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Brown v. City of Chicago

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

March 6, 2018

Jason Allen Brown Plaintiff,
City of Chicago, et al., Defendants.


          Charles R. Norgle Judge.

         Pro se Plaintiff Jason Allen Brown, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action regarding his detainment and arrest by the Chicago Police Department in September 2014. Named as Defendants are Chicago Police Department employees Sergeant Sanchez, Officer Bridges. Officer Konior, Officer Louie, Officer Randolph. Officer Rattler. Sergeant O'Donnell, Sergeant Garvey, and Lt. Robinson. This matter is now before the Court for ruling on Defendants' partial motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 94). For the reasons stated herein, Defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         Legal Standard A. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), this 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."' To establish that a material fact is undisputed, a party "must support the assertion by . . . citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . . admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials." Rule 56(c)(1). "The court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in the record." Rule 56(c)(3). Courts must "construe all facts and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party." Van den Bosch v. Raemisch, 658 F.3d 778, 785 (7th Cir. 2011), citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).

         Once the party moving for summary judgment demonstrates the absence of a disputed issue of material fact, "the burden shifts to the non-moving party to provide evidence of specific facts creating a genuine dispute." Carroll v. Lynch, 698 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2012). The non-movant must go beyond the allegations of his complaint and "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Hannemann v. Southern Door County School Dist., 673 F.3d 746, 751 (7th Cir. 2012). A genuine issue of material fact exists only if there is evidence "to permit a jury to return a verdict for" the nonmoving party. Egonmwan v. Cook County Sheriffs Dept., 602 F.3d 845, 849 (7th Cir. 2010); Carroll, 698 F.3d at 564 ("[m]ere metaphysical doubt" about material facts is not enough).

         B. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1

         Local Rule 56.1 "is designed, in part, to aid the district court, 'which does not have the advantage of the parties' familiarity with the record and often cannot afford to spend the time combing the record to locate the relevant information, ' in determining whether a trial is necessary." Delapaz v. Richardson, 634 F.3d 895, 899 (7th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted). Under Local Rule 56.1(a)(3), the moving party must provide "a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue." Ammons v. Aramark Unif. Servs., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004) (quoting N.D. Ill. L.R. 56.1(a)); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The opposing party must then "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 v. Vitran, Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625. 632 (7th Cir. 2009) (quoting N.D. Ill. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B)). The opposing party may also 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 (7th Cir. 2008) (citing N.D. III. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C)). A court may consider true any uncontested fact in the movant's Rule 56.1 Statement that is supported by the record and is not addressed by the opposing party. Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600. 608 (7th Cir. 2006); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2); Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C).

         Defendants submitted Statements of Uncontested Facts, (Dkt. 98), to which Plaintiff responded. (Dkt. 104). Plaintiff also submitted a memorandum (Dkt. 103) responding to Defendants' legal memorandum (Dkt. 95).

         Defendants argue in their reply brief that Plaintiffs response to their Local Rule 56.1 Statement of Facts is improper in several ways, in that Plaintiff: (1) in some instances fails to provide specific references to the record; and (2) offers nothing more than legal arguments or conclusions. Defendants contend that because Plaintiff failed to comply with Local Rule 56.1. their statement of facts should be deemed admitted.

