Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
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.

Hinch v. O'Connor

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

October 19, 2016

CHARLES ANDRE HINCH (#N-73844), Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL O'CONNOR, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          REBECCA R. PALLMEYER, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Charles Andre Hinch, a prisoner at Jacksonville Correctional Center, brought this pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Romeoville Police Officer Michael O'Connor, alleging that O'Connor used unreasonable force to effectuate his arrest on November 28, 2013. Before the court is Defendant's motion to dismiss Hinch's complaint as barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         BACKGROUND

         On November 28, 2013, Hinch encountered Police Officers Michael O'Connor and Scott Stutler outside a Kohl's Department Store in Romeoville, Illinois. (See generally Amended Complaint (“Am. Compl.”) [9].) The encounter resulted in Hinch's arrest as well as injuries to Stutler and Hinch. (Id. at 10-11;[1] Hr'g Tr., Aug. 1, 2014, Ex. C to Def.'s Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss (“Ex. C, Aug. 1 Hearing”) at 10, [28-1] at 28.[2]) It also resulted in Hinch's conviction for aggravated battery stemming from his driving a vehicle while Stutler's arm was trapped in the door of the vehicle. (Bill of Indictment, Ex. A to Def.'s Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss (“Ex. A, Indictment”) at 1, [28-1] at 1; Plea of Guilty, Ex. B to Def.'s Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss (“Ex. B, Guilty Plea”) at 1, 6, [28-1] at 8, 13.)

         Hinch filed this federal lawsuit nearly two years later, alleging that Defendant O'Connor used unreasonable force in effectuating his arrest. Hinch alleges that he did not know that Stutler was a police officer at the time of the encounter and in fact believed that Stutler was a robber. (Am. Compl. at 7-8.) Hinch claims that he drove his neighbor to the Kohl's store and dropped the neighbor off near the store's entrance, parked the car some distance away, and waited in the car. (Id. at 5, 6.) About twenty minutes later, Hinch saw the neighbor exit the store and walk toward the car, but Hinch then briefly lost sight of the neighbor. (Id. at 6-7.) In the meantime, the neighbor had become embroiled in an altercation with a man Hinch did not recognize. (Id. at 7.) Hinch's neighbor reappeared and flung open the passenger door of the car, continuing his struggle with the unidentified man, who became “wedged” in the passenger door. (Id. at 7-8.) Believing the altercation was an attempted robbery, Hinch started to drive away. (Id. at 8.) As he did so, Hinch felt a sharp pain in his left arm and realized that he had been shot. (Id.) He learned later that the person who shot him was Officer Michael O'Connor and that the unknown man was another police officer, Officer Stutler. (See id. at 7-8.) Hinch asserts throughout his pleading that he did not know that O'Connor or Stutler were police officers at the time of the occurrence. (See, e.g., Id. at 7-8, 11.) He also alleges that “any charge(s) filed against him” concerning the incident “are absolutely false and/or frivolous[.]” (Id. at 11.)

         In fact, however, as reflected in state court records attached as exhibits to Defendant's motion to dismiss, Hinch pleaded guilty to aggravated battery arising from his encounter with Officer Stutler. (See Ex. B, Guilty Plea at 1, 6, [28-1] at 8, 13.) The criminal indictment charges that on November 28, 2013, Hinch

knowingly and without legal justification made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with Scott Stutler, knowing Scott Stutler to be a peace officer employed by the Romeoville Police Department, engaged in the performance of his official duties, in that said defendant drove a vehicle which dragged Scott Stutler in violation of [720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(d)(4)(i)].

(Ex. A, Indictment at 1, [28-1] at 1.) At the hearing at which Hinch pleaded guilty, the following facts were presented as the basis for the plea:

On [November 28, 2013, ] in Will County, Illinois, Officer Scott Stutler . . . was trying to arrest Robert Russell in the parking lot of a retail establishment.
He chased after Mr. Russell who entered the vehicle in which this defendant was in the driver's seat. Mr. Stutler reached into the vehicle. Russell trapped his arms in the door and told Mr. Hinch to drive, which Mr. Hinch did causing Mr. Stutler to be drug [sic] throughout the parking lot.
All the other officers arrived and one officer discharged his firearm in the direction of Mr. Hinch striking him, I believe, in the arm, and at that point he stopped driving, and Mr. Stutler was no longer being drug.
However, in the process he had injuries to his shoulder that required extensive rehabilitation, and for approximately six months he was off work because of it, and he's still in rehab for that shoulder now.

(Ex. C, Aug. 1 Hearing at 10, [28-1] at 28.) At the hearing, Hinch confirmed that he understood the charge against him and declined an invitation to add or change the factual basis of his plea. (Ex. C, Aug. 1 Hearing at 4, 11, [28-1] at 22, 29.)

         Defendant now moves to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint under Federal ...


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.