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Hinsdale v. Village of Westchester

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

March 15, 2017



          SARA L. ELLIS United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Timothy Hinsdale alleges that Defendants Village of Westchester (the “Village”), Officer Kristina Tountas, Officer Adam Rauglas, Officer Michael Fellers, and Detective Ron Miklas unlawfully detained him after his warrantless arrest and delayed his probable cause hearing for at least sixty hours, violating 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment [40, 43]. Because Defendants cannot justify why Hinsdale did not receive a probable cause within 48 hours of his arrest, the Court finds that Defendants violated his constitutional right to a probable cause hearing. The Court denies Defendants' and Hinsdale's cross-motions regarding personal liability, however, because a material issue of fact exists as to whether Tountas or Miklas caused that violation. Because no reasonable jury could find that Rauglas or Fellers caused Hinsdale's unlawful detention, the Court enters judgment for Rauglas and Fellers. Finally, the Court defers ruling on the cross-motions regarding the Village's liability because a jury must resolve the liability of Tountas and Miklas.


         At approximately 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, Adrianna Chavarin, a Village resident, called 9-1-1, claiming that Hinsdale was outside her house taking pictures. Tountas responded to the call and learned that Chavarin's family had previously complained about Hinsdale harassing them. Upon returning to the Village Police Department station (the “Police Station”), Tountas determined that she had probable cause to believe that Hinsdale was stalking Chavarin. Without first obtaining an arrest warrant, she went to Hinsdale's home with Rauglas as her backup, asked Hinsdale to step outside, and then arrested him at approximately 10:03 p.m. on the night of October 8.

         Rauglas transported Hinsdale to the Police Station, inventoried his property, including a cell phone and a memory stick storage device, and placed Hinsdale in a temporary holding cell. Tountas then took Hinsdale to an interrogation room and read him his Miranda rights. After Hinsdale refused to answer Tountas' questions without a lawyer present, he was taken to a cell in the Police Station's “lockup” at approximately 10:20 p.m. Rauglas was present in the interrogation room while Tountas read Hinsdale his Miranda rights and had no further interactions with Tountas.

         Immediately after Hinsdale went to lockup, Tountas contacted an assistant state's attorney (“ASA”) to begin the felony review process. The ASA requested a search warrant for Hinsdale's cell phone. Tountas called Miklas to ask for help preparing a search warrant and Miklas provided her with samples of warrants. Tountas prepared the search warrant and the following day, on the morning of October 9, Tountas and Miklas obtained judicial approval of the search warrant. After they received a signed search warrant, Miklas had the crime lab process the phone. Tountas then reviewed the data pulled from the phone.

         The Police Department performed well-being checks on detainees in lockup. Normally, records clerks performed the checks, but patrol officers also performed the checks as assigned by the shift commander, who is a sergeant with responsibility for the lockup and supervisory responsibility for all detainees. A sergeant scheduled Tountas to perform these well-being checks, and she checked on Hinsdale on Wednesday, October 9 at 12:30 a.m., 1:00 a.m., 1:30 a.m., 2:30 a.m., 4:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m., and again on Thursday, October 10 at 9:30 p.m. Miklas checked on Hinsdale on Wednesday, October 9 at 3:30 p.m. and on Thursday, October 10 at 6:20 p.m. Fellers also received an assignment to perform well-being checks on detainees in the lockup on Wednesday, October 9, and he checked on Hinsdale three times on October 9 at 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Other than these well-being checks, Fellers had no other interaction with Hinsdale.

         The State's Attorney's Office (“SAO”) approved felony charges against Hinsdale on Thursday, October 10 at approximately 7:00 p.m. On Friday, October 11, an unidentified officer took Hinsdale from his lockup cell for fingerprints and photographs. An unidentified officer then drove Hinsdale to the Cook County Circuit Court and turned Hinsdale over to Cook County Sheriff deputies between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. Hinsdale had a bond hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Friday, October 11.