         Even to the extent Plaintiff failed to completely comply with Local Rule 56.1, it would not "automatically result in judgment for the movant, " asi-[t]he ultimate burden of persuasion remains with [the movant] to show that [he] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir. 2006). Where Defendants' statements are properly supported by the cited materials and are not otherwise disputed by evidence Plaintiff raises, including his deposition testimony (Dkt. 98-4), the Court will consider those statements as undisputed. See Local Rule 56. 1(b)(3)(C). But, where Plaintiff has pointed to evidence contrary to Defendants* statements of fact in in the record or could properly testify himself about the matters asserted, the Court will consider that evidence. See Sistrunk v. Khan, 931 F.Supp.2d 849, 854 (N.D. Ill. 2013); Fed.R.Evid. 602. The Court will, however, not dig through the record to identify disputed issues of fact that are not otherwise supported. See Hemsworth v., Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007) ("In considering a motion for summary judgment, the district court is not required to scour the record in search of evidence to defeat the motion; the nonmoving party must identify with reasonable particularity the evidence upon which the party relies.") see also Almy v. Kickert Sch. Bus Line. Inc., No. 08-cv-2902, 2013 WL 80367. at *2 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 7, 2013) ("[C]ourts are not required to 'wade through improper denials and legal arguments in search of a genuinely disputed fact.*") (quoting Bordelon v. Chi. Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs.. 233 F.3d 524, 529 (7th Cir. 2000)). And, of course, the Court will not consider factual statements as refuted by purely legal arguments, incomplete responses that lack evidentiary support, or responses that are inconsistent with deposition testimony.

         With these guidelines established, the Court turns to the facts of this case.


         A. Defendants' Account

         On September 9, 2014, Defendants Officers Bridges, Louie, Konior, Sanchez, Rattler, Randolph and Lt. Robinson were part of a narcotics team that conducted controlled narcotics purchases. (Dkt. 98, DSOF at ¶¶ 6-11, 14-20.) On this date, the Defendant officers were working in the area of 16th and Lawndale, an area well-known for narcotics sales. (DSOF at ¶¶ 21.) The officers had set up on the block and conducted surveillance on a group of male individuals suspected of selling narcotics. (DSOF at ¶¶ 24-25.) Officer Bridges, who was working in an undercover capacity, approached one of the men and purchased two bags of heroin in exchange for a twenty dollar bill of pre-recorded 1505 funds. (DSOF at ¶¶ [ 28, 30.) Officers Louie, Randolph, Rattler, and Lt. Robinson observed this narcotics transaction. (DSOF at ¶ 35.) Each of these officers identified Plaintiff, Jason Allen Brown, as the person who sold narcotics to Officer Bridges. (DSOF at ¶ 36.)

         After the narcotics sale, the subject left the scene and proceeded to another location to retrieve additional narcotics. (DSOF at ¶¶ 37, 30.) Officers Randolph, Rattler, and Lt. Robinson followed the subject and when he reemerged from a residence at 1910 S. Ridgeway, Lt. Robinson ordered Officers Konior and Sanchez to detain him. DSOF at ¶¶ 38-40.) Based on the representations of the surveillance officers. Officers Konior and Sanchez detained Plaintiff at 3729 W. 19th street. (DSOF at ¶ 40.) As Officers Bridges and Louie drove by, Officer Bridges, communicated that Plaintiff was the person that had just engaged in a narcotics transaction with the officer. (DSOF at ¶ 41.) Officers Sanchez and Konier then placed Plaintiff under arrest, and Officer Konier conducted a custodial search, finding the pre-recorded funds on Plaintiffs person. (DSOF at ¶¶ 42-43.) Those funds were inventoried. (DSOF ¶ 45.)

         After Plaintiff was arrested, Officers Sanchez and Konier drove him from 3729 W. 19th Street to the address on his driver's license, 1910 S. Ridgeway in Chicago, where Officer Sanchez gave Plaintiffs belongings to one of Plaintiff s neighbors. (DSOF at ¶ 49.) Officers Sanchez and Konier then drove Plaintiff from 1910 S. Ridgeway to the police station located at Homan Avenue and Fillmore Avenue, in Chicago. (DSOF at ¶ 50.) Plaintiff arrived at the police station and was handcuffed to a bench. (DSOF at ¶54.) At this point, Plaintiff did not have any further contact with officers Konier, Bridges, Louie, Rattler, Randolph, or Lt. Robinson. (DSOF at ¶ 55.) Officer Sanchez conducted an additional custodial search of Plaintiff at the police station. (Dkt. ...

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