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.

Trice v. Lara

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

February 2, 2017

Joyce Trice, Plaintiff,
v.
Detective Rogelio Lara, Detective Majdi Shalabi, and LaDonna Hudson, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MANISH S. SHAH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         A disturbance involving defendant LaDonna Hudson broke out at an Aldi's Food Market, where plaintiff Joyce Trice was working as a security guard. Trice believes that Hudson conspired with defendants Detective Rogelio Lara and Detective Majdi Shalabi of the Chicago Police Department to have her falsely arrested. [17] at 7. Trice brings an action for false arrest against defendants Lara and Shalabi, and an action for conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants Lara, Shalabi, and Hudson. Defendants Lara and Shalabi filed a joint motion for summary judgment of Trice's claims against them; and defendant Hudson filed a separate motion for summary judgment of Trice's claim against her. Both motions for summary judgment are granted.

         I. Background

         The court construes all facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to Trice. CTL ex rel. Trebatoski v. Ashland Sch. Dist., 743 F.3d 524, 528 (7th Cir. 2014). Under Local Rule 56.1, statements of fact must be supported by admissible evidence to be admitted. Such statements by the moving party, here, the defendants, will be deemed admitted unless they are properly controverted by a statement of the opposing party, Trice.

         On December 6, 2012, Hudson went grocery shopping at Aldi's Food Market on Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. [55] at 2, ¶ 7.[1] Trice was working at that Aldi's as an armed security guard. [55] at 3, ¶ 8. When it was Hudson's turn to purchase her groceries at the register, she thought that the previous customer was in her way. [55] at 3, ¶ 10. The parties disagree about the details, but the general sequence of events has been established. After Hudson began speaking to the other customer, Trice intervened. [55] at 3-4, ¶¶ 10-11, 13. Hudson and Trice then got into an argument. [55] at 5, ¶¶ 14-15. Trice attempted to take the grocery cart from Hudson, and in that moment, she felt a tear in her chest.[2] [17] at 7; [55] at 109-10, 74:22-75:2, 81:18-24. The altercation caused Hudson to call 911. [55] at 9, ¶ 21. Hudson then talked to the on-duty store manager at Aldi's about a surveillance video, Trice's placement of her grocery cart outside, and a refund. [55] at 10-12, ¶¶ 24-28. Eventually Hudson left the store with her groceries and waited in the parking lot for the police to arrive. [55] at 13, ¶ 30. Trice remained inside and did not go out to the parking lot when the police arrived. [55] at 112-13, 87:6-9, 89:10- 12, 92:8-13.

         An unmarked police car pulled into the Aldi's parking lot; Officer Michael Jones and Officer Fred Taylor spoke with Hudson.[3] [55] at 13, ¶ 31. During her former career as a police officer for the Chicago Police Department, Hudson served as a mentor to both Jones and Taylor; she also dated Jones's father for fifteen years, but that relationship ended many years ago and Jones's father is now deceased. [55] at 13, ¶ 31; id. at 190, 47:15-48:2. They explained to Hudson that the police officer who was assigned to take the preliminary report was on his way; they could not take the report because they were only assigned to make warrant arrests. [55] at 13-14, ¶¶ 31, 35. While waiting for the other police officer to arrive, Jones and Taylor allowed Hudson to sit in the back of the police car to stay warm. [55] at 14, ¶ 32.

         When the responding officer arrived, Hudson explained to him that she was the victim and that she was a retired police officer. [55] at 15, ¶ 37. In response, the responding officer requested a supervising sergeant to come to the scene. Id. The three officers and Hudson continued waiting in the Aldi's parking lot. [55] at 191, 52:2-53:13. Some twenty minutes later, a sergeant arrived on the scene and entered Aldi's. [55] at 15-16, ¶¶ 39-40.[4] While inside Aldi's, the sergeant asked Trice questions for over ten minutes. [55] at 113-14, 93:4-97:23. When the sergeant reappeared in the parking lot, Hudson attempted to tell him what happened, but he quickly left the scene. [55] at 16, ¶ 41. The officers also left the scene. [55] at 17, ¶ 42. Neither the sergeant nor any of the officers filled out a police report about the incident, and no one was arrested. [55] at 16-18, ¶¶ 41-42, 46.

