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Vinson v. Vermilion County

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

January 27, 2015

BRENT VINSON, Husband, and BRANDY VINSON, Wife, Mother and Next Friend of C.A.V. and C.R.V., Minors, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
VERMILION COUNTY, ILLINOIS, et al., Defendants-Appellees

Argued October 31, 2014.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. No. 2:12-cv-02099-HAB-DGB--Harold A. Baker, Judge.

For BRENT VINSON, Husband, BRANDY VINSON, Wife, Mother and Next Friend of C.A.V. and C.R.V., Minors, Plaintiffs - Appellants: Richard L. Steagall, Attorney, Nicoara & Steagall, Peoria, IL.

For VERMILION COUNTY, ILLINOIS, a Local Government Entity, PATRICK HARTSHON, Sheriff of Vermilion County in his Individual & Official Capacities, JERRY DAVIS, Deputy Sheriff of Vermilion County Illinois in his Individual Capacity, Defendants - Appellees: Michael W. Condon, Attorney, Zrinka R. Davis, Attorney, Hervas, Condon & Bersani, Itasca, IL.

For Champaign County, Illinois, Daniel J. Walsh, Defendants - Appellees: Brad A. Elward, Attorney, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, Peoria, IL.

Before POSNER, ROVNER, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 925

Rovner, Circuit Judge.

Brandy Vinson, her husband Brent, and their two minor children, C.R.V. and C.A.V., sued several law enforcement officers and two local governments for conducting an illegal search of their home and attached garage in violation of the Fourth Amendment. They also asserted a state law claim for trespass. The district court dismissed part of the complaint for failure to state a claim and granted judgment on the pleadings for the remainder. We reverse and remand.

I.

We accept as true all the factual allegations in the complaint on review of a dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322, 127 S.Ct. 2499, 168 L.Ed.2d 179 (2007); Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence & Coordination Unit, 507 U.S. 163, 164, 113 S.Ct. 1160, 122 L.Ed.2d 517 (1993); Bielanski v. County of Kane, 550 F.3d 632, 633 (7th Cir. 2008). Brandy Vinson is the daughter of Ronald and Cindy Olson. On June 4, 2009, Detectives David Sherrick and Stuart Shaw[1] of the Champaign County Sheriff's Department executed a search warrant at the Olson home. The detectives were looking for a trailer and lawn mowers that had been reported stolen but they found nothing at the Olsons' home. Although they had no reason to believe that the Vinsons were involved in the purported theft, and they possessed no warrant for the Vinson property, they nevertheless contacted Deputy Sheriff Jerry Davis of the Vermilion County Sheriff's Department and asked him to meet them for a

Page 926

search of the Vinsons' home in that county.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. on June 4, 2009, the three plainclothes officers arrived in two unmarked cars at the Vinson home and pulled into the home's driveway. The Vinsons' fourteen-year-old daughter, C.A.V., was returning to the house after checking the mailbox when the cars pulled in near the home's attached garage. C.A.V. was home with her nine-year-old brother, C.R.V., at the time and was alarmed by the appearance of three strange men in two cars. She went into the house through the back door and locked the door. She checked to make sure that her brother was inside the house and then called her mother at work to report the appearance of the men. While she was speaking to her mother, who was then in a high risk pregnancy with her third child, C.A.V. saw one of the men peering through a window into the home. C.A.V. told her mother that one of the men was looking into the house through the window. This caused both mother and daughter great distress. The man, after staring through the window, told C.A.V. that he was a police officer and said " he had to conduct a search of the house." According to the ...


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