United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ARIANA R. JORDAN, Plaintiff,
JUSTIN D. KRAUSZ, JARED MISSEY, ROBERT CARPENTER and THE VILLAGE OF MARYVILLE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on defendant Justin D.
Krausz's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 30). Plaintiff
Ariana R. Jordan has responded to the motion (Docs. 34 &
36), and Krausz has replied to that response (Doc. 37).
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment must be granted “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); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Spath v. Hayes Wheels
Int'l-Ind., Inc., 211 F.3d 392, 396 (7th Cir. 2000).
The reviewing court must construe the evidence in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of that party. See Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986);
Chelios v. Heavener, 520 F.3d 678, 685 (7th Cir.
2008); Spath, 211 F.3d at 396.
initial summary judgment burden of production is on the
moving party to show the Court that there is no reason to
have a trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323;
Modrowski v. Pigatto, 712 F.3d 1166, 1168 (7th Cir.
2013). Where the non-moving party carries the burden of proof
at trial, the moving party may satisfy its burden of
production in one of two ways. It may present evidence that
affirmatively negates an essential element of the non-moving
party's case, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(A),
or it may point to an absence of evidence to support an
essential element of the non-moving party's case without
actually submitting any evidence, see Fed. R. Civ.
P. 56(c)(1)(B). Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-25;
Modrowski, 712 F.3d at 1169. Where the moving party
fails to meet its strict burden, a court cannot enter summary
judgment for the moving party even if the opposing party
fails to present relevant evidence in response to the motion.
Cooper v. Lane, 969 F.2d 368, 371 (7th Cir. 1992).
responding to a summary judgment motion, the nonmoving party
may not simply rest upon the allegations contained in the
pleadings but must present specific facts to show that a
genuine issue of material fact exists. Celotex, 477
U.S. at 322-26; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57;
Modrowski, 712 F.3d at 1168. A genuine issue of
material fact is not demonstrated by the mere existence of
“some alleged factual dispute between the parties,
” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247, or by “some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, ”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material
fact exists only if “a fair-minded jury could return a
verdict for the [nonmoving party] on the evidence
presented.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
all the evidence and drawing all reasonable inferences in
Jordan's favor, the evidence establishes the following
relevant facts for the purposes of this motion. The Court
focuses primarily on Krausz's conduct because a defendant
in a § 1983 suit can only be liable for constitutional
deprivations with which he was personally involved,
Consolino v. Towne, 872 F.3d 825, 832 (7th Cir.
2017), but touches on additional facts to give Krausz's
conduct and Jordan's allegations context.
and Chad Little had a son but in 2015 they did not live
together. Visitation rights for the minor son were governed
by an order from a Missouri court. Prior to May 11, 2015,
Jordan lived in Missouri, Little lived in Illinois, and the
two exchanged custody of their son at a specific location in
St. Louis, Missouri. On May 11, 2015, Jordan informed Little
she had moved with their son to San Diego, California, and
would not be returning to the area. Little approached the
Missouri court that had issued the custody order and obtained
a new order declaring him the sole custodian of their son
(“May 14 Missouri custody order”). He filed the
May 14 Missouri order in the Circuit Court of Madison County,
Illinois, and obtained an order of protection from that court
acknowledging that Little was the sole custodian of their son
(“May 19 Illinois order of protection”).
19, 2015, Little reported to the Maryville Police Department
that Jordan had wrongfully absconded with their child. He
made an oral report to Krausz, a patrolman on duty at the
police station at the time, and gave him copies of the May 14
Missouri custody order and the May 19 Illinois order of
protection. At no point did Little state that Jordan had ever
been in Illinois. Krausz was not sure if Jordan could be
charged with a crime but believed criminal charges could be
justified because Little “had sole custody of the child
and the child was not in Illinois in his custody.”
Krausz dep. 7:14-18. Krausz spoke with Maryville Detective
Howe who told Krausz to prepare a report and that he would
investigate further. Krausz completed an “informational
report” summarizing the information Little had reported
to him and gave the report to his superiors along with the
May 14 Missouri custody order and the May 19 Illinois order
of protection. Jordan does not dispute that Krausz's
informational report is truthful, that is, that Little
actually reported to Krausz the facts reflected in
took no further action with respect to Little's
complaint. Krausz did not request that anyone further
investigate the events in his informational report or that
any criminal charges be filed against Jordan, and he never
raised any question about whether there was jurisdiction to
charge Jordan with an Illinois crime. In fact, Krausz did not
know what was done with his report after he filed it and had
no further connection with the matter. However, it would not
have been surprising for Krausz's report to result in
charges against Jordan. For felony charges, a patrolman
usually began by filing an informational report, a supervisor
would decide whether to assign a detective to investigate
further, the assigned detective would review the
informational report and decided whether to ask the
State's Attorney to prosecute, and the State's
Attorney would decide whether to pursue charges. Indeed, all
of Krausz's prior informational reports had followed that
course and resulted in charges.
fact, a Maryville police sergeant assigned Detective Howe to
investigate the matter further. Detecting a potential
jurisdictional problem and uncertain whether Jordan had
committed a crime subject to Illinois' criminal
jurisdiction,  Howe submitted Krausz's report, the
May 14 Missouri custody order and the May 19 Illinois order
of protection to the Madison County State's
Attorney's Office for attorney review, but he did not
formally request prosecution. The State's Attorney's
Office decided to pursue a charge against Jordan for child
abduction in violation of Illinois law. A Madison County
judge issued a warrant for Jordan's arrest, and she was
arrested. She sought dismissal of the charge on the grounds
that an Illinois court did not have jurisdiction over her
because she had not committed any act in Illinois. After full
briefing by both sides, the court agreed with her and
dismissed the charge.
only remaining claim in this case is Count I against Krausz
for false arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The
claim is based on the assertion that Krausz should have known
Jordan was not subject to Illinois' criminal jurisdiction
since no information suggested she had ever been in Illinois.
Krausz asks the Court for summary judgment on this count on
the grounds that (1) Krausz's conduct is not actionable,
(2) Krausz is entitled to qualified immunity and (3) probable
cause existed for Jordan's arrest. Jordan disagrees,
arguing that Krausz was responsible for Jordan's arrest
because his report was a necessary step in the foreseeable
process leading to the arrest. She also argues that Krausz is
not entitled to qualified immunity because a reasonable
officer would have known, based on a reading of the Illinois
criminal jurisdiction statute, that Illinois had no criminal
jurisdiction over Jordan and would not have started the
process that led to Jordan's arrest. Finally, she denies
that probable cause existed to arrest her.