United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
Robert A. Taylor, Plaintiff,
City of Chicago, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
S. SHAH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
police officers detained Robert Taylor because an
investigative alert in the system said there was probable
cause to arrest Taylor. But the alert should have been
canceled months earlier-he had been acquitted of the charge
that led to the alert and there was no basis to detain him.
Taylor seeks to hold the City of Chicago liable for his
detention under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, but the City's
policies or practices were not directly responsible for a
constitutional violation here. On this record, Taylor's
seizure was a one-time administrative failure to follow a
constitutional policy. The City's motion for summary
judgment is granted, and Taylor's motion is denied.
moving for summary judgment must show there is no genuine
dispute about any material fact and that it is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. The moving
party must demonstrate that, after construing all facts and
drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmovant,
Laborers' Pension Fund v. W.R. Weis Co.,
Inc., 879 F.3d 760, 766 (7th Cir. 2018), a reasonable
jury could not return a verdict for the nonmoving party.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). Or, the moving party must show that the nonmoving
party has failed to establish an essential element of his
claim and could not carry his burden of proof at trial.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
These standards apply equally to cross-motions for summary
judgment. Blow v. Bijora, Inc., 855 F.3d 793, 797
(7th Cir. 2017). When evaluating cross-motions, I consider
evidence from both to ensure there is no material dispute.
Torry v. City of Chicago, 932 F.3d 579, 584 (7th
Robert Taylor sued individual officers involved in the search
of his apartment, his arrest on gun charges, and his later
detention after his acquittal. .He also sued the City of
Chicago. Id. I bifurcated the individual and
municipal claims. . The individual officers moved for
summary judgment, and I granted their motion in part. .
described in the first opinion and order, a confidential
informant told Chicago police officer Ricky Hughes that
Taylor, a convicted felon, had a gun in his apartment.
Id. at 1. Hughes procured a warrant to search Taylor
and the apartment located at 645 West 62nd Street, Apartment
1S. Id. But the address of Taylor's apartment,
and the one that police actually searched, was 643 West 62nd
Street, Apartment 1N. Id. After officers searched
the apartment and found a gun, an investigative alert based
on probable cause was issued for Taylor. Id. He was
arrested in June 2011, held in custody for several months,
and tried for the crime of unlawful use of a weapon.
Id. The judge made note of the incorrect address on
the search warrant, quashed the arrest, and found Taylor not
months later, in December 2011, police officers detained
Taylor again, acting on the same investigative alert as
before, and it took over an hour to clear up the confusion
and release him. Id.;  ¶ 28.
was probable cause for the search warrant, and it was valid
because it was obtained and executed in good faith despite
its use of the wrong address. . There was probable cause
to arrest Taylor in June 2011, and Taylor could not establish
every element of his malicious prosecution claim.
Id. Consequently, I granted summary judgment in
favor of all the individual defendants, except for one count
against Detective Joshua Weitzman because a genuine dispute
existed as to his responsibility for canceling the
investigative alert, which led to Taylor's second arrest
in December 2011. Id. at 23-24.
parties then turned to the bifurcated claims against the City
of Chicago and filed cross-motions for summary judgment.
; . The core remaining claim is about the
Chicago Police Department's investigative alert policy.
Before investigative alerts, the CPD implemented a
“stop order” policy.  ¶¶ 4, 9. A
“stop order” alerted officers that 1) an
investigating unit wanted to talk to a specific individual if
that individual happened to be arrested or 2) an arrest
warrant was on file for a particular individual. Id.
¶¶ 10-11. The computer record of the arrest warrant
automatically expired within a week. Id. ¶ 12.
stop-order policy was replaced by an “investigative
alert” policy in March 2001. Id. ¶
The policy that was in effect at the time of Taylor's
arrest allowed two types of investigative alerts: one with
probable cause to arrest and one without.  ¶ 11.
The alert for Taylor was the former.  ¶¶
35-36. Incorporating a probable-cause determination into the
alert system reduced the CPD's need to obtain arrest
warrants from judges. Id. ¶¶ 17-18. The
alerts went into a criminal history records system that
police officers used to run background checks. Id.
¶ 14. The policy required officers to take any
individual with a probable cause alert into custody.
Id. ¶ 16. An alert could only be entered by a
Bureau of Investigative Services member that was
responsible “for follow-up investigation” and had
to be approved by a BIS supervisor. Id. ¶ 14.
The BIS member and supervisor were not, however, required to
be involved in the investigation or have any first-hand
information about the probable-cause determination.
Id. ¶ 15.
investigative alerts automatically expired in six months.
Id. ¶ 8. This policy changed to an auditing
process. Id. Instead of automatically expiring,
investigative alerts would be audited every 28 days to purge
alerts no longer needed. Id. ¶¶ 8,
It was the responsibility of any BIS sergeant or above to
ensure investigative alert requests were “updated or
canceled as necessary” and that investigative alert
files were audited every 28 days to ensure the requests on
file were canceled when the subject had been apprehended or
the alert was no longer needed. Id. ¶ 20; 
¶ 13. BIS detectives were also required to notify
supervisors when an investigative alert needed to be updated
or canceled.  ¶ 15.
2011, at the time of Taylor's arrest, thousands of
investigative alerts were inputted into the system.
Id. ¶ 17. The parties dispute whether any
audits took place that year,  ¶ 21, but there were
no records of any audit completed in 2011, no written
criteria for performing audits, and no records demonstrating
lieutenants were held accountable for conducting audits.
Id. The department had started discussing better
recordkeeping practices, like maintaining electronic, instead
of paper, records. Id. ¶ 23. As of March 2019,
there were hundreds, if not thousands, of open investigative
alerts still in filing cabinets. Id. ¶ 26.
Taylor's case, Detective Weitzman was the BIS member who
inputted the investigative alert. Id. ¶ 35.
While Weitzman did not have first-hand knowledge of Officer
Hughes's probable-cause determination and was not
involved in the investigation, Weitzman concluded there was
probable cause to arrest because Taylor was a convicted
felon, he was named in a search warrant, and a gun had been
recovered from his apartment. Id. ¶¶ 33,
36. The alert was approved by a BIS supervisor, whom Weitzman
did not know and also was not involved in Taylor's case.
Id. ¶¶ 37-38. Weitzman's
responsibility to cancel the alert is a matter of some
dispute, see  at 24, but there is evidence that
after Taylor was acquitted in November 2011, it was
Weitzman's responsibility to cancel the alert. 
¶ 40;  ¶ 23. ...