United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. ALONSO United States District Judge.
Lorenzo Garrett, an Illinois state prisoner, brings this pro
se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff claims that defendants, two Chicago police
officers, violated his constitutional rights by illegally
stopping him, using unjustified force, and then denying him
access to medical care for his injuries. Before the Court is
defendants' motion for summary judgment . For the
reasons set forth below, defendants' motion is granted.
evening of July 24, 2015, Officers Needleman and Peraino were
on a “gang suppression mission” dressed in full
Chicago Police Department uniforms and driving a marked
patrol car. (Defs.' SOMF ¶ 1.) During their
surveillance, defendants noticed a vehicle whose driver was
not wearing a seat belt. (Id. ¶ 2.) Defendants
signaled the car to pull over and Officer Peraino approached
the driver's side of the vehicle, while Officer Needleman
approached the passenger side. (Id. ¶¶
3-4.) Plaintiff was a passenger in the vehicle. (Id.
¶ 3.) When the driver could not produce a valid
driver's license, defendants ordered plaintiff and the
driver out of the vehicle. (Id. ¶¶ 5-7.)
When Officer Needleman attempted to perform a protective pat
down of plaintiff, he pushed Needleman away with his
shoulder, rammed the officer with his head, and then tried to
pull away. (Id. ¶¶ 8-9.) The officers then
performed an “emergency take down.” (Id.
¶ 10.) Plaintiff continued to resist the officers as he
lay on the ground by trying to pull away, flailing his arms,
biting Officer Peraino on his wrist, and scratching Officer
Needleman on the back of his neck. (Id. ¶14.)
During the fracas, a sergeant and backup officers arrived.
(Id. ¶ 15.) Law enforcement officers used no
further force once plaintiff was finally under control.
(Id. ¶ 16.) At some point during the encounter,
the officers discovered that plaintiff was armed with a
loaded black nine-millimeter semi-automatic handgun.
(Id. ¶¶ 11-12.) Plaintiff claimed
ownership of the gun; however, the gun was not registered,
and plaintiff was not carrying a Firearm Owners
Identification (“FOID”) card. (Id.
dashboard camera mounted in the squad car recorded the
traffic stop and plaintiff's ensuing struggle with the
officers. (See DVD accompanying Defs.' Mot.
Summ. J. time-stamped July 24, 2015.) The video footage
supports defendants' representations. According to the
video, just as Officer Needleman started to pat down
plaintiff, the latter bucked the officer and began swinging
his arms. (Id. at 6:49:06 p.m.) Seeing the other two
wrestle, defendant Peraino immediately ran over to assist
Needleman. (Id.) Other officers arrived on the scene
not long after and joined the fray. (Id.) Plaintiff
was down on the ground and in handcuffs by 6:50:52 p.m.,
whereupon most of the officers walked away. (Id.) At
6:51:22 p.m., several officers escorted plaintiff, with his
hands behind his back, out of camera range and presumably
into the squad car. (Id.) Plaintiff did not appear
to be injured, in pain, or even particularly disheveled.
(Id.) The entire incident, from the traffic stop to
plaintiff's detention, transpired in under four minutes.
booked plaintiff at an area precinct and immediately
thereafter transported him to Rush University Medical Center
because he claimed injuries stemming from the arrest.
(Defs.' SOMF ¶ 17.) Plaintiff arrived at the
hospital at 7:15 p.m., less than a half hour after
he was arrested. (Id.) Health care providers took
four x-rays of plaintiff's left shoulder. (Id.
¶ 19.) The doctor who reviewed and interpreted the x-ray
images found that plaintiff's left shoulder was not
broken, fractured, or dislocated. (Id. ¶¶
20-21.) Hospital employees also performed a CT scan of
plaintiff's skull. (Id. ¶ 22.) A second
doctor determined that there was no orbital fracture.
(Id. ¶¶ 23-24.) The doctor noted that
plaintiff's “orbit” (his eyes and the
supporting structure) were within “normal
limits.” (Id. ¶ 25.) The anterior cranial
fossa was intact, and no intracranial abnormality was
visible. (Id. ¶ 26.) A third doctor performed
an eye exam and found nothing amiss. (Id.
was initially charged with six counts of aggravated unlawful
use of a weapon, one count of unlawful use or possession of a
weapon by a felon, and six counts of aggravated battery to a
peace officer. (Id. ¶ 31.) He ultimately
pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated battery to a peace
officer, as well as one count of aggravated unlawful use of a
weapon. (Id. ¶ 32.) As part of the plea
colloquy, plaintiff stipulated that he had exited the
vehicle, made a quick movement, and pulled away when Officer
Needleman attempted to perform a protective pat down.
(Id. ¶ 33.) He further conceded that he had
scratched Needleman's neck and bitten Peraino on his
wrist. (Id. ¶ 34.) He additionally admitted
that he had drawn a handgun from his waistband, that the
weapon was a nine-millimeter semi-automatic pistol loaded
with seven live rounds, and that he did not have a valid FOID
card. (Id.) The trial judge sentenced plaintiff to
fifteen years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
(Id. ¶ 36.)
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
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). In considering such a motion, the court
construes the evidence and all inferences that reasonably can
be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. See Kvapil v. Chippewa Cty., 752
F.3d 708, 712 (7th Cir. 2014). “Summary judgment should
be denied if the dispute is ‘genuine'‘if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.'” Talanda v.
KFC Nat'l Mgmt. Co., 140 F.3d 1090, 1095 (7th Cir.
1998) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986)); see also Bunn v. Khoury Enters.,
Inc., 753 F.3d 676, 681-82 (7th Cir. 2014). The court
will enter summary judgment against a party who does not
“‘come forward with evidence that would
reasonably permit the finder of fact to find in [its] favor
on a material question[.]'” Modrowski v.
Pigatto, 712 F.3d 1166, 1167 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Waldridge v. Am. Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 920
(7th Cir. 1994)).
Rule 56.1 supplements Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56; its
purpose “is to make the summary judgment process less
burdensome on district courts, by requiring the parties to
nail down the relevant facts and the way they propose to
support them.” Sojka v. Bovis Lend Lease,
Inc., 686 F.3d 394, 398 (7th Cir. 2012). Rule 56.1(a)(3)
requires the moving party to provide “a statement of
material facts as to which the moving party contends there is
no genuine issue[.]” Cracco v. Vitran Express.,
Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009). Each paragraph
of the statement must contain specific references to
supporting materials in the record that are relied upon to
support the facts set forth in that paragraph. See
N.D. Ill. L.R. 56.1(a). “The opposing party is required
to file ‘a response to each numbered paragraph in the
moving party's statement, including, in the case of any
disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of
the record, and other supporting materials relied
upon.'” Cracco, 559 F.3d at 632 (quoting
N.D.Ill. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B)). Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C) requires the
non-moving party to present a separate statement of
additional facts that requires the denial of summary
judgment. See Ciomber v. Coop. Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d
635, 643-44 (7th Cir. 2008). “For litigants appearing
in the Northern District of Illinois, the Rule 56.1 statement
is a critical, and required, component of a litigant's
response to a motion for summary judgment.”
Sojka, 686 F.3d at 398. “When a responding
party's statement fails to dispute the facts set forth in
the moving party's statement in the manner dictated by
the rule, those facts are deemed admitted for purposes of the
motion.” Cracco, 559 F.3d at 632; see also
Frey Corp. v. City of Peoria, 735 F.3d 505, 513 (7th
Cir. 2013). District courts may rigorously enforce compliance
with Rule 56.1. See, e.g., Stevo v. Frasor, 662 F.3d
880, 886-87 (7th Cir. 2011) (“Because of the high
volume of summary judgment motions and the benefits of clear
presentation of relevant evidence and law, we have repeatedly
held that district judges are entitled to insist on strict
compliance with local rules designed to promote the clarity
of summary judgment filings.”).
with the Local Rules, defendants filed a statement of
material facts along with their motion for summary judgment.
Each substantive assertion of fact in defendants' Local
Rule 56.1(a)(3) Statement is supported by evidentiary
material in the record. Also in accordance with the Local
Rules, defendants filed and served on plaintiff a Local Rule
56.2 Notice , which explains in detail the requirements
of Local Rule 56.1.
did not to respond to defendants' statement of facts,
submit his own statement of additional facts, or provide a
list of disputed facts that require a trial to resolve.
Instead, plaintiff's five-paragraph response  to the
motion for summary judgment merely asserts: “[T]he
photos and medical reports show that [plaintiff']s rights
were violated by the use of excessive force and force that
was used to cause injury in excess of normal submission
maneuvers, inflicting permanent bodily harm. Defendants
struck plaintiff with closed fists, causing facial
injuries.” (Pl.'s Reply at 1.) Plaintiff goes on to
ask, rhetorically, “If there were no injuries, then why
the seven to ten day follow-up [to his medical examination
following his arrest]?” (Id.) Because
plaintiff has failed to controvert defendants' facts with
any admissible evidence, the Court deems those facts admitted
for summary judgment purposes. See, e.g., Apex Digital,
Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 735 F.3d 962, 965 (7th
Cir. 2013); Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th
Cir. 2003). Accordingly, the above facts, all supported by
the record, are undisputed for purposes of the summary
explained in detail below, plaintiff has failed to show that
there is a genuine dispute as to any outcome-determinative
facts, and defendants have established that they are entitled
to judgment as a matter of law. The video evidence shows that
defendants pulled over the car in which plaintiff was a
passenger, not that the car was parked, as claimed in the
complaint. Additionally, plaintiff's guilty plea bars him
from pursuing the excessive force claim he advances because
he alleges facts inconsistent with his related convictions.
Regardless, the video substantiates defendants' account
of events and refutes the allegations in the complaint.
Furthermore, the unrefuted evidence demonstrates that