United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
David A. Dewar, Pro Se Plaintiff
Chicago Police Officers T.J. Felmon, M.K. Devine and C.J. Long, Defendants
E. Dory Assistant Corporation Counsel III
Michele McGee, Assistant Corporation Counsel III
Scott, Assistant Corporation Counsel III
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR JUDGMENT AS A MATTER OF
VIRGINIA KENDALL DISTRICT JUDGE.
Michael Devine, Timothy Felmon and Charles Long,
(“Defendants”), by and through one of their
attorneys, Emily E. Dory, Assistant Corporation Counsel III,
move this Court for judgment as a matter of law on
Plaintiff's Request for Punitive Damages.
Rule 50(a), a Court may “enter judgment against a party
who has been fully heard on an issue during a jury trial if a
reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient
evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue.”
Schandelmeier-Bartels v. Chicago Park Dist., 634
F.3d 372, 376 (7th Cir. 2011) (internal citation omitted).
This Motion was first brought orally on December 3, 2019, at
the conclusion of Plaintiff's case during the jury trial
on this matter. After argument, the Court granted this motion
and indicated that the Defendants could file a written motion
as well to preserve the record. Therefore, this Court should
grant judgment as a matter of law in favor of Defendants on
the Plaintiff's request for punitive damages, because of
the previous ruling in Court regarding this motion, and
because Plaintiff failed to establish that any defendant in
this case acted maliciously or with reckless disregard for
Court should dismiss Plaintiff's request for punitive
damages in this case. Per the instruction accepted by the
Court in this case, punitive damages may be awarded only
where there is a showing that Defendants conducted themselves
maliciously or with reckless disregard for Plaintiff's
rights: “Conduct is malicious if it is accompanied by
ill will or spite, or is done for the purpose of injuring
Plaintiff. Conduct is in reckless disregard of
Plaintiff's rights if, under the circumstances, one or
more of the Defendants simply did not care about
Plaintiff's safety or rights.”
is no evidence in the record whatsoever which would support a
jury finding of punitive damages against any Defendant
Officer. To the contrary, the witnesses testified
consistently that the Defendant Officers Felmon and Devine
arrested Mr. Dewar based on Mr. Hosty's signed criminal
complaint, combined with the nature of the incident. The
witnesses Mr. Hosty, Mr. Dewar, and Ms. Shirley Dewar,
testified that prior to February 17, 2014, and since then,
they had never met, or interacted with, any of the
Long, in particular, took no substantive part in arresting
Mr. Dewar. In fact, no witnesses testified to Sgt. Long being
present on scene for any portion of the incident.
Plaintiff himself admitted that Sgt. Long is a supervisor and
that his only involvement in this case was to review the
arrest report that came across his desk. Sgt. Long's
entire connection to this case, as Plaintiff and other
witnesses testified, was to review the arrest report of
Plaintiff. Plaintiff himself also never testified as to any
actions that could even come remotely close to being
considered malicious or with reckless disregard as to Sgt.
the evidence presented shows that Plaintiff is a much larger
and younger man than the victim who is smaller and elderly.
Second, Mr. McKenna and Mr. Hosty testified that when the
police arrived Mr. Hosty was flustered, upset, and shaking
while the police were on scene. Further, Mr. Hosty and Mr.
McKenna testified that observed Mr. Dewar was angry while the
police were on scene, and would not completely cooperate.
Witnesses testified, including Mr. Dewar's own mother,
that Mr. Dewar refused to apologize for his actions even
after the Defendants asked him multiple times to apologize.
Further, Mr. Dewar's own mother also asked him to
apologize and Mr. Dewar himself testified that he refused to
apologize on scene.
also testified that the Defendants conducted an investigation
on the scene. This investigation was done to see if snow had
been thrown on the side of the house as alleged by Mr. Dewar.
After investigating, the witnesses testified that no snow had
been disturbed under the windows, as Mr. Dewar claimed.
Therefore, the evidence presented showed that Mr. Dewar's
version of events was not consistent with the evidence on
witnesses testified that Officers Devine and Felmon arrested
Mr. Dewar after Mr. Hosty, the victim, said he wanted to
press charges, and wanted to sign a criminal complaint. Mr.
Hosty testified that he was not under duress, or pressure
from the Defendants when he signed this criminal complaint.
In fact, Mr. Hosty testified that he insisted on proceeding
with criminal charges against Mr. Dewar. It was all of these
above factors that lead to the arrest of Plaintiff. There is
no evidence in the record which demonstrates that Defendant
Officers Devine and Felmon acted with ill will or spite or
simply did not care about the Plaintiff's safety or
rights. In fact, the evidence in the record exhibits the
exact opposite. Witnesses testified that the Defendant