United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
Charles Allen brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 based on claims that he was falsely arrested and
maliciously prosecuted. Allen alleges that defendants,
Timothy Elliott, Kimberly Evans, Chris Faulds, William
Slayton, Andrew Hotseller, and Scott Carpenter, who are all
law enforcement officers, are responsible for wrongly
accusing him of a crime, which resulted in the false arrest
and malicious prosecution. The defendants move for summary
judgment on these claims against them. Allen has responded to
the motion. For the reasons that follow, the motion for
summary judgment, dkt.  is
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides that 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.” In ruling on
a motion for summary judgment, the admissible evidence
presented by the non-moving party must be believed and all
reasonable inferences must be drawn in the non-movant's
favor. Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d
487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007); Zerante v. DeLuca, 555
F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2009) (“We view the record in
the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all
reasonable inferences in that party's favor.”).
However, “[a] party who bears the burden of proof on a
particular issue may not rest on its pleadings, but must
affirmatively demonstrate, by specific factual allegations,
that there is a genuine issue of material fact that requires
trial.” Hemsworth, 476 F.3d at 490. Finally,
the non-moving party bears the burden of specifically
identifying the relevant evidence of record, and “the
court is not required to scour the record in search of
evidence to defeat a motion for summary judgment.”
Ritchie v. Glidden Co., 242 F.3d 713, 723 (7th Cir.
September 14, 2013, IMPD officer Tim Elliott was working
off-duty security for Cadillac Ranch/Bartini's Night Club
located at 39 West Jackson Place in Indianapolis. Dkt. 97-1.
He was wearing his full police uniform. Id. Around
2:43 a.m., he observed a black male, later identified as
Aloric Carson, and a white male, later identified as Justin
Melton, fighting in the 250 to 300 block of South Meridian
Street. Id. Elliott approached the fight, announced
that he was a police officer and ordered Carson and Melton to
stop fighting. Id.
Elliott was attempting to break up the fight, a third male
with short dreadlocks and a red flannel-type shirt, later
identified as Charles Allen, ran toward him and punched him
in the chest. Id. Due to the punch, Elliott was
thrown back and knocked off balance. Id. According
to Elliott, Allen yelled at Carson, “Come on bro!
Let's go! Let's go!” Id. Both Carson
and Allen then fled south on Meridian Street. Id.
unholstered his taser and pursued them on foot. Id.
He loudly commanded them to “Stop! Police! Stop or you
will be tased.” Id. During the pursuit, they
decided to split up. Id. Elliott followed Carson and
caught up with him shortly after. Id. Park Ranger
William Slayton then arrived on scene and assisted Elliott
with handcuffing Carson. Id. IMPD officer Chris
Faulds witnessed the fight, the assault on Elliott, and the
foot pursuit. Id. Kevin White and Robert Hastings,
security guards for Cadillac Ranch/Bartini's Nightclub
also witnessed the incident. Id. at pp. 2-3.
officer Kimberly Evans was working downtown foot patrol on
the morning of September 14, 2013. Dkt. 97-2 at ¶ 3.
Around 2:44 a.m., a white male, later identified as White or
Hastings, flagged down Evans. Id. at ¶ 4. He
frantically pointed at a black male with dreadlocks and a red
flannel-type shirt who was walking north on Meridian street.
Id. at ¶ 5. The white male stated that the man
he was pointing at had punched a police officer. Id.
at ¶ 6. Evans told the black male with dreadlocks and a
red flannel-type shirt that the police were conducting an
investigation and that she needed to temporarily detain him.
Id. at ¶ 7. She radioed Elliott and asked him
to come to her location. Id. at ¶ 8. Elliott
arrived at her location within one to two minutes.
