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.

Belling v. Gorman

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

June 28, 2017

EMANUEL BELLING, Plaintiff,
v.
P.O. WILLIAM GORMAN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge

         This 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.

         BACKGROUND

         On June 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.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary 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 Cir. 2000).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Claims Brought Against Paluch

         Defendants 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 granted.

         II. Section 1983 Unlawful Search Claims (Count I)

         Defendants 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.

         A. Reasonable Expectation of Privacy

         Defendants 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 rights.

         B. ...


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.