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Barksdale v. Lake County

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

February 3, 2015

LAKE COUNTY, INDIANA, et al., Defendants.


JON E. DEGUILIO, District Judge.

This is a civil rights case in which the Plaintiff, Marques T. Barksdale, alleges that he was arrested and detained for over 100 days based on false statements made by an officer in a probable cause affidavit. The officer had conducted two controlled purchases of crack cocaine through a confidential informant, and stated in his affidavit that the seller was subsequently identified as Barksdale. Barksdale was arrested and charged with two counts of distributing cocaine, but those charges were eventually dropped after Barksdale filed a notice of alibi defense showing he was actually at work at the time of both transactions. Barksdale then filed this suit, asserting an array of state and federal claims arising out of those charges. The defendants have now moved for summary judgment as to all claims, and those motions have been fully briefed. Barksdale also filed a motion for partial summary judgment, and there are two preliminary matters relating to the motions for summary judgment as well. For the reasons that follow, the defendants' motions are granted in part and denied in part, and Barksdale's motion is denied.


On October 12 and 13, 2010, Lake County Police Officers conducted controlled buys of crack cocaine from an individual their confidential informant knew only as "Marcus." On both occasions, Officer Luis Garcia met with the confidential informant, who then called Marcus[1] to arrange the transaction. Garcia searched the informant for contraband, then drove him to 169th Street in Hammond, Indiana, near the corner of Tapper Street. On the first occasion, Garcia observed the transaction from his car about twenty-five feet away, and saw the informant meet with a black male. The informant then returned to the car and handed Garcia three baggies of crack cocaine that he had purchased. Officer George Pabey and two other officers provided surveillance for the transaction, with Pabey located in his car about 100 feet away from the transaction. Pabey observed the transaction, and saw Marcus enter the lower level apartment at 1024 169th Street after completing the sale.

The officers conducted a similar controlled buy the next day, on October 13, 2010. The informant contacted Marcus to arrange the transaction, and Garcia drove him to the same location. Pabey provided surveillance from the same spot, and observed a black male walk out of the same apartment and meet with the informant. This time, after the informant purchased the drugs, Garcia approached and spoke with Marcus. Garcia introduced himself (presumably with a covert identity) and asked Marcus if he could buy from him directly in the future. Marcus agreed and gave Garcia his phone number.

Almost all of the facts from that point up to the filing of charges against Barksdale are disputed. Garcia claims that when he met Marcus, he saw a tattoo on the right side of Marcus' neck spelling his name in script, but with a "q" instead of a "c." In addition, officers had recorded the license plates of each of the cars parked behind the apartment building where the transactions took place. Garcia testified that he pulled the registration records for each of those cars, and that one of them, an '85 or '89 Chevy Caprice, was registered to Marques Barksdale. Garcia then pulled Barksdale's driving record and his criminal history report. Barksdale's driving record included his driver's license picture, and Garcia testified that he identified Barksdale as Marcus based on that picture because he recognized the "Marques" tattoo that was apparent in the picture. In addition, Garcia testified that Barksdale's criminal history report listed him as living at 1024 169th Street, the same address Marcus was seen leaving or entering during both transactions. Finally, Garcia testified that he compiled a photo line-up containing the pictures of Barksdale and five other comparable individuals, and that the informant identified Barksdale's picture as Marcus. Garcia then called Marcus several times at the number he had given him during their meeting, trying to set up additional buys to further strengthen the case. However, Marcus never returned his calls, so Garcia proceeded to charge Barksdale with the crimes.

These events differ considerably in Barksdale's version of events. First, Barksdale states in his affidavit that he had nothing to do with the controlled buys. He also submitted a letter from his then-employer, stating that he was present at work at the times of both transactions. The letter includes timesheets verifying Barksdale's attendance at work on both days. Thus, Barksdale argues not only that he was not Marcus, but that Garcia could not have observed his tattoo during the second transaction, as he was not there. Barksdale also states in his affidavit that he has never owned a car like the one Garcia testified was registered to him, and that he never lived at the address Garcia testified was listed in his criminal history report. Finally, he disputes that the photo line-up ever took place, as it was never mentioned in any report, and the defendants represented that they are not in possession of any such line-up.

It is undisputed, though, that on December 6, 2010, Garcia signed a probable cause affidavit and an information charging Barksdale with two counts of dealing cocaine, Class B felonies. The probable cause affidavit describes the two controlled buys, referring to the subject as "Marcus, " and then states, "The person known as Marcus was subsequently identified as Marques T. Barksdale." [DE 44-3]. A warrant was issued for Barksdale's arrest that same day, and he was arrested by the United States Marshals Service on December 8, 2010. Barksdale had his first appearance in court on December 8, 2010, and had his formal appearance on December 16, 2010, at which time he entered not guilty pleas to both charges. Barksdale was detained without bail through December 23, 2010, after which he was held on $100, 000 bail, which he was unable to post. On January 20, 2011, Barksdale's counsel filed a notice of alibi, and she filed a second statement of alibi on March 25, 2011, this time complete with records showing Barksdale was at work at the time of the offenses. On April 1, 2011, the prosecutor dismissed the charges against Barksdale for the reason that "[t]he State cannot establish the identity of the defendant, " and Barksdale was released. [DE 51-5]. Barksdale then petitioned to expunge the records of his arrest. The prosecutor stipulated to the expungement on April 28, 2011, and the court entered the expungement order on May 9, 2011.

Barksdale thereafter served a notice of tort claim on July 13, 2011, and filed suit on February 13, 2012. He sued five defendants, including Lake County, Indiana, the Lake County Commissioners, Sheriff John Buncich, Officer Garcia, and Officer Pabey, with the individuals sued in both their individual and official capacities for each claim. The complaint asserts federal claims for malicious prosecution, manufacture of inculpatory evidence, unreasonable seizure, and false arrest, and state law claims for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Lake County and its Commissioners were later dismissed pursuant to a stipulation, so only the claims against the individuals are still at issue, and they have now moved for summary judgment as to all claims.


There are two preliminary motions to address relative to the affidavit Barksdale filed in opposition to the motions for summary judgment. Sheriff Buncich moved to strike the affidavit [DE 60] because it was not dated. Barksdale responded in opposition to the motion, and also filed a motion for leave to file a dated version of the affidavit [DE 64], which he attached to the motion. No party has responded in opposition to Barksdale's motion, so the Court grants it as unopposed. The motion to strike the initial affidavit is therefore denied as moot.


On summary judgment, the moving party bears the burden of demonstrating 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). A "material" fact is one identified by the substantive law as affecting the outcome of the suit. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A "genuine issue" exists with respect to any material fact when "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id. Where a factual record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial, and summary judgment should be granted. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (citing Bank of Ariz. v. Cities Servs. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 289 (1968)).

In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, this Court must construe all facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable and justifiable inferences in that party's favor. Kerri v. Bd. of Trustees of Purdue Univ., 458 F.3d 620, 628 (7th Cir. 2006); King v. Preferred Technical Grp., 166 F.3d 887, 890 (7th Cir. 1999). However, the non-moving party cannot simply rest on the allegations or denials contained in its pleadings, but must present sufficient evidence to show the existence of each element of its case on which it will bear the burden at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986); Robin v. Espo Eng'g Corp., 200 F.3d 1081, 1088 (7th Cir. 2000).


The defendants have each moved for summary judgment as to all claims against them, and Barksdale has filed a motion for partial summary judgment as to one particular fact. The Court considers the parties' respective motions in turn.

A. Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment

Barksdale asserts the same set of claims against each of the three defendants in both their individual and official capacities. The Court addresses the individual capacity claims ...

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