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Bryant v. City of Chicago

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

April 18, 2017

LARRY BRYANT Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge:

         Presently before us is the motion for summary judgment filed by Defendants City of Chicago and Chicago Police Officers Prieto, Davis, Weatherspoon, Crisp, O'Malley, McDonough, Martin, Johnson, and Chimslar (“Defendant Officers”). (Dkt. No. 75.) For the reasons set forth below, we grant in part and deny in part Defendants' motion.

         BACKGROUND

         Unless otherwise noted, the facts herein are undisputed and gathered from the parties' Local Rule 56.1 statements of fact and exhibits thereto. (See Defs.' SOF (Dkt. No. 76); Pl.'s SOF (Dkt. No. 56).) To the extent that either party objected to certain statements of fact or exhibits, we rely only on admissible evidence. See e.g., Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.Com., Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007) (“The evidence relied upon in defending a motion for summary judgment must be competent evidence of a type otherwise admissible at trial.” (citation omitted)). Accordingly, we decline to address objections specifically unless warranted.

         On February 22, 2011, Officer Salvador Prieto spoke with a confidential informant about narcotics sales allegedly transpiring in the second floor apartment of 6014 South Elizabeth Street, Chicago, Illinois (“the apartment”).[1] (Defs.' SOF ¶ 5.) The informant told Officer Prieto that he[2] repeatedly purchased heroin from an unknown black male at that address for the past two months, most recently on February 21, 2011. (Id. ¶¶ 6, 8, 19.) Specifically, the informant recounted that he arrived at the apartment on February 21, 2011 and knocked on the second floor apartment door, where an unknown black male greeted him and allowed him to enter the apartment. (Id. ¶¶ 8-10.) The informant further told Officer Prieto that, after entering the apartment, he asked the man for two bags of “dope” and watched him walk into another room in the apartment and return with a large bag containing smaller bags of what the informant believed to be heroin. (Id. ¶¶ 7, 11-12.) The informant stated he then purchased two bags of heroin from the man, and continued to return to the apartment to purchase heroin approximately three times a week during the relevant time period. (Id. ¶¶ 13, 20.)

         Officer Prieto showed the informant a photo of the building at 6014 South Elizabeth Street. (Id. ¶ 22.) The informant identified it as the building where he purchased heroin. (Id. ¶¶ 23.) Officer Prieto drove the informant past 6014 South Elizabeth Street, at which point the informant again identified the building as the location where he purchased heroin. (Id. ¶¶ 24-25.) Based on this information, Officer Prieto prepared a Complaint for Search Warrant and Search Warrant on February 23, 2011. (Id. ¶ 26.) The Complaint and Search Warrant described the unknown individual as a black male, “5'6-5'7” in height, dark complexion, with short black hair, and weighing 140-145 pounds.” (Id. ¶ 31.) On February 23, 2011, Officer Prieto produced the informant before the Circuit Court of Cook County and received a warrant authorizing the search of the apartment and the man described by the informant. (Id. ¶ 30; Dkt. No. 76-2.)

         The same day, the Defendant Officers executed the Search Warrant for the apartment. (Id. ¶ 33.) Plaintiff was present in the apartment when the Defendant Officers entered. (Id. ¶ 34.) During their search, Defendant Officers recovered heroin from the kitchen and the front south bedroom, and mail addressed to Plaintiff from the front south bedroom. (Id. ¶ 35, 37.) Defendant Officers also searched Plaintiff and recovered a set of keys to the front door of the apartment. (Id. ¶ 36.) After the Defendant Officers placed Plaintiff under arrest and read him his Miranda rights, he told them that he had lived in the apartment for a few months, and that during this time he slept in the front south bedroom. (Id. ¶ 38.) Plaintiff was charged with possession of controlled substances in violation of Illinois law. (Id. ¶ 40.) On February 11, 2015, Plaintiff pled guilty to knowingly possessing with intent to deliver one to fifteen grams of heroin in violation of 720 ILCS 570/401(c)(1). (Id. ¶ 43.)

         On February 2, 2013, Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for false arrest, false imprisonment, and illegal search, as well as state law claims for false arrest, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and respondeat superior arising from his arrest on February 23, 2011. On July 1, 2013, we dismissed Plaintiff's state law claims of false arrest, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and respondeat superior with prejudice as untimely, but allowed his § 1983 claim to proceed. (Dkt. No. 19.) On January 29, 2014, Plaintiff filed his second amended complaint against Defendants alleging a § 1983 claim for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights as a result of alleged “unlawful restraint, arrest, and unreasonable search and seizure”, as well as state-law claims for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and indemnification.[3] (Dkt. No. 48.)

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment is proper only when “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). A genuine issue for trial exists when “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510 (1986). The initial burden is on the moving party to identify those portions of the record that “it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2553 (1986) (internal quotations omitted). Once the moving party meets this burden of production, the nonmoving party “must go beyond the pleadings” and identify portions of the record demonstrating that a material fact is genuinely disputed. Id.; Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).

         In deciding whether summary judgment is appropriate, we must accept the nonmoving party's evidence as true and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255, 106 S.Ct. at 2513. We do not “judge the credibility of the witnesses, evaluate the weight of the evidence, or determine the truth of the matter. The only question is whether there is a genuine issue of fact.” Gonzalez v. City of Elgin, 578 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50, 106 S.Ct. at 2511). “Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.” Sarver v. Experian Info. Sols., 390 F.3d 969, 970 (7th Cir. 2004) (citation omitted).

         ANALYSIS

         I. Section 1983 Fourth Amendment Claims

         Defendants argue summary judgment should be granted on Plaintiff's § 1983 claim because the police had probable cause to search and arrest him. (Defs.' Mem. ISO Summ. J. (Dkt. No. 77) at 7-12). Plaintiff responds that the search warrant executed by Defendant Officers was invalid a genuine factual dispute exists regarding the reasonableness of their search. (Pl.'s Resp. (Dkt. No. 86) at 7-11.) Plaintiff also argues Defendant Officers lacked probable cause to ...


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