United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ST. EVE United States District Court Judge.
March 10, 2015, Plaintiffs Joyce Walters and Kimberly Ann
Bullaro filed a five-count First Amended Complaint alleging
that Defendant DuPage County Deputy Sheriffs John Smith,
Frank DiCosola, and Sergeant Brian Thompson violated their
constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment bringing
claims of unlawful seizure (Count I), excessive force (Count
II), and false arrest (Count III). See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs also bring an
Illinois malicious prosecution claim against the individual
Defendant Officers (Count IV) and a state law indemnification
claim under 745 ILCS 10.9-102 against DuPage County (Count V)
pursuant to the Court's supplemental jurisdiction.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).
the Court is Defendants' summary judgment motion under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) and Northern District
of Illinois Local Rule 56.1. For the following reasons, the
Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants'
summary judgment motion. The only remaining substantive claim
in this lawsuit is Plaintiff Walters' excessive force
claim against Sergeant Thompson as alleged in Count II of the
First Amended Complaint.
Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1
purpose of Rule 56.1 is to have the litigants present to the
district court a clear, concise list of material facts that
are central to the summary judgment determination. It is the
litigants' duty to clearly identify material facts in
dispute and provide the admissible evidence that tends to
prove or disprove the proffered fact.” Curtis v.
Costco Wholesale Corp., 807 F.3d 215, 219 (7th Cir.
2015). Local Rule 56.1(a) “requires the party moving
for summary judgment to file and serve a ‘statement of
material facts as to which the moving party contends there is
no genuine issue and that entitle the moving party to a
judgment as a matter of law.'” Id. at 218
(citation omitted). “The non-moving party must file a
response to the moving party's statement, and, in the
case of any disagreement, cite ‘specific references to
the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting
materials relied upon.'” Petty v. Chicago,
754 F.3d 415, 420 (7th Cir. 2014) (citation omitted); see
also L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(A). Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C)
requires the non-moving party to file a separate statement of
additional facts. See Thornton v. M7 Aerospace LP,
796 F.3d 757, 769 (7th Cir. 2015).
Rule 56.1 statements and responses should identify the
relevant admissible evidence supporting the material facts -
not make factual or legal arguments. See Zimmerman v.
Doran, 807 F.3d 178, 180 (7th Cir. 2015). “When a
responding party's statement fails to dispute the facts
set forth in the moving party's statement in the manner
dictated by the rule, those facts are deemed admitted for
purposes of the motion.” Curtis, 807 F.3d at
218 (quoting Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d
625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009)). The Seventh Circuit “has
consistently upheld district judges' discretion to
require strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1.”
Flint v. City of Belvidere, 791 F.3d 764, 767 (7th
three of Plaintiffs' Rule 56.1(b)(3)(A) responses to
Defendants' Rule 56.1(a) Statement of Facts do not cite
to the record as dictated by the local rule, and therefore,
the Court deems those facts as admitted for purposes of the
present summary judgment motion. See Curtis, 807
F.3d at 218. These paragraphs include ¶¶ 19, 20,
and 21. In addition, certain citations to the record in
Plaintiffs' Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C) Statement of Additional
Facts do not support the facts as stated, and thus do not
comply with the local rule. See Cady v. Sheahan, 467
F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 2006) (“statement of material
facts did [ ] not comply with Rule 56.1 as it failed to
adequately cite the record and was filled with irrelevant
information, legal arguments, and conjecture”). With
these standards in mind, the Court turns to the relevant
facts of this case.
the relevant time period, Plaintiffs Joyce Walters and
Kimberly Ann Bullaro resided at 7 N 271 Briargate Terrace,
Medinah, Illinois in DuPage County (“Medinah
residence”) and Defendants Sergeant Thompson and Deputy
DiCosola were sworn DuPage County Deputy Sheriffs. (R. 36,
Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 2; R. 42, Pls.' Stmt.
Add'l Facts ¶ 1.) On the morning of January 30,
2013, Defendant Officers were sent to the Medinah residence
to determine if John Walters - who was wanted in connection
with two felony warrants in Boone County, Illinois - was at
the Medinah residence. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 3;
Pls.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 2.) Upon their arrival, the
officers rang the doorbell and knocked on the door.
