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Bolden v. City of Chicago

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

May 19, 2017

EDDIE L. BOLDEN, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, MICHAEL BAKER, JOSEPH BARNES, EDWARD HICKS, MICHAEL KILL, JAMES OLIVER, ANGELO PESAVENTO, MICHAEL ROWAN, EDWARD SIWEK, BARBARA TEMPLE and AS-YET UNKNOWN CURRENT OR FORMER EMPLOYEES OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendants.

          Hon. Susan E. Cox Mag.

          CITY OF CHICAGO Elan Shpigel John F. Gibbons Greenberg Traurig, LLP Attorneys for Defendant City of Chicago

          MOTION FOR ENTRY OF GUARANTY OF SATISFACTION OF JUDGMENT

          Hon. Milton I. Shadur Judge.

         Defendant City of Chicago (the “City”), by its counsel of record, respectfully moves this Court to enter the proposed “Defendant City of Chicago's Guaranty of Satisfaction of Judgment, ” (“City's Guaranty”) attached as Exhibit A, thereby resolving all matters relating to Plaintiff Eddie Bolden's (“Bolden”) Monell claims. In support thereof, the City states as follows:

         Factual Background

         1. Bolden brought this lawsuit against the City and current or former police officers Michael Baker, Joseph Barnes, Edward Hicks, Michael Kill, James Oliver, Angelo Pesavento, Michael Rowan, Edward Siwek, and Barbara Temple (the “Defendant Officers”), arising from Bolden's arrest, conviction, and incarceration for the murders of Derrick Frazier and Ledell Clayton, and the attempted murder and aggravated battery of Clifford Frazier. Bolden brings claims for violation of due process, failure to intervene, conspiracy to deprive constitutional rights, false arrest and imprisonment, federal malicious prosecution, as well as various state law claims against the Defendant Officers. Dkt. No. 40 at ¶¶ 63-85, 93-115.

         2. One of the theories of liability that Bolden asserted against the City is under Monell v. Department of Social Servs City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978), alleging that the City's policies and practices were the underlying causes of the constitutional violations purportedly suffered by Bolden. See Dkt. No. 40 (Pl.'s Compl. at ¶¶ 86-92). Specifically, Bolden predicates his Monell claim on the City's allegedly

(1) conducting illegal or improperly coercive interrogations of witnesses, suspects and arrestees; (2) manufacturing, fabricating, or using improper suggestive tactics to obtain false witness statements; (3) filing false reports and giving false statements or testimony; (4) withholding, destroying or suppressing evidence, including Brady material; and (5) perpetuating, encouraging, and condoning a ‘code of silence, ' pursuant to which Chicago Police Officers refused to report or otherwise covered-up instances of police misconduct. (Pl.'s Compl. at ¶ 88).

         Bolden further alleges that the purported Monell violations occurred because the City “declined to implement sufficient training and/or any legitimate mechanism for oversight or punishment of the Chicago Police Officers who engaged in these practices, ” and largely blames the existence of so-called “street files” as the catalyst for these constitutional violations (Id. at ¶ 57 & 60).

         3. During the status hearing on April 19, 2017, when asked by the Court why Bolden needed to “include Monell at all, ” Plaintiff's counsel admitted that Bolden did not “need Monell” and would be “willing to forego proceeding on the Monell claim in the instant action.” See Transcript of Proceedings in Bolden v. City of Chicago et al., 17-cv-00417, before Hon. Milton I. Shadur, dated April 19, 2017, attached as Exhibit B; Letter from Ronald Safer to Hon. Milton I. Shadur, attached as Exhibit C.

         4. Based on Bolden's discovery requests to date, the litigation and defense of Bolden's Monell claims will involve laborious fact discovery, including costly expert discovery - threatening to unduly complicate and delay these proceedings.

         Legal Argument

         5. The common-sense, pragmatic approach articulated by the Court, and agreed to by the parties, favor granting this motion. Granting the motion will avoid a lengthy and complex trial on the City's Section 1983 liability, avoid undue prejudice both to the Defendant Officers and the City, and relieve Bolden of the burden of establishing the elements to prove municipal liability if Bolden proves his constitutional rights were violated by the Defendant Officers. See e.g. Ackerman v. Allen et al., No. 16-CV-6199 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 27, 2017) (Bifurcating Monell claims was appropriate because it served the interests of expediting litigation and eliminating unfair prejudice).

         6. Besides nominal damages not exceeding $1.00, Bolden would not be entitled to any additional remedies if he prevailed against the City on his Monell claim. See 745 ILCS 10/9-102; Medina v. City of Chicago, 100 F.Supp.2d 893, 895-96 (N.D. Ill. 2000) (“…a prevailing plaintiff in a § 1983…case…gets nothing more from suing the municipality under Monell than he would get from suing just the officers…As a result, ...


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