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Manning v. Sweitzer

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

September 18, 2014

JOHN SWEITZER, Park Forest Police Detective, et al., Defendants.



Before the Court is Defendant John Sweitzer ("Sweitzer"), Park Forest Police Detective, Michael Baugh ("Baugh"), Park Forest Police Detective Corporal, Peter Green ("Green"), Park Forest Police Detective Commander, Thomas Fleming ("Fleming"), former Park Forest Police Department Chief of Police, and the Village of Park Forest's (collectively "Defendants") motion for summary judgment on Count I of pro se Plaintiff Daaiyah Manning's Amended Complaint- the only remaining claim in this lawsuit-alleging unreasonable search and seizure under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in violation of the Fourth Amendment. For the following reasons, summary judgment is granted in favor of Defendants.


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). Pursuant to Local Rule 56.1, a litigant opposing a motion for summary judgment must serve and file the following:

(1) any opposing affidavits and other materials referred to in Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); (2) a supporting memorandum of law; and (3) a concise response to the movant's statement that shall contain... 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). These rules are 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)). Additionally, "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). It is well established that pro se litigants are required to comply with procedural rules. See. e.g., Pearle Vision. Inc. v. Romm , 541 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir. 2008) (citing McNeil v. United States , 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).

Defendants filed their motion for summary judgment on January 17, 2014, which included Local Rule 56.2 notice to Manning, proceeding pro se, of the consequences of failing to comply fully with the requirements of this rule. Nevertheless, Manning submits a response to Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) Statement of Material Facts without an accompanying memorandum of law, or any evidentiary support in opposition. Although Manning admits the majority of Defendants' statement of material facts as true, she fails to comply with Local Rule 56.1 with regard to the facts she asserts are genuinely disputed.

For example, Manning denies several of Defendants' statement of material facts without citation to any evidence to justify her opposition. See Resp. to Defs. Mot. for Summ. J. ¶ 35, 55-59, 62-65. "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, Manning simply fails to answer many of Defendants' statement of material facts; instead, she claims, inter alia , that she "can neither admit or deny" the statements, and otherwise concludes that Defendants' statement of material facts are immaterial or could be disputed. See, e.g., Resp. to Defs. Mot. for Summ. J. ¶¶ 18-20. Further, Manning's responses are improper to the extent that they include additional facts. See Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co. , 401 F.3d 803, 809 (7th Cir. 2005) ("Local Rule 56.1 requires specfically 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)). All material facts submitted by Defendants which are not properly contested or controverted by Manning are deemed admitted. See 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.'").

B. Facts[1]

On April 21, 2010, following a custody hearing in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County, the court granted Raushanah Najeeullah ("Raushanah") and Emiliano Peraza ("Emiliano") joint custody of their five-year-old son, Peraza. The court designated Emiliano as the primary residential parent in Tampa, Florida. By the terms of the court order, Peraza was to remain in Raushanah's care until May 15, 2010 at which time he would fly to Florida to be with his father for three weeks. On May 14, 2010, Manning flew from Illinois to Arizona, at her daughter, Raushanah's request. The following day, Manning returned to Park Forest, Illinois with her grandson, Peraza.

On May 18, 2010, Emiliano sought and received an order in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County, granting him sole custody of Peraza. This order authorized Emiliano to enlist the services of local, state and federal law enforcement to locate Peraza and secure his safe return.

On May 25, 2010, Emiliano contacted the Park Forest Police Department because he knew that Manning was a resident of the Village of Park Forest, Illinois. The same day, Park Forest Police Officer Obremski went to Manning's residence, 432 Illinois Street, Park Forest, Illinois, to investigate the matter, at which time she denied having her grandson. On May 27, 2010, Sweitzer learned that Manning's grandson was listed in the National Crime Information Center ("NCIC"), an electronic clearinghouse of crime data, which includes files on missing persons. The NCIC alert for the missing child listed Manning's home address as a possible location. The NCIC alert also listed a beige Nissan with Illinois registration H179099, registered to Manning.

On May 27, 2010, Sweitzer went to 432 Illinois Street to talk with Manning, but there was no answer at the door. Sweitzer spoke to Manning's neighbor, Edison Albury ("Albury"), who lived at 434Illinois Street. Sweitzer showed Albury a picture of Peraza as depicted on the Missing and Exploited Children poster. Albury positively identified the child. Albury said that he remembered seeing Peraza in Manning's backyard on May 19, 2010 or May 20, 2010. The same day, ...

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