STARKS v. MOORE et al
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 115 Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment - After the Defendants filed their reply in support of their motion for summary judgment, the Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to file Surreply (dkt. no. 157 ). That motion was superseded by the Plaintiff's Corrected Motion for Leave to File Surreply (dkt. no. 159 ). The Defendants did not respond to either motion. The Court now DENIES AS MOOT Plaintiff's first motion for leave, and GRANTS Plaintiff's corrected motion for leave. The Court also DENIES Starks' 158 motion for deposition. Defendants' motion for summary judgment (dkt. no. 115 ) is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. For purposes of clarity, the fo llowing claims remain: Count I, making false or misleading statements in support of a probable cause affidavit, against Detective Moore; and Count II, false arrest/false imprisonment, against Detective Moore. Additionally, the trial and final pretrial conference have been scheduled as follows: The final pretrial conference will be held on Friday, April 3, 2015, at 1:00 pm in Room 202 of the United States Courthouse, 46 E. Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, before Judge William Lawren ce; and the trial will begin on Monday, May 4, 2015, at 9:00 am in Room 202 of the United States Courthouse, 46 E. Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, before Judge William Lawrence. Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 9/2/2014.(JKS) Modified on 9/2/2014 (JKS).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
LEISA MOORE, et al.
Cause No. 1:12-cv-1008-WTL-DML
ENTRY ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
This cause is before the Court on the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment (dkt. no.
115). The motion is fully briefed, and the Court, being duly advised, GRANTS IN PART AND
DENIES IN PART the motion for the reasons set forth below. 1
Federal 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 Court
accepts as true the admissible evidence presented by the non-moving party and draws all
reasonable inferences in the non-movant’s favor. Zerante v. DeLuca, 555 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir.
2009). 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.” Id. Finally, the non-moving party bears the
After the Defendants filed their reply in support of their motion for summary judgment,
the Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to file Surreply (dkt. no. 157). That motion was superseded
by the Plaintiff’s Corrected Motion for Leave to File Surreply (dkt. no. 159). The Defendants did
not respond to either motion. The Court now DENIES AS MOOT Plaintiff’s first motion for
leave, and GRANTS Plaintiff’s corrected motion for leave.
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. 2001).
On July 20, 2010, Douglas Craft was shot and killed outside the Whitfield Square
Apartments on the northeast side of Indianapolis. After an investigation by the Indianapolis
Metropolitan Police Department (“IMPD”), Carlos Starks was arrested and charged with Craft’s
murder. On the second day of trial, however, the State moved to dismiss the charges against him,
and the court granted the State’s motion. As a result, Starks filed the instant litigation against the
City of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety (“IPSD”), 2 various City
officials, and the IMPD detectives he holds responsible for his wrongful arrest and subsequent
incarceration. Of course, the facts leading up to Starks’ arrest are somewhat disputed.
Accordingly, the relevant facts of record, viewed in the light most favorable to Starks, the nonmoving party, are detailed below.
A. Craft’s Murder
As Craft and his seven-year-old daughter, V.R., were walking home from the grocery
store between 9:00 and 9:30 pm on July 20, 2010, Craft’s ten-year-old stepson, K.R., saw them
approaching and went to help with their grocery bags. As Craft and the children neared the
apartment complex, K.R. saw a man step off the porch of one of the nearby apartments and
approach his step-father. The children continued to walk towards their apartment while the men
exchanged words. Seconds later, Craft was shot and killed.
The parties refer to the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety as the IPSD, rather
than the IDPS. Thus, the Court will also use IPSD.
About this time, two sisters, Dr. Charlene Walton and Patricia Baker, were sitting in a car
parked inside the Whitfield Square apartment complex. As Baker opened the passenger door to
exit Walton’s car, the women heard gunshots. Baker immediately stepped back into Walton’s car
and shut the door. Thereafter, both women saw a man, whom they suspected was the shooter,
walk away from the area where the shots were fired.
A third witness, a sixteen-year-old female named A.R., also reportedly saw the shooting
B. Initial Investigation and Witness Descriptions
IMPD Officer Stephanie Herr and Detectives Leisa Moore and Jose Torres, among
others, responded to the scene of the murder. At some point, Detective Moore was assigned as
the lead detective on the case.
While Officer Herr was securing the scene, an unidentified female told her that she saw a
dark skinned black male with dreads, wearing black “Dickies,” 3 walk away after the shooting.
After Officer Herr checked the grounds of the apartment complex, she left the scene to search for
the shooter. As she drove by the grocery store across the street from the apartment complex, she
saw Carlos Starks, who was and is a tall (approximately 6’2”), “lanky” black male with dreads
wearing black Dickies waiting at a nearby bus stop. At that time, Starks was also carrying a
lunch box and was wearing a black hat with goggles and a small string backpack. Officer Herr
stopped and questioned Starks.
Officer Herr’s account and Starks’ account of what happened next differ. According to
Officer Herr, she pulled over to speak with Starks at approximately 9:50 pm.
“Dickies” is the trade name for a line of durable work-related clothing and other
accessories made by Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company. Dickies, WIKIPEDIA,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickies (last visited August 21, 2014).
Officer Herr advised him that he matched the description of a shooting suspect
believed to be in the area but did not tell Plaintiff which descriptions he matched.
In response, Plaintiff stated, “he gets it all the time. It’s these damn dreads. I have
to cut them off.”
