Bridewell v. Eberle

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Section 1983 Action
Case Number: 
No. 12-2738
Decision Date: 
August 27, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Dist. Ct. did not err in granting defendants-police officials’ motion for summary judgment in section 1983 action alleging that defendants lacked probable cause to arrest plaintiffs on murder charge, where two plaintiffs told police that victim had shot at them, and where prosecutor eventually dismissed said murder charge. Dist. Ct. could properly find that defendants had probable cause to believe that plaintiffs had either shot victim or aided actual killer, where third-party witness at murder scene told defendants that: (1) victim had been pursued and confronted by angry people; and (2) he heard multiple gun shots and saw plaintiffs run away from scene. Ct. rejected plaintiffs’ argument that jury, as opposed to Dist. Ct., should have made independent assessment of probable cause. Moreover, fact that witness did not see plaintiffs fire gun at victim did not mean that they could not have done so. Also, Dist. Ct. did not err in granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to one plaintiff’s malicious prosecution claim, where prosecutor’s dismissal of instant murder charge as to said plaintiff came about through plaintiff’s plea bargain, which precluded plaintiff from establishing that alleged wrongful prosecution was terminated in manner suggesting plaintiff’s innocence.