United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE
Shaquille Hollingsworth, an inmate at the Putnamville
Correctional Facility, brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that Detective Daniel Kepler
arrested him without probable cause on November 6, 2015.
Detective Kepler has moved for summary judgment and Mr.
Hollingsworth has not responded. The motion is now ripe for
resolution. For the following reasons, Detective Kepler's
motion for summary judgment is granted.
Summary Judgment Standard
motion for summary judgment asks the Court to find that a
trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, instead, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). As the current version of Rule 56 makes clear, whether
a party asserts that a fact is undisputed or genuinely
disputed, the party must support the asserted fact by citing
to particular parts of the record, including depositions,
documents, or affidavits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). A party
can also support a fact by showing that the materials cited
do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute
or that the adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence
to support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B).
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court need only
consider disputed facts that are material to the decision. A
disputed fact is material if it might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law. Williams v.
Brooks, 809 F.3d 936, 941-42 (7th Cir. 2016). On summary
judgment, a party must show the Court what evidence it has
that would convince a trier of fact to accept its version of
the events. Gekas v. Vasilades, 814 F.3d 890, 896
(7th Cir. 2016). The moving party is entitled to summary
judgment if no reasonable fact-finder could return a verdict
for the non-moving party. Nelson v. Miller, 570 F.3d
868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court views the record in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws all
reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Skiba v.
Illinois Cent. R.R. Co., 884 F.3d 708, 717 (7th Cir.
2018). It cannot weigh evidence or make credibility
determinations on summary judgment because those tasks are
left to the fact-finder. Miller v. Gonzalez, 761
F.3d 822, 827 (7th Cir. 2014). The Court need only consider
the cited materials, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3), and the Seventh
Circuit Court of Appeals has repeatedly assured the district
courts that they are not required to “scour every inch
of the record” for evidence that is potentially
relevant to the summary judgment motion before them.
Grant v. Trustees of Indiana University, 870 F.3d
562, 573-74 (7th Cir. 2017).
Hollingsworth failed to respond to Detective Kepler's
summary judgment motion. Accordingly, facts alleged in the
motion are deemed admitted so long as support for them exists
in the record. See S.D. Ind. Local Rule 56-1
(“A party opposing a summary judgment motion must . . .
file and serve a response brief and any evidence . . . that
the party relies on to oppose the motion. The response must .
. . identif[y] the potentially determinative facts and
factual disputes that the party contends demonstrate a
dispute of fact precluding summary judgment.”);
Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003)
(“[F]ailure to respond by the nonmovant as mandated by
the local rules results in an admission”); Brasic
v. Heinemanns, Inc., 121 F.3d 281, 285-286 (7th Cir.
1997) (affirming grant of summary judgment where the
nonmovant failed to properly offer evidence disputing the
movant's version of the facts). This does not alter the
summary judgment standard, but it does “reduce the
pool” from which facts and inferences relative to the
motion may be drawn. Smith v. Severn, 129 F.3d 419,
426 (7th Cir. 1997).
early morning hours of November 4, 2015, 62-year-old Tito
McCombs was shot in the parking lot of an apartment building
at 211 E. 9th Street in Indianapolis. Dkt. 38-5, pg. 2.
Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
arrived at the scene at approximately 4:25 a.m. and found
McCombs bleeding from the face and head. Id. McCombs
was unable to respond to any questions. Id. Medics
arrived and transported McCombs to Eskenazi Hospital, where
he was pronounced dead at 5:03 a.m. Id. The autopsy
revealed that McCombs had been shot in the head twice, and
the manner of death was determined to be homicide.
Id. at 3.
Detective Daniel Kepler begin investigating the case. Dkt.
38-7, ¶ 2. Kepler was informed that officers at the
scene had interviewed Dr. Kathryn Peck, who stated that she
witnessed two males tussling with each other. Id.,
¶ 2. Following the tussle, Dr. Peck observed McCombs
walk east through the parking lot, while the other male got
into a dark colored sedan, backed the sedan into a building,
and drove away. Dkt. 38-5, pg. 3.
afternoon of November 4, 2015, Kepler called McCombs's
daughter, Morgan. Dkt. 38-7, ¶ 5. Morgan also informed
Kepler that McCombs had a young girlfriend who lived on the
southside of Indianapolis. Id. His girlfriend's
name was Brieanna Boothe. Dkt. 38-5, ¶ 5. Kepler located
McCombs's vehicle and learned that it had been found on
fire near railroad tracks at the 1500 block of S. Keystone
Ave. Dkt. 38-7, ¶ 6.
interviewed Boothe on November 5, 2015. Id., ¶
11. Boothe lived very near where McCombs's burning car
was discovered. Dkt. 38-1, pg. 2.; Dkt. 38-7, ¶ 6.
Boothe stated that she had been letting her friend, Jasmine
Wills, stay with her and that Wills had a boyfriend named
Shaquille Hollingsworth. Dkt. 38-1, pg. 12; Dkt. 38-7, ¶
11. Boothe stated that McCombs and Hollingsworth had been at
her house on November 3, 2015. Dkt. 38-1, pg. 12; Dkt. 38-7,
¶ 11. At around 5 p.m. that day the two had been
together in McCombs's car “talking business”
before they left together to get food. Dkt. 38-1, pg. 12;
Dkt. 38-7, ¶ 11. McCombs returned to Boothe's house,
and Boothe informed McCombs that someone by the name of
Destany Shotwell had threatened to come to her house and
fight her. Dkt. 38-7, ¶ 12. She told McCombs that she
was going to call the police, at which point McCombs left
because he feared the police would find drugs in his car.
Dkt. 38-1, pg. 10; Dkt. 38-7, ¶ 12.
stated that sometime after McCombs left, Shotwell and several
other individuals came to her home and kicked in the door.
Dkt. 38-1, pg. 12; Dkt. 38-7, ¶ 13. After these
individuals arrived, Hollingsworth received a call from
Jasmine Wills asking him to return to Boothe's house.
Dkt. 38-8, pg. 11. Hollingsworth then met up with three of
his friends, grabbed his gun, and went to Boothe's house
to make everyone leave. Id. The individuals that had
kicked in Boothe's door eventually left with
Hollingsworth. Id. at 12. Boothe told Kepler that
she then kicked Wills and Hollingsworth out of her house
because she was angry at them for “partying with the
enemy.” Dkt. 38-1, pg. 23.
November 6, 2015, Kepler asked officers to locate
Hollingsworth so that he could be questioned. Dkt. 38-7,
¶ 17. Officers located Hollingsworth and Wills pushing a
stroller down Renton Ave., near Boothe's house.
Id. A young infant was in the stroller, along with
several bags of marijuana. Id. Officers placed
Hollingsworth in handcuffs and brought him and Wills to the
police station. Id.
interviewed Wills first. Dkt. 38-7, ¶ 18. Wills
initially claimed that Hollingsworth was with her the entire
evening of the 3rd and morning of the 4th. Ex. B at 10.
However, upon further questioning, Wills changed her story,
stating that Hollingsworth was out with McCombs on the
morning of the 4th. Id. at 18. She stated that
Hollingsworth told her that he shot McCombs because McCombs
would not give him a ride home. Id. at ¶ 18.
Wills also ...