United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
James B. Zagel, Judge
Victor Watkins, brought this pro se action alleging
Defendant arrested him without probable cause. Presently
before the Court is Defendant's motion for summary
judgment. Defendant's motion is granted.
with the local rules, Defendant filed a Local Rule 56.1(a)(3)
statement of undisputed facts and served Plaintiff a Local
Rule 56.2 Notice, which explains in detail the requirements
of Local Rule 56.1.
Rule 56.1 (b)(3) requires that the opposing party's
response to the movant's statement of undisputed facts
must respond to each numbered paragraph and include specific
references to supporting materials for those statements that
are disputed. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B). In addition, the opposing
party must submit their own statement of any additional facts
that require denial of summary judgment, including references
to supporting materials to support the additional statement
of additional facts. L.R. 56.1 (b)(3)(C).
failed to respond to Defendants' undisputed facts and he
failed to submit his own statement of any additional facts
that require denial of summary judgment. Instead, Plaintiff
submitted "Plaintiffs Memorandum in Opposition to
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment." Plaintiffs
"memorandum" does include Plaintiffs argument in
opposition to Defendants' motion and copies of exhibits
Plaintiff relies upon in his opposition to the
status as a pro se litigant does not excuse him from
complying with Local Rule 56.1. See McNeil v. United
States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993) ("we have never
suggested that procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation
should be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who
proceed without counsel"); Coleman v. Goodwill
Indus. of Se. Wis., Inc., 423 F.App'x 642, 643 (7th
Cir. 2011) ("Though courts are solicitous of pro se
litigants, they may nonetheless require strict compliance
with local rules."); Wilson v. Kautex, Inc.,
371 F.App'x 663, 664 (7th Cir. 2010) ("strictly
enforcing Local Rule 56.1 was well within the district
court's discretion, even though Wilson is a pro se
litigant") (citations omitted); Cady v.
Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1061 (7th Cir. 2006) ("even
pro se litigants must follow rules of civil
procedure"). Given Plaintiffs failure to comply with
Local Rule 56.1(b), Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3)
statement are deemed admitted. See N.D. Ill. L.R.
56.1(b)(3)(C) ("All material facts set forth in the
statement required of the moving party will be deemed to be
admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing
party."); Keeton v. Morningstar, Inc., 667 F.3d
877, 880-81, 884 (7th Cir. 2012); Parra v. Neal, 614
F.3d 635, 636 (7th Cir. 2010); Rao v. BP Prods. N. Am.,
Inc., 589 F.3d 389, 393 (7th Cir. 2009); Ciomber v.
Cooperative Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 635, 643-44 (7th Cir.
2008) (affirming the district courts's refusal to
consider plaintiffs Rule 56.1 response that did not comply
with local rule); Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442
F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir. 2006); Schrott v. Bristol-Myers
Squibb Co., 403 F.3d 940, 943-44 (7th Cir. 2005);
Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 682-83 (7th Cir. 2003).
on the above, the pertinent facts are as follows:
time of his arrest, Plaintiff was residing in Chicago,
Illinois. (Defs.' 56.1(a)(3) Statement ¶ 5.)
Defendant, Anthony Martin was, and is, employed by the City
of Chicago as a police officer and, at all times relevant to
this incident, was engaged in the performance of his duties
as a member of the Chicago Police Department. (Id.,
August 4, 2011, Donita Nurse discovered that her car door and
trunk were open and that her car window was broken.
(Defs.' 56.1(a)(3) Statement ¶ 7.) Nurse also
noticed that some medication and beauty products were missing
from the inside of her car. (Id., ¶ 8.) To
secure her car, Nurse drove the car to be repaired, which is
when she noticed blood on the inner panel door of the car.
(Id., ¶ 9.) After having the car repaired,
Nurse drove her car to a Chicago Police station to make a
report and to have the blood found inside her car swabbed.
(Id., ¶ 10.) At the time when Nurse made her
initial police report, the incident was recorded as a theft;
however, the incident was later described and investigated as
a burglary. (Id., ¶ 11.)
sample of the blood swabbed from inside Nurse's car was
sent to the Illinois State Police Forensic Service Center,
which issued a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) report on
March 26, 2013, that positively matched Plaintiff to the
blood found on Nurse's car. (Defs.' 56.1(a)(3)
Statement ¶ 12.) On April 8, 2013, Officer Martin
arrested Plaintiff at an Alcoholics' Anonymous (AA)
meeting. During his state criminal proceedings, Plaintiff
moved pro se to suppress his arrest for lack of
probable cause. (Defs.' 56.1(a)(3) Statement ¶ 15.)
On September 19, 2013, the criminal court held an evidentiary
hearing on Plaintiffs motion to suppress his arrest.
(Id., ¶ 16.) During the hearing, Plaintiff gave
an opening statement, elicited witness testimony, and
presented closing arguments. (Id.)
opening statement, Plaintiff specified that he was
challenging his arrest based on probable cause. (Defs.'
56.1(a)(3) Statement ¶ 17.) Detective Freeman testified
at the suppression hearing that he was responsible for
investigating the alleged burglary of Nurse's car.
(Id., ¶ 19.) As part of the investigation,
Detective Freeman received the CODIS Report from the Illinois
State Police that positively matched Plaintiff with blood
recovered from Nurse's car. (Id., ¶ 20.)
After receiving the report, Detective Freeman met with Nurse
to show her a photo of Plaintiff and to ask if she knew
Plaintiff or knew of any reason why his DNA would be in her
car. (Id., ¶ 22.) Nurse indicated that she had
never seen Plaintiff before and had never given him
permission to enter her car. (Id., ¶ 23.)
Martin then testified that he received the CODIS Report from
Detective Freeman. (Defs.' 56.1(a)(3) Statement ¶
24.) Officer Martin used the CODIS Report to locate
Plaintiffs contact information, which he then used to call
and speak with Plaintiff. (Id., ¶ 27.) During
the telephone conversation, Plaintiff agreed to meet Officer
Martin later that day and gave Officer Martin his location at
an AA meeting, where Plaintiff was later arrested.
(Id., ¶ 28.) Officer Martin relied upon police
communication from Detective Freeman regarding the burglary
investigation into Nurse's car and on the CODIS Report
given to him by Detective Freeman to arrest Plaintiff.
(Id., ¶ 26.)
criminal court denied Plaintiffs motion to suppress his
arrest, finding there was probable cause to arrest him.
(Defs.' 56.1(a)(3) Statement ¶ 29.) Plaintiff moved
to reconsider the denial of his motion, but on the day the
motion was to be considered, Plaintiff stated that he just
wanted to get the case over with and a trial date was set.
(Id., ¶ 31.) On October 4, 2013, following a
bench trial, Plaintiff was convicted of burglarizing
Nurse's car on or about August 3, 2011. (Id.,
¶ 14.) On November 18, 2013, Plaintiff appealed his
criminal case to the Illinois Appellate Court. (Id.,
¶ 32.) Plaintiff did not contest the charging instrument
underlying his ...