Officer Herr asked Plaintiff if he had any identification on him, which plaintiff
stated he did not. 4 Officer Herr then asked Plaintiff for his name and date of birth,
wrote the information down, and read it back to Plaintiff to confirm that she
transcribed it accurately. Officer Herr entered Plaintiff’s information into her
laptop, but immediately learned that Plaintiff gave her an incorrect date of birth—
an act she believed to be intentionally deceitful. 5 Officer Herr then requested
backup and asked Plaintiff for his telephone number and address but she was
unable to verify that the information was correct. 6
Defs.’ Br. at 9-10 (citations to the record omitted). According to Officer Herr, during the stop,
she determined that Starks: “1) met the initial description of the suspect, 2) had given her a false
date of birth, 3) seemed ‘overwhelmingly helpful,’ which in Officer Herr’s experience as a police
officer was suspicious, and 4) was across the street from the apartment complex where the
murder had just occurred.” Id. at 10 (citations to the record omitted). Although Officer Herr
believed Starks was the shooter, she recorded Starks’ information into the Computer Aided
Dispatch (“CAD”) system as a “person of interest” in Craft’s murder and allowed him to leave
Starks, however, claims that he told Officer Herr that he had just missed the 9:27 pm bus
to work (which explains his work attire, goggles, lunchbox, and backpack) when she stopped
him. Thereafter, Officer Herr gave Starks a pat down, searched him, and asked for his
identification. He complied with her requests and provided her with his ID. Starks also
In her deposition, however, Officer Herr admitted that Starks did provide an ID.
Officer Herr maintains that Starks told her his date of birth was 12/2/1986. Starks’
actual date of birth is 12/12/1986, one number off.
Officer Herr recorded Starks’ address as 4436 Park Forest Court. His actual address was
4446 Park Forest Court. With regard to his phone number, there is no evidence that the phone
number Starks provided to Officer Herr was false.
voluntarily told Officer Herr that the address on the ID was incorrect, and he currently lived with
his girlfriend at 4446 Park Forest Court. He also gave Officer Herr his phone number. After
fifteen to twenty minutes of “just sittin’ there,” Officer Herr and her backup officer released him
and drove off. Starks’ Br. at 16.
Meanwhile, at the murder scene, Detective Moore and Detective Torres obtained
recorded statements from V.R. and K.R. According to V.R., the shooter was a black male with
shoulder length dreadlocks and was wearing a red shirt and blue jeans. K.R. also reported that
the shooter was a black male and “had a red shirt, blue jeans [and] dreads,” Dkt. No. 145-17, p.
8. K.R. also told the detectives that the shooter was similar in height and weight to Detective
Torres (Detective Torres identified himself as 5’10” to 5’11” and 210 pounds), and might have
had a mustache. K.R. also reported that he saw the shooter enter an apartment “a couple of
[apartments] down from [him],” where his friend “Nanica” lived. Id. at 7.
Walton also gave a recorded statement at the scene. Walton described the shooter as short
(approximately 5’4” to 5’5”, but no taller than 5’8”) and stocky, with dreadlocks, wearing a
“reddish, pinkish shirt . . . and some black shorts.” Dkt. No. 145-15, p. 2.
Before leaving the scene, officers also obtained a statement from A.R. She described the
shooter as a dark skinned male, in his late twenties to early thirties, with shoulder length dreads.
She further stated that the shooter was wearing a red shirt with black stripes and black “Dickies”
shorts. She also reported that the shooter had a “cocky” medium, muscular build and was similar
in height to Detective Torres (oddly, this time Detective Torres identified himself as 6’2”). A.R.
also reported that, prior to the murder, she saw the shooter driving a black Monte Carlo with red
trimming, and she had seen him at the apartment complex on prior occasions.
C. Witness Identifications
Later that evening, Walton, Baker, and A.R. were transported to the police headquarters
for additional statements. After returning to the homicide office, but before interviewing the
witnesses, Detective Moore reviewed the incident history from the CAD and saw Officer Herr’s
notes regarding Starks. Believing Starks to be a person of interest in the case, Detective Moore
prepared two six-person photo arrays, Photo Array 97483 and Photo Array 97484; 97483
included Starks’ most recent booking photo. The other photos in the photo arrays were chosen
because the men had features similar to Starks.
First, Detective Moore showed Photo Array 97483 to A.R. A.R. identified an individual
named Robert Taylor as the shooter.
Next, Detective Moore presented Photo Array 97483 to Walton. While looking at the
photo array, the following exchange occurred:
And the first one I’m going to ask that you take your time looking at the
photos and see if anyone of these people was the subject that you saw
tonight walk by your car. Okay, alright.
It could have been that guy. [Pointing to Starks.] I just saw a side. I
didn’t . . . I didn’t see a full face just on his side.
Yeah. You got a little emotional there.
Can you put your signature underneath that? And what number is that?
And would you please . . . this is going to be corresponding number four,
our signature here and then your signature here what it says witness.
Oh, am I supposed to sign . . . ?
Your signature, yes, and where it says witness here. Okay.
What’s that number, ID number?
It’s . . . also would you read the lineup ID number for us.
Dkt. No. 145-16, pp. 5-6 (emphasis added). She did not identify anyone from Photo Array
Thereafter, Detective Moore interviewed Baker. She reported that she had seen the
shooter at the apartment complex on prior occasions. Additionally, after Detective Moore
showed Photo Array 97483 to Baker, the following exchange took place:
Okay. I want to show you a photo array okay?
Take your time Patricia. Note the time is 0255 hours.
I’m not sure. But he sorta looked like #4. [Pointing to Starks.]
(No verbal response.)
What I need you to do Patricia is to put your signature under number 4 for
Okay. I’m trying to view him from the side. I really didn’t . . . But it
kinda . . . He’s more . . . Okay. Right here?
