United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ROBERT BLAKEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Christopher Simenson sues Defendants City of Joliet, Joliet
Police Department (JPD) Officer Nicholas Crowley, and JPD
Officer D. Weis based upon events that transpired following a
911 call on May 28, 2016.  ¶¶ 9-38. Defendants
move for partial summary judgment on Counts I and III of
Plaintiff's complaint. . Counts I and III allege that
Officer Crowley: (1) illegally seized Plaintiff in violation
of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and 42 U.S.C. §
1983 (Count I); and (2) maliciously prosecuted Plaintiff in
violation of Illinois state law (Count III).  ¶¶
39-44, 51-57. For the reasons explained below, this Court
grants Defendants' motion.
following facts come from Defendants' LR 56.1 statement
of material facts, , Plaintiff's response to
Defendants' statement of material facts, ,
Plaintiff's statement of additional facts, , and
Defendants' response to Plaintiff's statement of
additional facts, .
The 911 Call
resides in Will County, Illinois.  ¶ 1. Defendant
Crowley has served as a police officer for Joliet since 2013.
Id. ¶ 2.
after midnight on May 28, 2016, John Torres-a security guard
for Harrah's Joliet Hotel & Casino-called 911 to
report that he encountered a male subject on casino property
who said he planned to jump off nearby Jefferson Street
Bridge. Id. ¶ 3. Torres remained on the phone
with the 911 dispatcher as the dispatcher relayed the
call's substance to JPD and confirmed that the officers
approached the correct subject. Id. ¶ 4. JPD
Officers Crowley, Luis Ayala, and Sergeant Tim Powers, among
others, responded to the scene after hearing the 911 dispatch
that an individual was threatening to commit suicide by
jumping off the Jefferson Street Bridge. Id. ¶
5. Joliet Fire Department paramedics Mark Boros and Tyler
Wilson also responded to the scene. Id. ¶ 6.
Officer Crowley, Sergeant Powers, Boros, and Wilson all knew
from personal experience that the Jefferson Street Bridge
serves as a suicide “hot spot.” Id.
Ayala arrived on the scene first, followed shortly thereafter
by Boros, Wilson, and Officer Crowley. Id. ¶ 9.
Upon arrival, they saw Plaintiff sitting on a bench beside
the river, yards from the Jefferson Street Bridge.
Id. Sergeant Powers served as the on-scene
supervisor for JPD and initially watched the scene from
across the street so as to not interfere. Id. ¶
Plaintiff continued sitting on the bench, Officer Ayala,
Boros, and Wilson began speaking to him; Officer Crowley did
not speak to Plaintiff at this time. Id. ¶ 10.
Defendants maintain that Simenson appeared visibly
intoxicated throughout the conversation; Plaintiff counters
that he “wasn't really drunk, ” but
“had some alcohol in” him. Id. ¶
11;  ¶ 11; [37-1] at 55. Regardless, Plaintiff
concedes that he drank “numerous ‘mugs' of
beer earlier in the day.”  ¶ 11. When the JPD
officers approached Plaintiff, he also had a backpack
containing a six pack of beer in his possession. Id.
¶ 12. Plaintiff told the JPD officers that he had been
drinking and made statements to the effect that he
“need[ed] some help, ” wanted to get into rehab,
and wanted to quit drinking. Id. ¶ 13; [37-1]
at 35, 53.
Plaintiff still sat on the bench, Boros and Wilson, in their
role as paramedics, determined that they needed to take him
to the hospital. Id. ¶ 14; [37-4] at 20; [37-5]
at 10, 45. They made this decision based upon: (1) the 911
call reporting a suicidal individual; (2) the Jefferson
Street Bridge's reputation as a suicide “hot
spot”; (3) evidence of Plaintiff's alcohol
consumption; and (4) Plaintiff's statement that he needed
help. Id. ¶ 16. Boros and Wilson did hear
Plaintiff deny being suicidal, but did not change their
determination given: (1) the circumstances of the 911 call;
(2) their standing medical orders; and (3) their experience
as paramedics, including circumstances in which individuals
had denied suicidal thoughts despite showing evidence of
self-harm. Id. Accordingly, Boros and Wilson
believed that a qualified mental health professional needed
to further evaluate Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 17; [37-4]
at 15, 57-58; [37-5] at 13-15.
and Wilson testified that upon arriving to a scene involving
a suicidal patient, they usually explain to the patient that
he or she can come to the hospital willingly, or the
paramedics will take him or her to the hospital in protective
custody. [37-4] at 62-63; [37-5] at 51-52. In this case,
however, Boros and Wilson could not recall whether they
explained these two options to Plaintiff. Id.
According to Plaintiff, Boros and Wilson “nicely”
asked him if they could take him to the hospital and never
advised him that he had no choice but to go.  ¶ 7;
 ¶¶ 14, 20; [37-1] at 32, 36.
