United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
March 11, 2014
DAVID DAVENPORT, Plaintiff,
OFFICER DANIEL BREZIK, IMPD, Defendant.
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
TANYA WALTON PRATT, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on Defendant Daniel Brezik's ("Officer Brezik") Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 69). Plaintiff, David Davenport ("Mr. Davenport"), initiated this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Officer Brezik, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer, in his individual capacity, claiming Officer Brezik's use of force to effectuate his arrest on May 14, 2011 was excessive. For the reasons explained below, the Motion is GRANTED.
I. LEGAL STANDARD
Summary judgment is appropriate if "the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "Material facts" are those under the applicable substantive law that "might affect the outcome of the suit." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute over "material fact" is "genuine" if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id. The nonmoving party bears the burden of demonstrating that such a genuine issue of material fact exists. See Harney v. Speedway SuperAmerica, LLC, 526 F.3d 1099, 1104 (7th Cir. 2008) (citing cases). "The nonmovant will successfully oppose summary judgment only when it presents definite, competent evidence to rebut the motion." Vukadinovich v. Bd. of Sch. Trs., 278 F.3d 693, 699 (7th Cir. 2002) (internal quotation and citation omitted).
Having applied the foregoing standard to the pleadings and the evidentiary record in this action, and being duly advised, the Court finds that Officer Brezik's Motion for Summary Judgment must be granted. This conclusion rests on the following facts and circumstances:
1. Mr. Davenport claims that Officer Brezik arrested him without a warrant and without probable cause on May 14, 2011. However, Mr. Davenport's conviction in an Indiana state court of offenses associated with his arrest precludes his claim for unlawful arrest. Currier v. Baldridge, 914 F.2d 993 (7th Cir. 1990); see also Schertz v. Waupaca County, 875 F.2d 578, 582 (7th Cir. 1989) ("[T]he existence of probable cause for arrest is an absolute bar to a Section 1983 claim for unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, or malicious prosecution.").
2. Mr. Davenport's second claim is that Officer Brezik used excessive force in effecting the arrest. Mr. Davenport was convicted on September 12, 2012 of resisting law enforcement in state court. The Supreme Court's decision in Heck v. Humphrey 512 U.S. 477 (1994) precludes this claim. Mr. Davenport could not prevail on his claim of excessive force without impugning the validity of the conviction for resisting law enforcement. When a plaintiff "makes allegations that are inconsistent with [his] conviction's having been valid, Heck kicks in and bars his civil suit." McCann v. Neilsen, 466 F.3d 619, 621-22 (7th Cir. 2006) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted); see also Moore v. Mahone, 652 F.3d 722, 723-25 (7th Cir. 2011); Okoro v. Callaghan, 324 F.3d 488, 490 (7th Cir. 2003). Mr. Davenport can pursue it if his conviction is ever invalidated. See Polzin v. Gage, 636 F.3d 834, 839 (7th Cir. 2011).
Officer Brezik's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 69) is GRANTED to the extent consistent with the foregoing, and judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue.