McGovern v. Village of Oak Lawn

2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 799 (2003)

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McGovern v. Village of Oak Lawn

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 799 (2003)

Facts

Jacob McGovern (plaintiff) was driving around a residential area in the Village of Oak Lawn (the Village) (defendant) in the middle of the night. Officer Michael Acke (defendant) ran McGovern’s license plate and learned that he had two outstanding warrants, a suspended driver’s license, and was believed to be possibly armed and dangerous. Officer Acke pulled McGovern over and had him exit the vehicle. McGovern was not wearing any shoes. At some point during the stop, McGovern attempted to flee from Officer Acke. Officer Acke alleged that McGovern struck him before taking off, but McGovern denied this allegation. Officer Acke called for backup, and Officer James Pacetti (defendant) of the K-9 unit responded with police dog Arno. Eventually, the pursuit of McGovern led to a backyard, where he elected to hide under a trailer. The other officers asked Officer Pacetti to utilize Arno to locate where McGovern was hiding. The Village and the officers alleged that after several verbal warnings that a dog would be released to search, Arno was sent and located McGovern under the trailer. The Village and the officers then alleged that the dog was recalled and several more warnings were given for McGovern to come out before Arno was again released and physically pulled McGovern out from under the trailer, biting him multiple times in the process. McGovern alleged that he agreed to come out but asked that the dog be called off, which the officers declined and that in the process of trying to comply with orders, Arno bit McGovern several more times. McGovern was eventually apprehended and taken to a hospital for his injuries. Following McGovern’s criminal prosecution, he filed suit against the Village and the involved officers, alleging excessive force, as well as assault and battery. The Village and the officers filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that their conduct was reasonable because of the several warnings given and beliefs that McGovern was dangerous.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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