(Pls.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 5.) Plaintiff Bullaro, Joyce
Walters' daughter, was at the Medinah residence when
Defendant Officers arrived and later testified that, at that
time, she heard Sergeant Thompson threatening to take down
the door with a sledgehammer. (Pls.' Stmt. Facts ¶
11; Ex. 6, Bullaro Dep., at 20-21.) Tina Walters, also Joyce
Walters' daughter, suggested that she would go outside
and speak to Defendant Officers. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts
¶ 5.) While outside on the driveway at the Medinah
residence, Defendant Officers Thompson and DiCosola advised
Tina that they were looking for John Walters explaining that
he was wanted in connection with two felony warrants.
(Id. ¶ 7.) Tina responded that John
Walters' car was not in the driveway. (Pls.' Stmt.
Facts ¶ 6.) Deputy Smith arrived at the Medinah
residence while Defendant Officers were talking to Tina in
the driveway. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 4.)
point earlier, a DuPage County Sheriff's dispatcher
called Joyce Walters to inform her that Defendant Officers
were at her door, but that she did not know the nature of the
officers' presence. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 39; R.
36-9, Ex. 8, Audio Recording, at 2-5.) During her
conversation with the dispatcher, Walters told the dispatcher
that she was having a heart attack. (Id. ¶ 9;
Audio Recording, at 8.) The dispatcher relayed this
information to Defendant Officers Thompson and DiCosola,
after which the officers requested the dispatcher to notify
the local fire department. (Pls.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 9;
Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 11.) The dispatcher then
contacted the Roselle, Illinois Fire Department to dispatch
an ambulance in response to Walters stating that she was
having a heart attack, after which the fire department
responded. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶¶ 12, 13.) Two
paramedics then arrived at the Medinah residence. (Pls.'
Stmt. Facts ¶ 8.)
it is undisputed that once dispatch notified Sergeant
Thompson that Walters said she was having a heart attack,
Thompson believed that the situation had become a medical
emergency requiring medical assistance. (Defs.' Stmt.
Facts ¶ 10.) It is also undisputed that the Roselle Fire
Department would not leave the Medinah residence until
Walters agreed to a medical evaluation or refused any such
treatment. (Id. ¶ 15.) Also undisputed is that
Sergeant Thompson was aware that the Roselle Fire Department
would not leave - up to and including forcing entry into the
Medinah residence - until they examined Walters or she
refused treatment. (Id. ¶ 14.) The dispatcher
told Walters that the paramedics would force entry if she did
not comply and open the door, but Walters repeatedly told the
dispatcher that no one was allowed to enter her home.
(Pls.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 10; Audio Recording Tr., at 2,
6, 12.) In addition, it is undisputed that Walters told the
dispatcher that she had knives in her house and if the police
forced entry, she would kill them. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts
¶ 17.) The record also contains evidence that the
dispatcher relayed this information to Sergeant Thompson and
Deputy DiCosola. (R. 36-2, Ex. 1, Thompson Dep., at 32.)
Further undisputed is that Walters directly told Defendant
Officers that she had guns and knives inside her house and
that she would shoot. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 18.)
eventually opened the door for the paramedics to check on her
medical condition, at which time Sergeant Thompson also
entered the Medinah residence. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶
19; Pls.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 22; R. 36-7, Ex. 6, Bullaro
Dep., at 22.) Upon entering, Walters slapped Sergeant
Thompson across the face. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 20.)
Deputy DiCosola witnessed Walters slap Sergeant Thompson,
after which he entered the Medinah residence. (Id.
¶ 21.) Deputy Smith followed. (Defs.' Stmt. Facts
¶¶ 4, 23.) Defendant Officers assert that Walters
fell to the ground, but Bullaro testified that Sergeant
Thompson threw Walters to the ground and Walters testified
that Sergeant Thompson “pushed me down when he pushed
open the door.” (Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 22;
Bullaro Dep., at 23-25; R. 36-6, Ex. 5, J. Walters Dep., at
Defendant Officers entered the Medinah residence, Deputy
DiCosola arrested Bullaro and charged her with misdemeanor
obstruction of an officer in violation of 720 ILCS 5/31-1.
(Defs.' Stmt. Facts ¶ 31; R. 36-11, Ex. 10; R. 36-3,
Ex. 2, DiCosola Dep., at 47.) Sergeant Thompson arrested
Walters and charged her with misdemeanor battery in violation
of 720 ILCS 5/12-3(a)(2). (Id. ¶ 26; R. 36-13,
Ex. 12.) The Public Defenders' Office represented both
Walters and Bullaro in their misdemeanor proceedings.