Uh huh (yes).
And then on this sheet here, that corresponds, that’s number 4, I need your
signature there, and then where it says ‘Witness’ put your signature there
(Signature). Right here?
And then for the record, would you recite that line for us?
Line up ID number 97483.
I’m not sure, but he’s the closest.
Dkt. No. 145-19, pp. 11-12 (emphasis added).
The following afternoon, Detective Moore interviewed K.R. and V.R. for a second time.
During the interview, K.R. identified Starks from Photo Array 97483 as the person who shot his
step-father. Like A.R., however, V.R. identified the shooter as Richard Taylor.
It appears Photo Array 97484 was only shown to Walton.
D. Statement of Vernette Robinson
On July 29, 2010, Detective Moore interviewed Vernette Robinson, Craft’s girlfriend and
the mother of K.R. and V.R. She told Detective Moore that Craft had a drug debt totaling $90
that was owed to a man named “Steve” that lived in the apartment complex. She further
informed Detective Moore that Craft had robbed someone at a bank to pay the debt. Robinson
later identified “Steve” as Steve Williams, a black male that lived with his mom, girlfriend, and
little sister “Naunica,” in the apartment complex.
E. Investigation of Steve Williams
Detective Moore quickly ruled out Williams because he did not match the description of
the shooter. Williams is a black male, medium in height, and obese, and has short hair with a
receding hairline and no dreadlocks. There is no evidence regarding whether Detective Moore
investigated any of Williams’ acquaintances.
F. Investigation of Richard Taylor
Detective Moore also ruled out Taylor after reviewing his cell phone records. According
to Taylor, he was at his home in his recording studio on the evening of the murder. After
obtaining a search warrant for Taylor’s cell phone records, officers determined that between 8:00
pm and 9:01 pm Taylor was in the area of his residence. Although the murder occurred between
9:00 and 9:30 pm, Detective Moore cleared Taylor as a suspect.
G. Investigation and Arrest of Starks
After speaking with Officer Herr, Detective Moore was under the impression that Starks
had provided Officer Herr a false date of birth, address, and phone number. Detective Moore also
reviewed the IndyGo bus schedule, and determined that no bus stopped at the bus stop where
Starks was waiting at the time he was detained on July 20, 2010. 8 According to Officer Moore,
“given the three eyewitness identifications, . . . the fact Plaintiff provided false information
regarding his personal identifiers and his alibi at the bus stop, and the fact she eliminated Taylor
and Williams as possible suspects, Officer Moore drafted an Affidavit of Probable Cause for
Plaintiff’s arrest.” Defs.’ Br. at 18. No other detectives had any involvement in drafting the
probable cause affidavit.
The probable cause affidavit described the shooting and Detective Moore’s subsequent
investigation. It also stated that Walton “identified Carlos Starks (photo #4) as the person she
saw walking away from the” murder scene, and Baker “identified Carlos Starks (photo #4) . . . as
the person she saw walking down the sidewalk away from the direction she heard gunshots.”
Dkt. No. 118-4, p. 2. Walton’s and Baker’s qualifications and hesitations regarding their
identifications were not noted. Detective Moore also noted in the affidavit that Officer Herr was
unable to verify “the information given by Starks.” Id.
On September 30, 2010, Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson, relying solely on the
information in the affidavit, concluded that there was probable cause to arrest Starks and filed an
information with the court charging Starks with murder and carrying a handgun without a
license. That same day, the court agreed that probable cause existed and issued a warrant for
Starks’ arrest. Starks was arrested on October 5, 2010, and he was incarcerated until his trial
began on September 12, 2011.
The bus schedule, however, indicates that a bus was scheduled to make a stop at the
location in question at 9:27 pm, a little over twenty minutes before Starks was detained by
Officer Herr. And, Starks claims he regularly rode the 9:27 pm bus to work.
H. Starks’ Trial
On the second day of trial, Baker testified on behalf of the State. After she finished
testifying, Baker told Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Riedle that Starks was not the individual she
saw on July 20, 2010. Thereafter, outside the presence of the jury, Walton confirmed that Starks
was not the person she saw on the night of Craft’s murder. Detective Moore also shared with the
parties that, on the first day of trial, K.R. admitted that he did not recognize Starks as the man
that murdered his father.
As a result of the foregoing, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office moved to dismiss the
charges against Starks. The court granted the motion and, after almost a year in jail, Starks was
released from custody.
PRELIMINARY EVIDENTIARY MATTERS
A. Issues Related to K.R.
As discussed above, K.R., witnessed the shooting at issue in this case. Starks attempted to
depose K.R. on two separate occasions; however, K.R. did not appear for either deposition. The
Defendants had better luck in contacting K.R., and, in support of their motion for summary
judgment, the Defendants submitted an affidavit from him. Starks has asked the Court to strike
the affidavit of K.R. as a sanction for his failure to appear at his depositions. He also filed a
Verified Motion for Deposition of K.R. pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d)(2)
(dkt. no. 158), arguing that “if the Court determines that the Affidavit of K.R. . . . contains facts
material to the outcome of Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment,” the Court should
command the Defendants to make K.R. available for deposition.
The Court finds that the affidavit of K.R. does not contain statements relevant to the
Court’s analysis of the claims at issue in this case. Thus, the Court need not, and does not,
resolve Starks’ request that the affidavit be stricken. Further, because the affidavit did not play a
role in the Court’s analysis, the Court also DENIES Starks’ motion for deposition.