         Miklas and Tountas received Westchester Police Department General Order 97 (“General Order 97”) as part of their police training. General Order 97.1.4 states that the “[m]aximum period of detention in the Westchester lockup does not normally exceed forty eight (48) hours unless detention occurs at the beginning of a weekend or holiday or in the event of an on-going investigation and at the direction of the state's attorney.” Doc. 42-13 at 4; Doc. 42 ¶ 47. The Village replaced General Order 97 with Westchester Police Department Policy 900 governing Temporary Holding Facilities (“Policy 900”).[2] Policy 900 states that “[t]he maximum period of detention in a Temporary Holding Facility should not normally exceed 48 hours, except when detention occurs at the beginning of a weekend or holiday.” Doc. 42-10 at 7; Doc. 42 ¶ 50. Sergeants authorize the movement of a prisoner in or out of detention. Under Policy 900, the arresting officer's supervisor has the responsibility to authorize the placement of a detainee in the Police Station's temporary holding facility. Tountas began working at the Village's Police Department in 2009. She does not know if she ever saw a copy of Policy 900. Miklas began working for the Village's Police Department in 1996 and became a detective in 2011. He received no training on the appropriate length of time for a detention, but he reviewed General Order 97 and Policy 900.

         Tountas testified that she did not have the authority to release Hinsdale from the temporary holding facility without her sergeant's approval. Fellers testified that the sergeant serving as shift commander is responsible for ensuring a prisoner is brought before a judge within 48 hours of arrest, and Tountas testified that the shift commander was responsible for when Hinsdale went to court. Rauglas testified that either the shift commander or the arresting officer was responsible for ensuring that Hinsdale was brought before a judge within 48 hours of his arrest. Miklas did not know of an emergency that delayed Hinsdale's probable cause hearing, and Tountas did not know of any impediment to bringing Hinsdale to court other than the SAO's investigation. Miklas did not do anything to ensure Hinsdale was brought before a judge for a probable cause hearing. Similarly, Tountas never asked or recommended to a supervisor to send Hinsdale to a probable cause hearing.


         Summary judgment obviates the need for a trial where there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. To determine whether a genuine issue of fact exists, the Court must pierce the pleadings and assess the proof as presented in depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions, and affidavits that are part of the record. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 & advisory committee's notes. The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of proving that no genuine issue of material fact exists. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). In response, the non-moving party cannot rest on mere pleadings alone but must use the evidentiary tools listed above to identify specific material facts that demonstrate a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324; Insolia v. Philip Morris Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 598 (7th Cir. 2000). Although a bare contention that an issue of fact exists is insufficient to create a factual dispute, Bellaver v. Quanex Corp., 200 F.3d 485, 492 (7th Cir. 2000), the Court must construe all facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). The same standard applies when considering cross-motions for summary judgment. Int'l Bhd. Of Elec. Workers, Local 176 v. Balmoral Racing Club, Inc., 293 F.3d 402, 404 (7th Cir. 2002). Therefore, when considering Defendants' motion for summary judgment, the Court views all evidence in the light most favorable to Hinsdale, and when considering Hinsdale's motion for summary judgment, the Court views all evidence in the light most favorable to Defendants. Id.


         I. Unreasonable Delay of Probable Cause Hearing after Warrantless Arrest

         Hinsdale alleges that Defendants deprived him of liberty without due process by holding him in custody for more than 60 hours before a judicial determination of probable cause for his arrest.[3] Both Hinsdale and Defendants have moved for summary judgment on Hinsdale's unlawful detention claim.[4] After a person is arrested without a warrant and held, the Fourth Amendment requires a prompt determination of probable cause for continued pretrial restraint of liberty. Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103, 114, 95 S.Ct. 854, 43 L.Ed.2d 54 (1975).[5] 48 hours is the key metric for determining the reasonableness of the length of time between a warrantless arrest and a probable cause hearing: “[d]etentions over 48 hours are presumptively unreasonable and the state bears the burden of proving that specific circumstances justified the delay, while the plaintiff bears the burden of showing any detention under 48 hours is unreasonable.” Ortiz v. City of Chicago, 656 F.3d 523, 539 (7th Cir. 2011) (“Ortiz II”); see also County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44, 56-57, 111 S.Ct. 1661, 114 L.Ed.2d 49 (1991).

