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McDowell v. Village of Lansing

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

August 18, 2014

MARLO MCDOWELL, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
VILLAGE OF LANSING, et al, Defendants-Appellees

Argued April 22, 2014

Page 763

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 1:12-cv-05025 -- Amy J. St. Eve, Judge.

For MARLO MCDOWELL, Plaintiff - Appellant: Basileios J. Foutris, Attorney, FOUTRIS LAW OFFICE, Chicago, IL.

For VILLAGE OF LANSING, MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ, officer, Defendants - Appellees: Gregory S. Mathews, Attorney, ANCEL, GLINK, DIAMOND, BUSH, DICIANNI & KRAFTHEFER, P.C., Chicago, IL.

Before POSNER, WILLIAMS, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 764

Tinder, Circuit Judge.

Marlo McDowell appeals the summary judgment dismissal of his suit against the Village of Lansing and Officer Michael Rodriguez, in which he alleged, inter alia, that Officer Rodriguez violated his substantive due process rights by rendering him vulnerable to a blow to the face by a third party. We hold that Officer Rodriguez's conduct, even according to McDowell's depiction of the record, was not sufficiently egregious to qualify as a constitutional tort or to vitiate his state-law immunity.

I. Background

On summary judgment we view the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Williams v. City of Chicago, 733 F.3d 749, 752 (7th Cir. 2013). Of course, Officer Rodriguez disputes much of the account that follows, but McDowell is entitled to every reasonable inference that supports his claims.

McDowell alleges that, after working a night shift on June 25, 2011, he met three friends at Bottoms Up, a local restaurant and bar located in unincorporated Cook County, Illinois. They stayed there for about a half hour, until the bar's 4:00 a.m. closing time. McDowell and his companions then exited the front door, but they were confronted by a group of four or five other individuals, who were apparently looking for trouble. (One of the few things we know about this latter group is that one of them happened to be an off-duty police officer.) The opposing sides quickly came

Page 765

to blows, and the altercation spilled into the parking lot. McDowell attempted to break up the fight. Eventually he retreated to his car, only to see his adversaries attempt to vandalize it. That is when ...


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