B. Alleged Hearsay Evidence
In their reply, the Defendants move the Court to strike the “out-of-court statements”
made by the witnesses immediately after and in the days following Craft’s murder. 9 Starks
argues generally that the statements contain inadmissible hearsay. The Court does not agree with
Starks’ sweeping argument. Indeed, as Starks argues, the statements taken during the
investigation were offered “as evidence of the information IMPD gathered in the course of its
investigation,” and not to prove the truth of the matter asserted (i.e., that the information
provided to the officers was truthful). Starks’ Surreply at 3. Additionally, to the extent the
statements may contain hearsay, the Court finds that the statements fall under an exception to the
hearsay rule (e.g., present sense impression and/or excited utterance).
The Defendants also argue that “unsworn, taped statements taken by a homicide
investigator in a criminal case should not be used in a later civil case.” Def.’s Reply at 3 (citing
Butler v. Indianapolis Metro. Police Dep’t, 2009 WL 2092416 (S.D. Ind. July 13, 2009)). The
Defendants’ argument completely distorts the ruling in Butler. In that case, the plaintiff filed a
motion asking the Court to find that one of the witnesses was unavailable such that he should be
permitted to rely on the deposition testimony the witness gave in a separate criminal prosecution.
The Court ultimately concluded that the witness was not “unavailable,” and her deposition
Specifically, the exhibits are: Exhibit 8: Starks Statement, 10-5-10; Exhibit 9: Officer
Herr Statement, 7-22-10; Exhibit 10: Officer Harper Statement, 7-22-10; Exhibit 11: A.R.
Statement, 7-21-10; Exhibit 12: A.R. Statement, 7-21-10; Exhibit 13: V.R. Statement, 7-20-10;
Exhibit 14: V.R. Statement, 7-20-10; Exhibit 15: Walton Statement, 7-20-10; Exhibit 16: Walton
Statement, 7-21-10; Exhibit 17: K.R. Statement, 7-20-10; Exhibit 18: K.R. Statement, 7-21-10;
Exhibit 19: Baker Statement, 7-21-10; Exhibit 20: Robinson Statement, 7-29-10; and Exhibit 21:
Taylor Statement, 7-30-10. Dkt. Nos. 145-8 – 145-21.
testimony did not fall under the prior statement hearsay exception. Simply put, Butler is
inapplicable to the facts of the present case. Thus, the Court will not strike the statements.
C. Statements from Hart Case
In support of his Monell claims, Starks designates several statements taken by IMPD
detectives during an unrelated homicide investigation. That investigation was the subject of
another wrongful arrest case against the IMPD, Hart v. Maninna, 1:10-cv-1691-WTL-DML.
Dkt. No. 145-30, Ex. D. For the purpose of this ruling, the Court considered the statements and
still found that summary judgment was warranted for the Defendants on the Monell claims. It
need not, therefore, resolve the Defendants’ objection to this evidence.
D. Counsel’s Timeline of Events
It appears Starks’ counsel prepared a timeline detailing the events of this case. Dkt. No.
145-33. Rightfully so, the Defendants move to strike the exhibit. With that said, the Court finds
that the exhibit did not play a role in the Court’s decision. As such, the Court need not, and does
not, resolve the Defendants’ request that the exhibit be stricken.
Starks’ complaint alleges the following constitutional claims:
Making False or Misleading Statements in Support of a Probable Cause
Affidavit in Violation of the 4th and 14th Amendments to the U.S.
False Arrest/False Imprisonment in Violation of the 4th and 14th
Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Malicious Prosecution in Violation of the 4th and 14th Amendments to the
Abuse of Process in Violation of the 4th and 14th Amendments to the U.S.
Denial of Speedy Trial in Violation of the 6th and 14th Amendments to
the U.S. Constitution
Starks’ suit further alleges that the IMPD detectives who investigated the case (i.e.,
Moore and Torres) “acted under color of state law, and pursuant to the custom and/or policy of
the City of Indianapolis, the IPSD, the Mayor, the Director of Public Safety, the Chief of Police
and [their Supervisors at IMPD].” Compl. at ¶ 81. He also alleges that those parties tolerated and
encouraged misconduct “in failing to adequately supervise, discipline, or train Defendant
Detectives.” Id. at ¶ 75. Each claim is discussed in more detail below.
As an initial matter, however, Starks notes that he does not contest summary judgment as
to IMPD Supervisors William Benjamin and Kevin Kelly. Accordingly, as to Defendants
Benjamin and Kelly, the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
Second, Detective Torres moves for summary judgment on all claims against him,
arguing that he is not personally liable to Starks because he was not responsible for Starks’
alleged constitutional violations. In order for § 1983 liability to attach, Detective Torres must be
personally responsible for Starks’ constitutional deprivations. See Doyle v. Camelot Care
Centers, Inc., 305 F.3d 603, 614 (7th Cir. 2002) (“It is well-established that a plaintiff only may
bring a § 1983 claim against those individuals personally responsible for the constitutional
deprivation.”). However, Detective Torres need not have directly participated in the alleged
violations if he either “act[ed] or fail[ed] to act with a deliberate and reckless disregard of
[Starks’] constitutional rights” or if “the conduct causing the constitutional deprivation occur[ed]
at [his] direction or with [his] knowledge and consent.” Rascon v. Hardiman, 803 F.2d 269, 274
(7th Cir. 1986) (quoting Crowder v. Lash, 687 F.2d 996, 1005 (7th Cir. 1982)). While Starks
correctly notes that Detective Torres was involved in the initial investigation and several of the
witness interviews, the Court does not agree that he was “personally involved” in the specific
actions that led to the Fourth Amendment violations alleged by Starks. Specifically, Detective
Torres had no personal involvement in the drafting or review of the probable cause affidavit.
