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Mosley v. Legenza

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

October 27, 2016

ALONZO MOSLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
EDWARD LEGENZA and JAMES LOONEY, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          M. David Weisman, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff sues defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for conducting an illegal investigatory stop and arresting him in violation of the Fourth Amendment.[1] Defendants have filed a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 56 motion for summary judgment on these claims. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants in part and denies in part defendants' motion.

         Local Rule 56.1

         Before the Court addresses the substance of defendants' motion, we first address a significant procedural issue that informs significant aspects of the Court's decision. This Court's Local Rule 56.1 requires the party moving for summary judgment to submit “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.” LR 56.1(a)(3). It requires the party opposing the motion to respond to each fact asserted in the movant's statement and, in the case of any disagreement, to include “specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials” upon which the opposing party relies. LR 56.1(b)(3)(B) (emphasis added).

         The opposing party may also file “a statement . . . of any additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment.” LR 56.1(b)(3)(C). If the opposing party avails itself of the opportunity to file additional facts pursuant to LR 56.1(b)(3)(C), the moving party must respond to each fact asserted in the statement and, in the case of any disagreement, include “specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials” upon which the movant relies. LR 56.1(a)(3). If any party fails to follow the dictates of the local rule with respect to the other party's fact statement, the party is deemed to have admitted the facts asserted by the other party. LR 56.1(a)(3), (b)(3)(C). The Court is permitted to, and does, strictly enforce Local Rule 56.1. See Ammons v. Aramark Unif. Servs., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004) (“We have . . . repeatedly held that a district court is entitled to expect strict compliance with Rule 56.1.”) (citing Bordelon v. Chi. Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs., 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir. 2000), Waldridge v. Am. Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 922 (7th Cir. 1994)).

         Plaintiff repeatedly fails to dispute defendants' statements of uncontested fact with specific references to the record. Instead, he cites entire exhibits, for example, “Plaintiff Exhibits 4 and 5, ” as support for various “disputes.” (See Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(B) Stmt. ¶¶ 6-7, 9-10, 12-16.) Exhibits 4 and 5, respectively, are twenty and seventy-four page transcripts of testimony. Citing to the transcripts in their entirety, rather than to specific line or page numbers, violates Local Rule 56.1. See Ammons, 368 F.3d at 817-18 (“Citations to an entire transcript of a deposition or to a lengthy exhibit are not specific and are, accordingly, inappropriate. A court should not be expected to review a lengthy record for facts that a party could have easily identified with greater particularity.”). Because plaintiff did not controvert the facts asserted in paragraphs 6-7, 9-10, and 12-16 of Defendants' Fact Statement with citations to specific parts of the record as the local rule requires, the Court deems plaintiff to have admitted these facts.

         Undisputed Facts

         On December 5, 2009, defendant-police officers were in uniform on patrol near 5510 S. Damen, a “high traffic narcotics area, ” when defendant Legenza saw plaintiff loitering in an alley. (Pl.'s LR 56.1(b)(3)(B) Stmt. ¶¶ 3-7.) Legenza approached plaintiff, and as he did so, plaintiff grabbed at his waistband. (Id. ¶¶ 8-9.) Legenza told plaintiff to remove his hands, and plaintiff “began tussling with Legenza, ” and “flailing his arms.” (Id. ¶¶ 10, 13-14.) Legenza grabbed plaintiff by the right arm and put him on the ground. (Id. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff continued to flail his left arm, which hit Legenza. (Id. ¶ 17.) Defendants handcuffed plaintiff, put him in the patrol car, and took him to the police station. (Id. ¶¶ 18, 20-21.)

         On December 30, 2009, plaintiff was indicted on two counts of aggravated battery to a police officer. (Id. ¶ 22.) Subsequently, plaintiff filed a motion to quash the arrest, arguing that defendants had no right to stop and question him. (Id. ¶¶ 23, 26.) The state court judge denied the motion. (Id. ¶ 27.)

         On February 3, 2014, as a result of a plea agreement, plaintiff pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor offense of having “physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature” with Legenza. (Id. ¶ 29.)

         Plaintiff's Claims

         As defendants suggest, plaintiff's complaint is not a model of pleading clarity. (See Defs.' Mem. Law Supp. Jt. Mot. Summ. J. at 4 (inferring a claim based on initial Terry stop but noting the pleading is “unclear”).) Defendants discern discrete claims based on the initial stop of plaintiff and plaintiff's arrest. We agree that the Complaint should be read in this manner. Defendants separately address each of these claims and argue for qualified immunity as to each of them.

         Discussion

         To prevail on a summary judgment motion, “the movant [must] show[] that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). At this stage, the Court does not weigh evidence or determine the truth of the matters asserted. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The Court views all evidence and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Michas v. Health Cost Controls of Ill., Inc., 209 F.3d 687, 692 (7th Cir. ...


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