Plaintiff entered the ambulance voluntarily and had his vital
signs checked.  ¶ 21;  ¶ 3. While in the
back of the ambulance, Plaintiff cooperated with Boros and
Wilson, and both paramedics testified that he behaved in a
calm manner.  ¶ 7. Sometime after entering the back
of the ambulance, Plaintiff saw Officer Crowley for the first
time.  ¶ 22. Officer Crowley heard Plaintiff deny
making suicidal threats.  ¶ 5.
the paramedics checked Plaintiff's vital signs in the
ambulance, Officers Crowley and Ayala searched through his
backpack-outside of the ambulance-as part of standard
security protocol and at the request of the paramedics; in
doing so, they found alcohol in Plaintiff's bag. 
¶ 23. Plaintiff then became “agitated” and
“angered, ” and stated that he wanted to bring
his alcohol and bag with him into the ambulance. Id.
¶ 24; [37-3] at 17; [37-5] at 21-24. Plaintiff then
stated that he wanted to go home, rather than to the
hospital, and left the ambulance.  ¶ 25. While the
parties dispute exactly what Officer Crowley told Plaintiff
before he left the ambulance, the record demonstrates that
Office Crowley, at the very least, told Plaintiff that he
would go to the hospital either voluntarily or in handcuffs.
 ¶ 27; [37-1] at 38; [37-2] at 33;  ¶ 27.
Plaintiff's exit from the ambulance, a physical
altercation occurred between him and Officer Crowley. 
¶ 29. According to Plaintiff, Officer Crowley tackled
him, and in the process Plaintiff's face hit the corner
of a metal box. [37-1] at 38-39. According to Officer
Crowley, after he gave Plaintiff the option to go to the
hospital voluntarily or in handcuffs, Plaintiff turned around
and put his hands behind his back, telling Officer Crowley
“fine; then fucking handcuff me.” [37-2] at 34.
Officer Crowley maintains that he put one handcuff on
Plaintiff's wrist before Plaintiff pulled away from him
and twisted his torso towards the ambulance door; Officer
Crowley then used his body weight to get him onto the floor
of the ambulance to control his movements. Id.
Defendants concede that in this process, Plaintiff struck his
head on a metal box and cut his cheek. [3 7 ] ¶ 31. Fol
lowing the altercation, Boros and Wilson tended to
Plaintiff's cut cheek in the ambulance and controlled the
bleeding.  ¶ 32; [37-4] at 38. Officer Crowley
placed handcuffs on Plaintiff while he remained on the floor
of the ambulance, but while Plaintiff received treatment,
only one hand remained handcuffed.  ¶¶ 17-18.
Powers, still watching from a distance, heard loud speech and
saw a commotion at the side of the ambulance, but did not see
anything specific.  ¶ 33. He then walked to the back
of the ambulance and discussed what had occurred with
Officers Crowley and Ayala. Id. Following this
conversation, Officer Crowley also decided to arrest
Plaintiff for misdemeanor resisting or obstructing a police
officer. Id. ¶ 34.
and Wilson then took Plaintiff in custody to Presence St.
Joseph's Hospital for medical treatment. Id.
¶ 35. Specifically, they took him to Pod D of the
Emergency Room-the Emergency Room's psychiatric section.
Id. Plaintiff arrived at the hospital at 12:52 a.m.
Id. Plaintiff was then released from police custody
on a recognizance bond, known as an I-Bond, at 2:05 a.m., but
remained at the hospital for treatment for four additional
hours. Id. ¶ 36;  ¶ 21. Nurse Mark
Wales, who treated Plaintiff, stated that Plaintiff was
“very threatening” in the hospital.  ¶
37; [37-10] at 12.
also testified that based upon his observations and training,
Plaintiff was heavily intoxicated and not capable of making
decisions.  ¶ 39. Plaintiff denies that he behaved
uncooperatively, [37-1] at 69, but concedes that his behavior
in the Emergency Room caused security officers and crisis
intervention specialists to respond and handle him, 
¶ 38. While at the hospital, tests revealed that
Plaintiff had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .242.
Id. ¶ 42. Ultimately, Dr. Kim Orlob treated the
cut on Plaintiff's face at 5:05 a.m. by closing it with
glue in a “simple repair.” Id. ¶
43. The parties agree that Plaintiff ultimately never
received a mental health evaluation before leaving the
hospital at 5:55 a.m. See  at 5;  ¶ 43.
Plaintiffs Criminal Prosecution
the 911 call and subsequent incident, Officer Crowley filled
out reports to generate the misdemeanor criminal complaint
against Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 44. Officer
Crowley's case report stated that with regard to the
incident-he listed the subject line of the report as
“suicide”-the disposition was
“unfounded.”  ¶ 5; [45-1]. In his
testimony, Officer Crowley said he incorrectly input
“unfounded”-by clicking on the wrong option in a
dropdown menu-when filling out the report.  ¶ 5;
[37-2] at 114. The case against Plaintiff was assigned to the
Circuit Court of Will County; Plaintiff hired an attorney and
went to court on February 14, 2017-the day the court set his
case for a jury trial.  ¶¶ 45-46. Officer
Crowley also received notification ...