Additionally, Detective Torres had no involvement in Starks’ arrest. Accordingly, as to Detective
Torres, the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
A. Count I – False/Misleading Statements in Probable Cause Affidavit and
Count II – False Arrest/False Imprisonment as to Detective Moore
1. False/Misleading Statements in Probable Cause Affidavit
It is well-established that “[a]warrant request violates the Fourth Amendment if the
requesting officer knowingly, intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, makes false
statements in requesting the warrant and the false statements were necessary to the determination
that a warrant should issue.” Betker v. Gomez, 692 F.3d 854, 860 (7th Cir. 2012) (quoting Knox
v. Smith, 342 F.3d 651, 658 (7th Cir. 2003)). According to the Seventh Circuit, “a reckless
disregard for the truth can be shown by demonstrating that the officer entertained serious doubts
as to the truth of the statements, had obvious reasons to doubt their accuracy, or failed to disclose
facts that he or she knew would negate probable cause.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
Starks argues that Detective Moore’s probable cause affidavit was false and misleading in
four respects: (1) “Det. Moore lied when she represented that Carlos had been identified by three
witnesses,” Starks’ Br. at 23; (2) Det. Moore lied and exaggerated when she said Carlos provided
Ofc. Herr with ‘bad’ information,” Id. at 26; (3) “Det. Moore omitted material inconsistencies
between witness descriptions and Carlos’ appearance,” Id. at 29; (4) Det. Moore omitted the
consistent witness statements that the shooter lived in the Whitfield Square apartments.” Id. at
31. The Court finds that Starks has presented sufficient facts to withstand summary judgment on
The Defendants argue that Detective Moore did not make any false, misleading, or
incomplete statements in the probable cause affidavit. Indeed, they continue to argue that both
Walton and Baker identified Starks as the shooter. During her interview, however, Walton said,
“[i]t could have been that guy. [Pointing to Starks.] I just saw a side. I didn’t . . . I didn’t see a
full face just on his side.” Dkt. No. 145-16, p. 5. Similarly, when Baker was shown the photo
array, she said, “I’m not sure. But he sorta looked like #4. Pointing to Starks],” and “I’m not
sure, but he’s the closest.” Dkt. No. 145-19, p. 11-12. To say that Walton and Baker “identified,”
Starks as the shooter, without noting their qualifications, could be seen by a jury as misleading,
such that Detective Moore failed to disclose facts that he or she knew would negate probable
cause. Thus, summary judgment is not proper on this claim.
2. False Arrest/False Imprisonment
Of course, if probable cause existed for an arrest, no Fourth Amendment violation (i.e.,
false arrest/false imprisonment) occurred. See Fleming v. Livingston Cnty., Ill., 674 F.3d 874,
878 (7th Cir. 2012) (“Indeed, if [the Sherriff Deputy] actually did have probable cause to arrest
[the plaintiff], ‘then a Fourth Amendment claim for false arrest is foreclosed.’”) (quoting Holmes
v. Village of Hoffman Estate, 511 F.3d 673, 679-80 (7th Cir. 2007)). “Probable cause exists if ‘at
the time of the arrest, the facts and circumstances within the officer’s knowledge . . . are
sufficient to warrant a prudent person, or one of reasonable caution, in believing, in the
circumstances shown, that the suspect has committed, is committing, or is about to commit an
offense.’” Williams v. City of Chicago, 733 F.3d 749, 756 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting Gonzalez v.
City of Elgin, 578 F.3d 526, 537 (7th Cir. 2009)). With that said, the Seventh Circuit admits that
“it does not take much to establish probable cause.” Fox v. Hayes, 600 F.3d 819, 833 (7th Cir.
2010) (citing Woods v. City of Chicago, 234 F.3d 979, 996 (7th Cir. 2000)). While “[t]he officers
must have more than a bare suspicion that they have the right guy,  they need not have enough
evidence to support a conviction or even to show that their belief is more likely true than false.”
In this case, the evidence against Starks could be summarized as follows:
Starks fit the initial description of the shooter. He was a black male, with dreadlocks,
and was wearing black shorts (the same as the shooter) on the evening of July 20,
Starks was in the vicinity of the murder scene (at a bus stop near the apartment
complex) shortly after the murder was committed.
K.R. identified Starks as the shooter out of a photo array.
Walton and Baker thought Starks could have been the shooter.
Detective Moore was under the impression that Starks had provided false information
to Officer Herr when he was detained on the evening of July 20, 2010. 10
Detective Moore was under the impression that no bus stopped at the bus stop at or
around the time Starks was detained.
Prior to Starks’ arrest, however, there was also evidence tending to show that he was not
responsible for the murder:
For the most part, the witnesses described the shooter as being shorter than 6’0” and
having a medium build. Starks is 6’2” and “lanky.”
When Starks was detained by Officer Herr, he had a lunchbox, his work goggles, and
a string backpack and claimed to be on his way to work.
A.R. and V.R. identified Richard Taylor as the shooter.
K.R. said he saw the shooter run to “Nanica’s” apartment. The victim’s girlfriend also
told Detective Moore that he owed a drug debt to Williams, who lived with his little
Starks, of course, argues that he did not give false information to Officer Herr.
Regardless, of whether he provided false information or not, Officer Herr reported to Detective
Moore that Starks provided false information, and it was not unreasonable for Detective Moore
to have that belief.
Other than the evidence noted above, there was no other evidence connecting Starks
to Craft (i.e., no evidence that the men knew each other and no evidence of a motive).
