.1 framework, as the court is under no obligation to spend immeasurable time combing through records to discover potential factual disputes. See Greer v. Bd. of Educ. , 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001) ("[A] lawsuit is not a game of hunt the peanut.... [N]either appellate courts nor district courts are obliged in our adversary system to scour the record looking for factual disputes." (quotation marks omitted)); see also Gross v. Town of Cicero, Ill. , 619 F.3d 697, 702-03 (7th Cir. 2010). As Rules 56.1 and 56.2 warn, a respondent's failure to comply with the demands of Rule 56.1 results in the court accepting the moving party's statement as conceded. See Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C); Local Rule 56.2; Smith v. Lamz , 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003) (noting that the Seventh Circuit has "consistently held that a failure to respond by the nonmovant as mandated by the local rules results in an admission"); see also Wilson v. Kautex, Inc. , 371 F.Appx. 663, 664 (7th Cir. 2010) ("[S]trictly enforcing Local Rule 56.1 was well within the district court's discretion even though [plaintiff] is a pro se litigant." (citation omitted)). Accordingly, the court accepts Solis' Rule 56.1 statement as conceded and is now tasked with determining whether, based on the facts set out below which are derived from that statement, summary judgment is appropriate.

B. Facts and Procedural Background

On October 24, 2009, Simmons was hosting a party at his residence in Rockford, Illinois. During the late hours of the evening, the Rockford Police Department received an emergency call reporting a stabbing at that residence. During the subsequent investigation, the police determined that Louis McCullough was the victim of the reported stabbing and two witnesses, including McCullough, both identified Simmons as the attacker. According to the amended complaint, a warrant was thereafter issued for Myron E. Simmons, and, on November 11, 2009, Simmons was arrested at his place of employment.

On November 18, 2009, a grand jury returned an indictment against Myron E. Simmons, with Simmons' date of birth, for attempted first degree murder and home invasion. According to Simmons' deposition, he does not have a middle name. According to the amended complaint, Simmons was ultimately acquitted of the charges.

Based on the above, on October 3, 2011, Simmons filed his original complaint in the instant action. In the operative amended complaint, [2] Simmons alleges Solis is liable for false arrest, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and malicious prosecution. Specifically, Simmons alleges that his arrest based on a warrant and his charges based on a grand jury indictment which lacked his correct name was unconstitutional on all of the aforementioned grounds. Solis has moved for summary judgment as to all of Simmons' theories.

II. ANALYSIS

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); see also Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.Com, Inc. , 476 F.3d 487, 489-90 (7th Cir. 2007). In this case, based on the ...


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