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Rivera v. Guevara

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

June 21, 2018

JACQUES RIVERA, Plaintiff,
v.
REYNALDO GUEVARA, et al., Defendants.

          DAVID A. BRUEGGEN Counsel for Defendants McLaughlin and Gawrys.

          DEFENDANT OFFICERS MCLAUGHLIN AND GAWRYS'S RULE 50 MOTION FOR JUDGMENT AS A MATTER OF LAW

          The Honorable Joan B. Gottschall Judge.

         Defendants Gillian McLaughlin and Steve Gawrys (“Movants”), by their attorneys, move this Honorable Court for the entry of an order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50 for judgment as a matter of law and state:

         INTRODUCTION

         After the Court ruled on Summary Judgment (Dkt. 373) and clarified that ruling (Dkt. 436), the only remaining claims against the Movants are:

• Count I alleging a violation of Plaintiff s right to a fair trial against McLaughlin and Gawrys based on suppression or fabrication of: Plaintiffs gangbook identification on August 27 or 29, 1988; an alleged line up on August 31, 1988; and an alleged recant by eyewitness Orlando Lopez on September 15, 1988;
• Count II alleging a federal claim for conspiracy against McLaughlin and Gawrys;
• Count III alleging a claim for failure to intervene against McLaughlin and Gawrys;
• Count VI alleging a state law conspiracy claim against McLaughlin and Gawrys. Plaintiff has rested his case at trial after having an opportunity to fully be heard on his claims. However, Plaintiff has presented insufficient evidence upon which a jury could find in Plaintiffs favor for the remaining claims against the Movants. Accordingly, the lack of any evidence to support Plaintiff's remaining claims against them confirms that the Movants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

         LAW

         A court should render judgment as a matter of law when “a party has been fully heard on an issue and there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find for that party on that issue.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 50(a). The standard for granting judgment as a matter of law “mirrors” the standard for granting summary judgment. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prod., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000), quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250-51 (1986). There must be more than a mere scintilla of evidence to support the party's claim. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252; Filipovich v. K&R Exp. Systems, Inc., 391 F.3d 859, 863 (7th Cir. 2004). The Court should determine whether there is sufficient evidence upon which the jury could properly proceed to find a verdict for the party producing it, upon whom the burden of proof is imposed. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. If the non-movant presents insufficient evidence upon which a reasonable person could properly base a verdict in his favor, judgment as a matter of law for the movant is appropriate. James v. Milwaukee County, 956 F.2d 696, 698 (7th Cir. 1992). A directed verdict in favor of a defendant is proper if reasonable people, viewing the facts most favorably to the plaintiff, could not conclude that the plaintiff has made out a prima facie case. Cannon v. Teamsters & Chauffeurs Union, 657 F.2d 173, 175-76 (7th Cir. 1981).

         ARGUMENT

         A. There Is No. Evidence That McLaughlin Violated Plaintiff's Due Process Rights (Count I)

         The evidence in the trial record is clear that McLaughlin was not involved in the August 27/29, 1988 gang book identification of Plaintiff and that she was not at the police station on September 15, 1988. Plaintiff's own questioning of McLaughlin drives these facts home:

Q. So, just to summarize, the September 15th lineup at which Jacques was identified, you ...

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