Based on the foregoing facts, the Court finds that questions of fact remain as to whether
there was probable cause to arrest Starks for Craft’s murder, such that a jury should decide this
3. Qualified Immunity
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Detective Moore argues that she is entitled to qualified
immunity in relation to the foregoing claims. “Qualified immunity shields a government official
from liability for civil damages unless his or her conduct violates a clearly established principle
or constitutional right of which a reasonable person would have known at the time.” Betker v.
Gomez, 692 F.3d 854, 860 (7th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). In determining whether a
defendant is entitled to qualified immunity, courts must determine: “(1) whether the facts, taken
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, show that the defendant violated a constitutional
right; and (2) whether that constitutional right was clearly established at the time of the alleged
violation.” McComas v. Brickley, 673 F.3d 722, 725 (7th Cir. 2012).
An officer who knowingly or recklessly submitted an affidavit containing false
statements may still get qualified immunity if he can establish that he had an objectively
reasonable basis for believing the facts in the affidavit were sufficient to establish
probable cause. See Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335, 344, 106 S. Ct. 1092, 89 L.Ed.2d 271
(1986). But qualified immunity does not extend where an officer knowingly or recklessly
made false statements and “no accurate information sufficient to constitute probable
cause attended the false statements.” Lawson v. Veruchi, 637 F.3d 699, 705 (7th Cir.
2011) (citation omitted).
Betker, 692 F.3d at 860. Reviewing the facts in the light most favorable to Starks, and as
discussed above, the Court concludes that a reasonable jury could find that Detective Moore
knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth made false statements in her affidavit, without
which probable cause for Starks’ arrest might not have existed.
As to the second prong of the inquiry, it is clear that the constitutional right at issue (i.e.,
being free from an illegal arrest based on false or misleading statements in a probable cause
affidavit) was clearly established at the time of the alleged violation. In this regard, “[i]n 1992, in
Juriss v. McGowan, [the Seventh Circuit] stripped an officer of qualified immunity where only
his false and misleading statements provided probable cause to arrest a woman for aiding a
fugitive.” Id. at 864 (citing Juriss, 957 F.2d 345, 349-50 (7th Cir. 1992)).
Based on the foregoing, Detective Moore is not entitled to qualified immunity at this
stage in the litigation. Accordingly, as to Counts I and II of Starks’ complaint against Detective
Moore, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is DENIED.
B. Malicious Prosecution
The Seventh Circuit recently held in Julian v. Hanna, 732 F.3d 842 (7th Cir. 2013), that
individuals may bring federal malicious prosecution claims against Indiana law enforcement
officers and agencies under § 1983, because Indiana has failed to provide an adequate remedy for
such claims. Accordingly, “[t]o state a claim for malicious prosecution under § 1983, a plaintiff
must demonstrate that: (1) he has satisfied the requirements of a state law cause of action for
malicious prosecution; (2) the malicious prosecution was committed by state actors; and (3) he
was deprived of liberty.” Washington v. Summerville, 127 F.3d 552, 558-59 (7th Cir. 1997)
(citations omitted). The Defendants do not address the second or third elements. Rather, they
focus on the elements of malicious prosecution.
[t]he elements of a malicious prosecution action are: (1) the defendant instituted
or caused to be instituted an action against the plaintiff; (2) the defendant acted
maliciously in so doing; (3) the defendant had no probable cause to institute the
action; and (4) the original action was terminated in the plaintiff’s favor.
Crosson v. Berry, 829 N.E.2d 184, 189 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005) (citations omitted). The Defendants
argue that Starks’ claim fails because:
1) Probable cause existed for the prosecution of Plaintiff; 2) neither Officer
Moore nor Officer Torres acted with a malicious intent; (3) even if Plaintiff was
prosecuted without probable cause . . . there is no constitutional right not to be
prosecuted without probable cause, absent a showing that Plaintiff was denied a
specific constitutional right.
Defs.’ Br. at 35.
The Court need not address the Defendants’ first and second arguments, because Starks’
claim fails under the third. The Defendants argue that “individuals do not have a ‘federal right
not to be summoned into court and prosecuted without probable cause, under either the Fourth
Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment’s Procedural Due Process Clause,’” because the
Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments do not protect one’s interest in not being prosecuted
groundlessly. Defs.’ Br. at 37 (quoting Ray v. City of Chicago, 629 F.3d 660, 664 (7th Cir.
2011)); see also Tully v. Barada, 599 F.3d 591, 594-95 (7th Cir. 2010) (“[W]e must reach the
merits of the issue . . . , which is whether a plaintiff may assert a federal right not to be
summoned into court and prosecuted without probable cause, under either the Fourth
Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment’s Procedural Due Process Clause. The answer is
no.”). Therefore, a plaintiff must “establish that he was deprived of a specific constitutional right,
such as the right to a fair trial.” See Holmes v. Vill. of Hoffman Estates, 511 F.3d 673, 683 (7th
According to Starks’ complaint, his claim for malicious prosecution is entirely based on
the Defendants’ alleged violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments due to a lack of
probable cause for his arrest. Compl. at ¶¶ 88-94. He does not allege that some other
constitutional violation occurred in relation to his malicious prosecution claim. 11 Because the
Fourth and Fourteen Amendments do not protect such interests, Starks’ malicious prosecution
claim under § 1983 is defective. Accordingly, as to Count III of Starks’ complaint, Defendants’
motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
C. Abuse of Process
The Seventh Circuit has noted that “abuse of process is not a free-standing constitutional
tort if state law provides a remedy.” Adams v. Rotkvich, 325 Fed. App’x 450, 453 (7th Cir.
