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Favela v. Boyd

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

August 7, 2019



          James E. Shadid United States District Judge.

         Now before the Court are Defendant Rock Island County's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 96) and Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 100). Plaintiff filed a response to Defendant's Motion on February 26, 2019 (Doc. 104) and Defendant Rock Island County filed a reply on March 12, 2019 (Doc. 105). Defendant Rock Island County filed a response (Doc. 103) to Plaintiff's Motion on February 26, 2019, and Defendant Boyd filed his response on March 27, 2019 (Doc. 110). Plaintiff filed a reply on April 2, 2019 (Doc. 111). A hearing on this matter was held on May 16, 2019. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant Rock Island County's Motion (Doc. 96) for Summary Judgment is DENIED, and Plaintiff's Motion (Doc. 100) for Summary Judgment is DENIED.


         A. Undisputed Facts

         The following facts are undisputed by the parties.[1] Defendant Jeffrey Boyd (“Boyd”) was the Sheriff of Rock Island County in 2013. He met Plaintiff Favela (“Favela”) at DePaepe's Gym in the fall of 2013. After speaking with her, he left his business card on her windshield, offering to help her seek full U.S. citizenship through his professional contacts. Between fall of 2013 and February of 2014, Boyd developed an attraction to Favela. In February 2014, Boyd gave Favela numerous gifts (jewelry, flowers, letters, workout gear) that she told him she could not accept but he refused to take back. At some point, he acquired her home address, as he had the flowers sent directly there. He also gave her money for a diet plan and told her she could pay him back when she had finished it. Between February 13 and 27, 2014, Boyd sent Favela over 461 texts. Favela told Boyd to stay away from her and leave her alone, and he told her “[t]hat's how I know you are into me.” Doc. 100, p. 5; Doc. 100, Exh. C, message 50. Boyd told her that his marriage was in trouble, and that he was attracted to her. He continued to offer to help her with her citizenship status and make sexually forward comments, such as referencing his sperm count and sending her a shirtless photo of himself.

         On February 19, Boyd told Favela that if he truly wanted to hurt her, he would inform all of his co-workers who lived near her of her driving status (she did not possess a valid Illinois driver's license). Favela responded the next day that she would find ways other than driving to get to the gym, and repeated her request that he leave her alone. Favela told him that he was retaliating against her because she had rejected his advances for an extra-marital affair. On February 21, Boyd replied, telling her that he had warned her about driving illegally and that she could be arrested.[2] He further said “you want to go up against me…good luck.” On March 15, 2014, Boyd pulled Favela over and gave her a verbal warning not to drive without a license. The same day, Boyd instructed Deputy Prine to look for Favela's vehicle, as he suspected she would continue driving illegally. On April 2, 2014, Boyd spent several hours researching Favela, then wrote her a traffic citation and kept it. The next morning, he met with Deputy Baney and directed him to serve Favela with the traffic citation. Favela refused to accept the ticket, explained to Deputy Baney that she believed Boyd had no basis to issue that ticket, and Deputy Baney returned the ticket to Boyd. Boyd held onto it, believing he had 18 months to petition the court to issue it or seek a warrant for her arrest. On April 4, 2014, Boyd told Favela that she could be arrested if she didn't “figure out [her] ticket with [him].” On a prior occasion, he had told Favela that she would be serving days or months in the county jail if he ticketed her for every instance he saw her driving. On April 25, 2014, Boyd again texted Favela that the court date was approaching on the ticket she refused to sign. The ticket was never served on Favela, never filed with the court, and Favela was never made to appear in court.

         On March 22, 2014 Favela saw Boyd's car parked on the street behind her home, with a view of her garage. Sometime after April 2, 2014, Boyd parked behind Favela's home for an hour and a half and observed vehicles coming and going from the residence. He used his authority as sheriff to obtain video footage from a pawn shop that he believed depicted her driving. Before June 2014, Boyd drove near her residence three to four times a week, looking through her trash for indicia of residency and documentation of illegal activity, and running the plates of vehicles he saw.

         Favela got a new phone number in order to avoid Boyd's texts, but he obtained her new number through DePaepe's Gym and continued texting her. On June 6, 2014, he used an application that made his phone number anonymous to continue sending her text messages. In particular, he sent her a message calling her obscene names in Spanish. That message was the subject of a prosecution for Attempted Official Misconduct, and Boyd entered an Alford plea on that charge, agreeing that there was a sufficient factual basis to find that he sent the message and earlier texts, which he should have known could cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress. On March 3, 2015, Plaintiff initiated this case.

         B. Disputed Facts

         The cross-motions for summary judgment in this case depend largely on which of Boyd's actions, if any, were within the scope of his employment. The Court therefore focuses the examination of disputed facts on the matters bearing on those issues.

         Scope of Sheriff's Duties

         Defendant Boyd and Plaintiff agree that when Boyd was Sheriff, he was “working as Sheriff, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” Defendant Rock Island County contends that his hours of service were regularly 8am-5pm, pursuant to state statute 55 ILCS 5/3-6019.

         Use of Law Enforcement Resources

         Defendant Boyd and Plaintiff refer to the Dodge Durango he drove as “department-issued specifically to him.” Defendant Rock Island County contends that during his tenure as Sheriff, certain employees such as himself were issued unmarked squad cars equipped with lights and sirens, which they were permitted to use for personal business while they were off-duty. If a Sheriff's Deputy was utilizing an unmarked vehicle for personal use, Boyd's policies dictated that they carry their badge and service ...

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