Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Othman v. City of Chicago

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

November 20, 2014

RUBA OTHMAN, et al., Plaintiffs,
CITY OF CHICAGO, et al., Defendants.


ROBERT M. DOW, Jr., District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant City of Chicago's motion for summary judgment on Plaintiffs' Monell claim [174]. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Defendant City of Chicago's motion for summary judgment [174] and dismisses Plaintiffs' Monell claim.

I. Background

A. Procedural History

Plaintiff Ruba Othman, as special administrator of the Estate of Ramiz Othman, and Plaintiff Susan Anderson, as next friend of minor Sura Othman, originally filed a 10-count complaint against Chicago police officer Aaron Carranza, the City of Chicago, and civilian Thomas Behan.[1] Plaintiffs' federal and state claims arose from the death of Ramiz Othman. According to Plaintiffs, on August 20, 2010, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Defendant Officers Aaron Carranza and Thomas Behan were at Carranza's house at 5515 S. Normandy Avenue in Chicago. Around that time, Ramiz Othman entered Officer Carranza's home and was shot 14 times by Officer Carranza. Plaintiffs alleged that Ramiz Othman was unarmed at the time he was shot. Othman died shortly after the shooting.

While Plaintiffs' original complaint was silent on Othman's reasons for being at Defendants' house at the time that he was shot, Defendants maintained that Plaintiff was attempting to burglarize 5515 S. Normandy Avenue at the time that he was shot and that his presence was unauthorized. Plaintiffs clarified their allegations in an amended complaint, alleging that Ramiz Othman was at Defendants' residence-in fact, was "invited" to Defendants' residence-specifically to meet with a City of Chicago police officer to resolve or assist with a previous arrest in Cook County. Plaintiffs further alleged that Officer Carranza identified himself as a police officer and that Officer Carranza attempted to arrest Ramiz Othman during this encounter.

B. Factual Background

1. Statements of fact

The Court has taken the relevant facts from the parties' Local Rule ("L.R.") 56.1 statements. Local Rule 56.1 requires a party moving for summary judgment to submit a statement of material facts as to which the movant contends there is no genuine issue and entitles the movant to judgment as a matter of law. The rule also requires the non-movant (here, Plaintiffs) to file a concise response to a movant's statement of facts containing "any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials." L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(A). While Plaintiffs have filed a response, their denials are not supported by any citations to any evidence, as required by the rule. Thus, to the extent that the City has supported its fact statements with citations to evidence in the record, the Court deems those facts admitted. See N.D.Ill. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B); Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009) ("[w]hen a responding party's statement fails to dispute the facts set forth in the moving party's statement in a manner dictated by the rule, those facts are deemed admitted for purposes of the motion"); Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Services, Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004) (stating that an adequate denial must include a specific reference to an affidavit or other part of the record that supports it).

Plaintiffs also have filed additional statements of facts, but unfortunately, many of Plaintiffs' additional facts also fail to comply with Local Rule 56.1. The majority of Plaintiffs' facts contain no citation to the underlying record, in violation of part (b)(3)(B) of the Rule. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B). Local Rule 56.1 requires that statements of facts contain allegations of material fact and that factual allegations be supported by admissible record evidence. See L.R. 56.1; Malec v. Sanford, 191 F.R.D. 581, 583-85 (N.D. Ill. 2000). As the Seventh Circuit has stressed, it is not the role of the Court to parse the parties' exhibits to construct the facts. Judges are not "like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs." United States v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991). "Nor are they archaeologists searching for treasure." Jeralds ex rel. Jeralds v. Astrue, 2010 WL 4942161, at *7 (N.D. Ill.Dec. 8, 2010) (citing DiLeonardi, 181 F.3d 865, 867 (7th Cir. 1999)). It simply is not the court's job to sift through the record to find evidence to support a party's claim. Davis v. Carter, 452 F.3d 686, 692 (7th Cir. 2006). Rather, it is "[a]n advocate's job * * * to make it easy for the court to rule in [her] client's favor * * *." Dal Pozzo v. Basic Machinery Co., Inc., 463 F.3d 609, 613 (7th Cir. 2006).

Furthermore, it is the function of the Court, with or without a motion to strike, to review carefully statements of material facts and to eliminate from consideration any argument, conclusions, and assertions that are unsupported by the documented evidence of record offered in support of the statement. See, e.g., Sullivan v. Henry Smid Plumbing & Heating Co., Inc., 2006 WL 980740, *2 n.2 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 10, 2006); Tibbetts v. RadioShack Corp., 2004 WL 2203418, at *16 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 29, 2004); Rosado v. Taylor, 324 F.Supp.2d 917, 920 n.1 (N.D. Ind. 2004). Where a party improperly denies a statement of fact by failing to provide adequate or proper record support for the denial, the Court deems that statement of fact to be admitted. Thus, any statements or responses that contain legal conclusions or argument, are evasive, contain hearsay or are not based on personal knowledge, are irrelevant, or are not supported by evidence in the record will not be considered by the Court in ruling on the summary judgment motion. Any paragraph or fact that is not supported by record evidence will be disregarded. A few of Plaintiffs' additional fact statements do contain citations to record evidence, and those will be considered.

2. Facts

On August 20, 2010, Defendant Aaron Carranza was on medical leave from his job as a City of Chicago police officer. At approximately 9:15 a.m. that morning, Carranza was inside his residence located at 5515 S. Normandy Avenue, in Chicago, Illinois. According to Carranza, a Hispanic male rang his door bell and knocked on his door, but Carranza did not open the door. Carranza testified that an intruder, later identified as Ramiz Othman, then entered into his home by kicking in his basement door. After kicking in the basement door, Ramiz Othman made his way upstairs and Defendant Carranza confronted him at that time. According to Carranza's testimony, Ramiz Othman advanced towards Defendant Carranza with a tire iron raised above his head and began swinging the tire iron toward Carranza. Carranza then shot Othman multiple times with his personal, Sig Sauer 9-millimeter handgun.[2] Carranza testified that he shot Othman in the back while Othman was on the ground. Carranza further testified that he stopped firing his gun when he ran out of bullets.

3. Monell discovery

On October 23, 2012, the Court stayed Monell discovery until the parties completed discovery on the claims against the individual defendants and had been afforded the opportunity to bring dispositive motions on the claims against the individual defendants. During the time that Monell discovery was stayed, Plaintiffs served the City with a request to produce that called for "[a]ny and all Chicago Police Department documents, policies, procedures, codes, rules, manuals, guides, requirements, agreements, records, and memoranda, in any form whatsoever with respect to the following:

a. Medical and/or disability leave for police officers;
b. Service weapon use, issuance, and carrying of service weapons by plain clothed police officers;
c. The use, ownership, issuance, and carrying of service weapons by plain ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.