         No dispute exists that, after Hinsdale's arrest, it took more than 48 hours for him to receive a Gerstein hearing, and he spent approximately 60 hours in the custody of Village police prior to that hearing. Thus, Defendants have the burden to provide an acceptable reason for the delay. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. at 57. Defendants argue that Hinsdale's detention of more than 48 hours was not unconstitutional because, although “[d]etentions for the purpose of ‘gathering additional evidence to justify the arrest, a delay motivated by ill will against the arrested individual, or delay for delay's sake' are prohibited, ” that “is not what happened here.” Doc. 41 at 4 (quoting McLaughlin, 500 U.S. at 56). Instead, they argue, extending the detention for the search warrant and review of Hinsdale's phone to “bolster[ ] the case” was not unlawful under McLaughlin because Tountas already had probable cause to arrest Hinsdale based on a witness statement and because Tountas searched Hinsdale's phone at the SAO office's request to gather evidence related to the crime for which he was arrested. Id. (quoting United States v. Daniels, 64 F.3d 311, 314 (7th Cir. 1995) (“Daniels' argument seems to interpret Riverside to preclude law enforcement from bolstering its case against a defendant while he awaits his Gerstein hearing; that is a ludicrous position.”)).

         Defendants' argument misses the mark because it relies on case law defining the reasonableness of detentions that do not exceed 48 hours, where the arrestee has the burden of proof to show an unreasonable delay. “[T]he Seventh Circuit has concluded, with respect to post-arrest detention of less than 48 hours, that delay in presentment in order to further investigate the offense for which the defendant was arrested passes muster under County of Riverside[.]” Wells v. City of Chicago, No. 09 C 1198, 2012 WL 116040, at *6 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 16, 2012) (“Wells I”) (comparing Daniels, 64 F.3d 311 (less than 48-hour detention), United States v. Sholola, 124 F.3d 803 (7th Cir. 1997) (less than 48-hour detention), and Willis v. City of Chicago, 999 F.2d 284 (7th Cir. 1993) (less than 48-hour detention)). But in detentions of longer than 48 hours, where the burden is on law enforcement to present an extraordinary circumstance, “delays for the purpose of gathering additional evidence are per se unreasonable.” Lopez v. City of Chicago, 464 F.3d 711, 714 (7th Cir. 2006) (“Here, the defendants offered no reason for the five-day delay other than the continuation of their investigation[.]”); Zawadowicz v. Vail, No. 08 C 2550, 2012 WL 895494 (N.D. Ill. March 15, 2012) (holding that arresting officers unconstitutionally detained plaintiff by not turning him over in time for a Gerstein hearing within 48 hours); Wells I, 2012 WL 116040, at *6 (noting that “it is clear that the [Lopez] court was addressing delays of more than forty-eight hours, because that is what was at issue in the case”); cf. Willis, 999 F.2d at 289 & n.3 (noting in a detention of 45 hours that a municipality arguing “that it had a right to hold [the plaintiff] until it could build a better case for the denial of bail” ran afoul of both Gerstein and McLaughlin”). Thus, Defendants' proposed reason for the delay, that his arresting officer was gathering and reviewing more evidence, fails as a matter of law. See McLaughlin, 500 U.S. at 57 (detention of more than 48 hours without an acceptable reason from the government is unconstitutional); Lopez, 464 F.3d at 714 (detention for more than 48 hours to gather additional evidence after arrest based on eyewitness account is unconstitutional). Hinsdale's detention of 60 hours prior to a Gerstein hearing violated his constitutional rights; therefore, the Court grants Hinsdale's cross-motion and denies Defendants' motion as to the injury and turns to the question of who may be liable for Hinsdale's injury.

         II. Liability for Constitutional Injury

         To prove liability under § 1983, Hinsdale must show that Defendants “caused the deprivation” of his federal right. Ortiz II, 656 F.3d at 539; Matz v. Klotka, 769 F.3d 517, 528 (7th Cir. 2014) (“§ 1983 requires that a defendant be personally involved in the alleged constitutional deprivation.”). Defendants move for summary judgment, arguing that, despite a constitutional violation, Hinsdale cannot show that any of the Defendant police officers or the Village caused the delay of more than 48 hours. Cross-moving for summary judgment, Hinsdale argues that each individual Defendant is ...

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