Id. at ¶ 9. Elliott identified the black male
with dreadlocks and a red flannel-type shirt as the
individual who punched him. Id. The individual was
identified as Allen. Dkt. 97-1.
arrested Allen for battery on an officer and resisting law
enforcement. Id. Marion County Sheriff's Deputy
Andrew Hotseller transported Allen to the Arrestee Processing
Center. Dkt. 97-3. IMPD Sergeant Scott Carpenter arrived on
scene to complete a use of force report for Elliott's
failed attempt to taser Carson. Dkt. 97-1. Allen's
booking photo shows that at the time of his arrest he had
short dreadlocks and a red flannel-type shirt. Dkt. 97-4. The
Marion County Prosecutor's Office charged Allen with
battery on an officer and resisting law enforcement in
violation of Indiana law under cause number
49F18-1309-FD-060983. Dkt. 97-5. On August 25, 2016, Allen
was found guilty after a trial of both offenses and the added
offense of being a habitual offender. Dkt. 97-6. The judge
sentenced Allen to two consecutive 1, 095-day sentences and a
concurrent 365-day sentence at the Indiana Department of
Corrections. Dkt. 97-7. At present, Allen's convictions
have not been vacated or set aside.
brings claims against the defendants for false arrest and
malicious prosecution. In support of these claims, Allen
contends that Elliott initially described his assailant as a
heavy set man wearing a white t-shirt, but that Allen is not
heavy set and was wearing a red plaid shirt. Allen asserts
that Elliott later changed his description of the attacker to
match Allen's description.
defendants seek summary judgment on Allen's claims
arguing, among other things, that they are barred by the
doctrine recognized in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477 (1994). Heck bars any suit for damages premised
on a violation of civil rights if the basis for the suit is
inconsistent with or would undermine the constitutionality of
a conviction or sentence. Id. at 489-90. This
includes the claims raised by Allen. But Heck does
not bar every false arrest claim. Specifically, Heck
does not bar a claim if that false arrest “does not
inevitably undermine a conviction; one can have a successful
wrongful arrest claim and still have a perfectly valid
conviction.” Booker v. Ward, 94 F.3d 1052,
1056 (7th Cir. 1996). Nevertheless, Heck bars false
arrest claims if “specific factual allegations in the
complaint are necessarily inconsistent with the validity of
the conviction.” McCann v. Neilsen, 466 F.3d
619, 621 (7th Cir. 2006). “‘It is irrelevant that
[the plaintiff] disclaims any intention of challenging his
conviction; if he makes allegations that are inconsistent
with the conviction's having been valid, Heck
kicks in and bars his civil suit.'” Id.
466 F.3d at 621-22 (quoting Okoro v. Callaghan, 324
F.3d 488, 490 (7th Cir. 2003)); see also Gordon v.
Miller, 528 F. App'x 673, 674 (7th Cir. 2013)
(“Because prevailing on his assertion that he never
drove the pickup would undermine his outstanding conviction
on the charge that he drove it while intoxicated, the case is
barred by Heck.”); Okoro, 324 F.3d at
490 (by challenging the validity of the guilty verdict by
denying that there were any drugs and arguing that he was
framed, the plaintiff was barred by Heck);
Purnell v. McCarthy, No. 14 C 2530, 2017 WL 478301,
at *3 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 6, 2017) (finding false arrest claim
precluded by Heck because the “claim relies on
allegations that are flatly inconsistent with the facts
supporting [the] convictions”). See Patterson v.
Leyden, 947 F.Supp. 1211, 1217 (N.D.Ill.1996) (Where
“the arresting officer witnessed the crime and the
conviction [was] based on his testimony, proof of the crime
is ipso facto proof of probable cause.”);
Lang v. City of Round Lake Park, 87 F.Supp.2d 836,
843 (N.D.Ill. 2000) (“[T]here was no difference between
the evidence used to determine probable cause and that used
to determine guilt.”).
Allen asserts a man in a white shirt assaulted Elliott while
Allen himself was wearing a red shirt the night of the
incident. He contends that Elliott therefore did not have
probable cause to arrest him and his prosecution for this
crime was malicious. Allen's allegations, if true, would
necessarily require a conclusion that he is not guilty of the
crimes for which he was convicted - battery on a police
officer and ...