2009). The same was also true for claims of malicious prosecution. As noted above, however, the
Seventh Circuit concluded in Julian that individuals may bring federal malicious prosecution
claims against Indiana law enforcement officers under § 1983, because Indiana has failed to
provide an adequate remedy for such claims. It appears no courts have addressed whether
Indiana provides an adequate remedy in the context of an abuse of process claim. Thus, although
abuse of process and malicious prosecution claims are almost identical in situations such as the
one presented in this case, it is not clear whether, when applying Indiana law, an abuse of
process claim against a state police officer is cognizable under § 1983. However, even assuming
such a claim is permissible, Starks’ claim fails nonetheless.
In Indiana, “[t]he elements of abuse of process are 1) an ulterior purpose, and 2) a willful
act in the use of the process not proper in the regular conduct of the proceeding. Lindsay v.
Jenkins, 574 N.E.2d 324, 326 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991) (citation omitted). Starks alleges that
“Defendants had an ulterior purpose to close their case, and they willfully made false statements
in the investigation and in the Affidavit, which was improper in the regular conduct of a
homicide investigation.” Starks’ Br. at 37. Starks’ argument, however, stops there. He designates
Separately, Starks alleges that the Defendants violated his constitutional right to a
speedy trial. As discussed below, however, that claim also fails.
no evidence showing that Detective Moore had any “ulterior purpose” in preparing the probable
cause affidavit. Starks’ mere allegation, with no supporting facts, is insufficient to overcome
summary judgment on this claim. See Johnson v. Cambridge, 325 F.3d 892, 901 (7th Cir. 2003)
(“As we have said before, summary judgment is the put up or shut up moment in a lawsuit, when
a party must show what evidence it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its version of
events.”) (quoting Schact v. Wisconsin Dep’t of Corr., 175 F.3d 497, 504 (7th Cir. 1999)).
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Court also concludes that Starks’ abuse of process
claim is virtually identical to and premised on the same facts and allegations as his malicious
prosecution claim. As such, Starks’ abuse of process claim (pursuant to the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments) also fails for the same reasons his malicious prosecution claim fails.
Accordingly, as to Count IV of Starks’ complaint, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is
D. Speedy Trial
The Sixth Amendment guarantees an accused the right to a speedy and public trial, and
Starks argues that Detective Moore violated this right. However, Starks’ Sixth Amendment claim
is flawed in several respects. First, as the Defendants argue, the Seventh Circuit does not
recognize a denial of a speedy trial claim once charges have been dismissed:
The defendant maintains that because he was originally indicted in February of
1980, but did not go to trial till March 22, 1982, he was denied his Sixth
Amendment right to a speedy trial. This argument, however, ignores the fact that
for twenty months of this period, no charges were pending against the defendant.
The Speedy Trial Clause applies only to an accused; when charges were
dismissed in Iowa, the defendant lost not only the status of being an accused,
he lost the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a prompt trial. It is scarcely
realistic to suppose that a citizen, free from criminal charges, wants or
deserves a speedy trial. Once all counts of the indictment were dismissed, the
defendant was legally and constitutionally in the same posture as though no
charges had been made.
United States v. Samples, 713 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1983) (internal citations and quotations
marks omitted) (emphasis added); see also United States v. MacDonald, 456 U.S. 1, 8 (1982)
(“Once charges are dismissed, the speedy trial guarantee is no longer applicable.”). Secondly, as
the Defendants also argue, monetary damages are not available for Starks, as the typical remedy
for a Sixth Amendment speedy trial violation is dismissal of the charge. See Barker v. Wingo,
407 U.S. 514, 522 (1972) (“The amorphous quality of the right also leads to the unsatisfactorily
severe remedy of dismissal of the indictment when the right has been deprived . . . Such a
remedy . . . is the only possible remedy.”) (emphasis added). 12 Therefore, as to Count V of
Starks’ complaint, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is GRANTED. 13
G. Claims against the City, the IPSD, and the City Officials
Finally, the Defendants argue that they are entitled to summary judgment on Starks’
Monell claims. To begin, the Defendants argue that Starks’ official capacity claims should be
summarily denied because “a claim against a government employee in his official capacity is
treated the same as claims against the governmental unit for which he works.” Defs.’ Br. at 49
(citing Grieveson v. Anderson, 538 F.3d 763, 771 (7th Cir. 2008)). Because Starks has already
The Court does not agree with Starks that Blake v. Katter, 693 F.2d 677 (1982) stands
for the proposition that “[t]he Seventh Circuit . . . recognized Section 1983 claims for violations
of criminal defendants’ right to a speedy trial[.]” Starks’ Resp. at 38. While the Court did
reverse the district court’s denial of Blake’s speedy trial claim, it expressed no opinion
whatsoever regarding the possible recovery of monetary damages. It simply noted that at the
motion to dismiss stage, “no clear reason ha[d] been shown for the seventh month delay” and it
was therefore premature for the district court to dismiss the claim. Id. at 682.
Even assuming such a claim is permissible under the facts of this case, the designated
evidence indicates that Starks requested each of the trial continuances in the criminal proceeding.
Additionally, Starks never asserted his right to a speedy trial. See United States v. O'Connor, 656
F.3d 630, 643 (7th Cir. 2011) (“A Sixth Amendment speedy-trial claim turns on the following
general factors: ‘[W]hether [the] delay before trial was uncommonly long, whether the
government or the criminal defendant is more to blame for that delay, whether, in due course, the
defendant asserted his right to a speedy trial, and whether he suffered prejudice as the delay's
result.’”) (quoting Doggett v. United States, 505 U.S. 647, 651 (1992).
named the City and the IPSD as defendants, his official capacity claims are redundant and
unnecessary. The official capacity claims are therefore DISMISSED.
