United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
matter is before the court on Defendants' motion for
summary judgment. For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted in
part and denied in part.
6, 2013, Plaintiff Emanuel Belling (Belling) was allegedly
present in a foreclosed house (House) in Chicago, Illinois.
Defendant police officer William Gorman (Gorman) and
Defendant police officer Thomas Shannon (Shannon) allegedly
arrived at the House after calls of "shots fired"
and a report that the shooter had run into the House. The
House allegedly appeared to have been abandoned. Gorman and
Shannon then allegedly entered the House, and, after finding
Belling and narcotics in plain view, they arrested Belling.
Defendant police officer Philip Paluch (Paluch) then
allegedly arrived at the scene and secured the perimeter of
the property surrounding the House. Belling contends that
Gorman and Shannon lacked probable cause to enter the House.
Belling includes in his complaint unlawful search claims
brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Section 1983)
(Count I), Section 1983 false arrest claims (Count II), and
an indemnification claim brought against Defendant City of
Chicago (Count III). Defendants now move for summary judgment
on all claims.
judgment is appropriate when the record, viewed in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party, reveals that 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(c); Smith v. Hope School, 560 F.3d 694, 699 (7th
Cir. 2009). A "genuine issue" in the context of a
motion for summary judgment is not simply a
"metaphysical doubt as to the material facts."
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue
of material fact 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 (1986); Insolia v. Phillip Morris,
Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 599 (7th Cir. 2000). In ruling on a
motion for summary judgment, the court must consider the
record as a whole, in a light most favorable to the
non-moving party, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor
of the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255;
Bay v. Cassens Transport Co., 212 F.3d 969, 972 (7th
Claims Brought Against Paluch
argue that the claims brought against Paluch should be
dismissed because he was not personally involved in the
alleged constitutional deprivations. See Colbert v. City
of Chicago, 851 F.3d 649, 657 (7th Cir. 2017)(stating
that "[i]ndividual liability under § 1983 . . .
requires personal involvement in the alleged constitutional
deprivation")(internal quotations omitted)(quoting
Minix v. Canarecci, 597 F.3d 824, 833 (7th Cir.
2010)). In response to the instant motion, Belling does not
dispute that Paluch lacked personal involvement in the search
or arrest to subject him to potential liability under Section
1983. (Resp. 5). Therefore, Defendants' motion for
summary judgment on the claims brought against Paluch is
Section 1983 Unlawful Search Claims (Count I)
move for summary judgment on the Section 1983 unlawful search
claims. The Fourth Amendment provides that "[t]he right
of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,
shall not be violated....." U.S. Const, amend IV.
Belling argues that Gorman and Shannon lacked sufficient
justification to enter and search the House.
Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
argue that Belling had no Fourth Amendment right that
extended to the House because Belling lacked a reasonable
expectation of privacy. The Fourth Amendment specifically
references protection in "houses, " but that does
not mean that all persons present in all houses have Fourth
Amendment privacy rights. See, e.g., United States v.
Sweeney, 821 F.3d 893, 898-99 (7th Cir. 2016)(noting
that in prior cases the court "held that warrantless
police intrusions into shared spaces in apartment buildings .
. . did not violate the Fourth Amendment rights of
tenants"). In assessing whether a defendant violated the
plaintiffs Fourth Amendment rights, a court can consider
"whether the police committed a trespass when conducting
the search, " and "whether the person challenging
the search had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the
location that was searched." Id. In the instant
action, it is undisputed that the House had been owned in
2007 by Irma Dixon (Dixon), that in 2010, a foreclosure
action was initiated against Dixon and that on June 27, 2012,
the title to the House and property was transferred to
Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) via a
judicial sales deed. (RSF Par. 25-27). It is further
undisputed that in August 2012, a demand for immediate
possession and notice of intent to file forcible entry and
detainer action was served regarding the House and property,
and that the notice specified that Fannie Mae owned the
property and House, and that an eviction order was entered in
the foreclosure action. (RSF Par. 29, 32). Thus, Belling was
found in the House which he did not own. It is undisputed
that he never owned the House. (RSF Par. 35). It is further
undisputed that he lacked the permission of the owner to be
present in the House and the occupants of the House had been
notified that Fannie Mae owned the House. Belling claims that
he was paying rent to someone, but the undisputed facts show
that notice of the eviction was served in accordance with
state law on Belling. (RSF Par. 30-31). Belling has not
pointed to any evidence that would indicate that he was
unaware of the foreclosure proceedings or the eviction order.
The Seventh Circuit has made clear that such a person
squatting in a foreclosed residence after the entry of an
eviction order and notice has no reasonable expectation of
privacy in the residence. United States v. Curlin,
638 F.3d 562, 565 (7th Cir. 201 l)(stating "[l]ike a
burglar plying his trade in a summer cabin during the off
season, [the defendant's] presence was wrongful, and
consequently any subjective expectation of privacy he may
have had is not one that society is prepared to recognize as
reasonable")(internal quotations omitted)(quoting
Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 143-44, n. 12
(1978)). Belling had no reasonable expectation of privacy in
such a location when he wrongfully remained in the House.
Whether or not Belling was paying rent or not is not
dispositive. Even if Belling, knowing of the eviction order,
was given permission from someone without authority over the
House to wrongfully reside there in exchange for rent, that
would not provide Belling with a reasonable expectation of
privacy in the House. See Curlin, 638 F.3d at 566
(stating that "given that [the defendant] had notice
that his continued occupancy had been adjudged to be
unlawful, [the Court had] no difficulty concluding that he
lacked any objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in
the premises"). Thus, the entry into the House by Gorman
and Shannon did not violate Belling's Fourth Amendment