United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
LOZANO, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Summary Judgment, filed on April 3, 2017 (DE #15). For the
reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion for summary
judgment (DE #15) is GRANTED. The Clerk is
DIRECTED to close this case.
Dionta McBride (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint in
alleging that Elkhart Police Department officers Chad Odle,
Brandon Roundtree, and Andrew Whitmeyer, and Sergeant Brian
Schroth (together, “Defendants”) subjected him to
false arrest, false imprisonment, and unreasonable search in
violation of Fourth Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in
connection with a traffic stop on May 5, 2014. Defendants
filed motion for summary judgment based on Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(d). The motion is fully briefed and are
ripe for adjudication.
judgment must be granted when “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
genuine dispute of material fact exists when “the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505,
91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Not every dispute between the parties
makes summary judgment inappropriate; “[o]nly disputes
over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under
the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary
judgment.” Id. To determine whether a genuine
dispute of material fact exists, the Court must construe all
facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and
draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor.
See Ogden v. Atterholt, 606 F.3d 355, 358 (7th Cir.
opposing a properly supported summary judgment motion may not
rely on allegations in her own pleading but rather must
“marshal and present the court with the evidence she
contends will prove her case.” Goodman v. Nat'l
Sec. Agency, Inc., 621 F.3d 651, 654 (7th Cir. 2010).
“[I]nferences relying on mere speculation or conjecture
will not suffice.” Stephens v. Erickson, 569
F.3d 779, 786 (7th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). If the
nonmoving party fails to establish the existence of an
essential element on which he bears the burden of proof at
trial, summary judgment is proper. See Massey v.
Johnson, 457 F.3d 711, 716 (7th Cir. 2006).
2014, Plaintiff, a resident of Texas, was in Elkhart for the
purpose of recording a comedy CD and performing comedy live
at various locations in Elkhart. (Defs. Ex. A, at 14, 46-48.)
While in Elkhart, Plaintiff drove his sister's vehicle, a
dark blue Dodge Intrepid (“Intrepid”).
(Id. at 57.) On May 5, 2014, Plaintiff was at the
house located at 2301 South 6th Street in Elkhart, Indiana
(“Residence”). (Id. at 46.) He was there
to use a recording studio located in the basement of the
Residence. (Id. at 46-47.) Plaintiff had visited the
Residence approximately three times for the purpose of
utilizing the recording studio. (Id. at 50.) He did
not know who owned or lived in the Residence, and was only
familiar with the producer with whom he was working during
the studio sessions. (Id. at 50-51.)
5, 2014, defendant Sergeant Brian Schroth
(“Schroth”) was a member of the Elkhart Police
Department Drug Unit, which was conducting a short term drug
investigation into the Residence. (Defs. Ex. B, ¶¶
1-3.) That day, a confidential informant had purchased
marijuana at the Residence. (Id., ¶4.) At 9:00
a.m., Schroth drove past the Residence and observed a dark
blue Dodge Intrepid bearing Indiana license plate RLO899
parked in the driveway of the Residence. (Id.,
¶5.) Schroth ran the license plate and it was registered
to Donisha McBride, Plaintiff's sister. (Id.)
Several times throughout the day, Schroth drove past the
Residence and observed the Intrepid parked in the driveway.
5, 2014, Plaintiff arrived at the Residence at approximately
5:30 p.m. and was there for approximately one hour and twenty
minutes. (Defs. Ex. A, at 59-60.) He had driven the Intrepid
there and parked it in the driveway. (Id. at 65.)
Plaintiff saw Steven Randall (“Randall”) inside
the Residence. (Id. at 61.) Plaintiff had no
knowledge of any illegal activity occurring in the Residence
and had never personally seen drugs, drug use, or drug sales
occurring at the Residence. (Id. at 56-57.)
approximately 6:30 p.m., Schroth and defendant Officer Andrew
Whitmeyer (“Whitmeyer”) were conducting
surveillance on the Residence and observed the Intrepid
backed into the driveway. (Defs. Ex. B, ¶7.) Schroth
then observed a black male, later identified as Randall, exit
the Residence and leave in the Intrepid. (Id.,
¶8.) Schroth and Whitmeyer followed Randall to a store,
then to a gas station and back to the Residence.
approximately 7:28 p.m., Schroth and Whitmeyer observed a
black male exit the Residence and leave in the Intrepid.
(Id., ¶9.) Schroth and Whitmeyer followed the
Intrepid to West Lusher Avenue, where they directed
defendants Corporal Brandon Roundtree
(“Roundtree”) and Corporal Chad Odle
(“Odle”) of the Elkhart Police Department to
execute a traffic stop of the Intrepid “for visiting a
common nuisance” at the Residence. (Id.,
¶10.) Schroth and Whitmeyer requested that Roundtree and
Odle execute the traffic stop because they were in uniform
and a ...