Turning to the claims against the City and the IPSD, a municipality may be liable under §
1983 “if the unconstitutional act complained of is caused by: (1) an official policy adopted and
promulgated by its officers; (2) a governmental practice or custom that, although not officially
authorized, is widespread and well settled; or (3) an official with final policy-making authority.”
Thomas v. Cook Cnty. Sheriff’s Dep’t, 604 F.3d 293, 303 (7th Cir. 2010) (citing Monell v. Dep’t
of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978)). “‘Proof of a single incident of unconstitutional activity
is not sufficient to impose liability under Monell unless proof of the incident includes proof that
it was caused by an existing, unconstitutional municipal policy which policy can be attributed to
a municipal policymaker.’” Roach v. City of Evansville, 111 F.3d 544, 548 (7th Cir. 1997)
(quoting City of Oklahoma City v. Tuttle, 471 U.S. 808, 823-24 (1985)).
Starks maintains that “the City failed to enact or to enforce policies relating to the proper
presentation of photo arrays, or failed to train officers in these manners.” Starks’ Br. at 42. Thus,
Starks complaint sets forth both an official policy and/or custom claim and a failure to train
claim. Both arguments are addressed below.
1. Official policy and/or custom
Starks argues that Detective Moore’s photo array presentations “violated generally
accepted standards of police procedure.” Starks’ Br. at 42. In particular, Starks argues that
[t]he detectives failed to change the order of the lineups, despite having generated
at least two arrays containing Carlos’ image; failed to have an officer with no
knowledge of the suspect to present the arrays (even though the interviews were
conduct[ed] at the IMPD); failed to read any instructions to the witnesses, despite
those instructions indicating that a witness should only sign a signature sheet if
making a positive identification; and failed to ask the witnesses to describe their
degree of certainty, unless they identified a suspect other than Carlos.
Id. at 43 (emphasis in original). More importantly, Starks argues that “the Defendants failed to
adhere even to the IMPD’s written policy to only have witnesses provide unqualified signatures
in the event of a positive identification.” Id. Starks further argues that the IMPD’s failure to
follow “these . . . procedures . . . has been occurring for years.” Id.
Of course, most of the enumerated “standards” noted above are not standards per se, but
rather, are best practices suggested by various organizations. The Court finds that Detective
Moore’s failure to abide by each practice was not fatal to her photo array presentations. The
Court, however, takes issue with the practice of instructing witnesses to sign a photo array
indicating an identification where no true positive identification has been made, as was done with
Walton and Baker. With that said, Starks fails to designate any evidence that this practice was
widespread or occurred more than once. Indeed, such a “claim requires more evidence than a
single incident to establish liability.” Calhoun v. Ramsey, 408 F.3d 375, 380 (7th Cir. 2005).
Starks designates several statements, which were the subject of another wrongful arrest case
against the IMPD, Hart v. Mannina, 1:10-cv-1691-WTL-DML. Those statements, however, in
no way show that this alleged practice (i.e., that individuals were instructed to sign a photo array
where no true positive identification was made) has occurred on prior occasions. Accordingly,
based on the designated evidence, no liability can extend to the City or the IPSD.
2. Failure to train
Starks also argues that the City and the IPSD failed to train its officer regarding the
proper presentation of photo arrays. “To prevail [on a failure to train claim, a plaintiff] must
show that the City’s employee violated his constitutional rights, that the City had a policy or
custom of failing to train its employees, and that the failure to train caused the constitutional
violation.” Roach, 111 F.3d at 549 (citation omitted). “In particular, . . . the inadequate training
of police officers could be characterized as the cause of a constitutional tort if—and only if—the
failure to train amounted to ‘deliberate indifference’ to the rights of persons with whom the
police come into contact.” Id. (citation omitted).
The evidence in this case indicates that the IMPD did have policies in place for the
presentation of photo arrays and witness identifications. In fact, the signature sheets for the photo
arrays state that “[t]he person viewing the photo array lineup should sign his or her name in the
box corresponding with the location of the photo that has been positively identified as the suspect
involved in the incident.” Dkt. No. 145-3, p. 2 (emphasis added). Additionally, IMPD Branch
Order 1.03B further provides that “the person viewing the photo array lineup should sign his or
her name in the box corresponding with the location of the photo that has been positively
identified as the suspect in this case.” Dkt. No. 145-29, p. 14 (emphasis added). These forms
were regularly used by the detectives, including Detective Moore. Thus, she was aware of the
positive identification requirement, and there is no evidence to indicate that her actions resulted
from a failure to train on the part of the City or the IPSD. Additionally, and more importantly, as
noted above, Starks has designated “no evidence to take this case outside the realm of an isolated
incident.” Roach, 111 F.3d at 549. Therefore, as to Starks’ claims against the City and the IPSD,
Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
For the reasons set forth above, the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment (dkt. no.
115) is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. For purposes of clarity, the following
Count I, making false or misleading statements in support of a probable cause
affidavit, against Detective Moore; and
Count II, false arrest/false imprisonment, against Detective Moore.
Additionally, the trial and final pretrial conference have been scheduled as follows: The
final pretrial conference will be held on Friday, April 3, 2015, at 1:00 pm in Room 202 of
the United States Courthouse, 46 E. Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, before Judge
William Lawrence; and the trial will begin on Monday, May 4, 2015, at 9:00 am in Room
202 of the United States Courthouse, 46 E. Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, before Judge
SO ORDERED: 9/02/14
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
Copies to all counsel of record via electronic communication.
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