United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
REBECCA R. PALLMEYER, United States District Judge.
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.
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.”)
.) The encounter resulted in Hinch's arrest as well as
injuries to Stutler and Hinch. (Id. at
10-11; 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.) 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.)
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.)
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.)
now moves to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint under Federal