         When Hudson returned to her home that same evening, she called 311 to make a non-emergency report of the incident at Aldi's. [55] at 18, ¶ 46. The 311 operator transferred Hudson to a police officer to make a report. [55] at 18, ¶ 47. Based on Hudson's description of the events, Officer Frank Doyle created an “Original Case Incident Report, ” which stated: “In summary, LaDonna Hudson (victim) related to [Officer Doyle] that at above time and location she got into a verbal altercation with J Trice (offender) who works at above location as a security guard. Victim states that offender told her that she better leave the store or she is going to get hurt.” [55] at 18-19, ¶ 47; [55] at 214-15.

         After the Original Case Incident Report was filed, a Reporting Officer created and approved a “Case Supplementary Report” on December 7, 2012. [55] at 217. This report assigned Trice's case to Detective Lara for further investigation. [55] at 215, 217.

         A second Case Supplementary Report was created by another detective on December 11, 2012, and approved two days later. [55] at 219. This report states that the detective conducted a follow-up investigation with Hudson, and she told the detective that while she was at Aldi's, Trice “began to argue with her, snatched her cart full of groceries from her and said ‘I wish I could just shoot you.'” [55] at 220. The report notes that Hudson believed there may be video surveillance of the event and that the detective contacted Aldi's District Manager to retrieve the video. Id.

         A third Case Supplementary Report was created by Lara on February 8, 2013 and approved three days later. [55] at 226. It explains that Lara and the other detective spoke about the investigation, and that Lara followed up with Aldi's district manager about the video surveillance. [55] at 227-28. The district manager confirmed that he would download the video recording onto a disk, which would be available for Lara to pick up the next day. [55] at 228. A few days later, Lara went to Aldi's and talked to the on-duty store manager. Id. The on-duty manager presented Lara with a disk that the district manager had given to him. Id. Lara returned to the Area Central Office and unsuccessfully attempted to open the video file on the disk. Id. The computer did not have the proper program to open the file, but Lara noted in the report that he would make further attempts to open the file to view the video. Id.

         During his deposition, Lara gave a more detailed description of the events surrounding the retrieval and viewing of the video. Lara testified that the on-duty manager commented that the video had been reviewed and that the reviewer did not see any type of disturbance or physical altercation. [62] at 33:1-34:15. Lara assumed that the district manager had reviewed it. Id. It is unclear whether Lara honored the commitment he made in the report to make further attempts to view the video. Lara did admit, however, that he did not inventory the disk “because [he] felt that it didn't contain any evidentiary value.” [62] at 69:12-15. He explained that in his initial conversation with the district manager, Lara learned that the video did not have audio. [62] at 35:13-17. Thus, in Lara's opinion, a video without sound would not have “made a difference” in his investigation of a verbal assault.[5] [62] at 60:19-23.

         A fourth Case Supplementary Report was created by Lara on February 9, 2013, and approved two days later. [55] at 222. This report outlines Lara's conversation with Hudson in which Hudson said Trice approached her and “grabbed her grocery cart and verbally assaulted her by stating, ‘I wish I could just shoot you.'” [55] at 224. Hudson told Lara that she wished to sign a criminal complaint against Trice. Id. The report also states that Lara went to Aldi's, looking for Trice, but was informed by the on-duty manager that she was not scheduled to work anytime soon due to her workplace injury. [55] at 225. Lara left his business card, and sometime thereafter, Lara received a telephone call from Trice. Id. Lara requested to meet with Trice, but she declined. Id. Next, the report states that Lara made an appointment to meet Hudson at her home. Id. At that appointment, Lara showed Hudson the photo-array that he created and Hudson immediately identified Trice from the five photos. [55] at 224-25. Hudson then signed a complaint against Trice. [55] at 225. Finally, the report stated that Lara issued an investigative alert to arrest Trice with probable cause. Id.

         Lara testified that he determined there was probable cause to arrest Trice after he reviewed the original and supplemental reports, interviewed Hudson, conducted the photo-array that led to Hudson's identification of Trice, and facilitated Hudson's signing of the complaint. [62] at 73:9-16. He also confirmed that it was his understanding that, as a ...


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.