Argued September 24, 2015.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division. No. 3:12-cv-50257-- Frederick J. Kapala, Judge.
For Anthony Zimmerman, PREMIER FOREST PRODUCTS, INC., a Wisconsin Corporation, Plaintiffs - Appellants: Stephen T. Fieweger, Attorney, Stephen T. Fieweger, Davenport, IA.
For RYAN KLOEPPING, Deputy, individually and in his official capacity, KEN SANDY, Deputy Chief, Individually and in his official capacity, JEFFREY DORAN, individually, and in his official capacity, Defendants - Appellees: Craig L. Unrath, Attorney, Melissa Schoenbein, Attorney, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, Peoria, IL.
For MICHAEL RANNOW, Detective, Individually and in his official capacity, Defendant - Appellee: Scott Salemi, Attorney, Melissa Schoenbein, Attorney, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, Peoria, IL.
Before MANION, ROVNER, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges.
Rovner, Circuit Judge.
Anthony Zimmerman and Premier Forest Products, Inc. (" Premier" ), of which Zimmerman is president and owner, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants Jeffrey Doran, Ryan Kloepping, Kenneth Sandy, and Michael Rannow, who held the positions respectively of sheriff, deputy, chief deputy, and detective of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office. The complaint alleged false arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment and deprivation of property without due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The parties presented the district court with cross-motions for summary judgment, and the court granted summary judgment for the defendants and denied summary judgment to the plaintiffs.
Because the parties' Rule 56.1 submission failed to succinctly identify the undisputed issues of fact, and instead included irrelevant facts and legal arguments, the district court gleaned the facts from the record as a whole. We rely on the district court's recitation of facts which are not contested by the parties on appeal.
On April 20, 2010, Premier entered into a contract with Raymond Cichon, a landowner in Carroll County, to harvest trees from Cichon's property. This agreement was the second contract between the parties for the harvesting of trees. The first was in November 2009 for the harvesting of merchantable walnut trees on Cichon's property, and was successfully concluded by the end of 2009. The April 2010 contract was titled " Timber Sale Contract and Deed to Timber," and provided that Premier " may cut and remove from [Cichon's] Lands all the timber marked or designated for removal," and further stated that Premier would " harvest all merchantable Aspen, Elm, Box Elder, Mulberry, Black Locust and all merchantable storm damaged timber including Oak, Cherry, Hickory, Ash, Walnut and Basswood." Toward that end, the contract granted Premier " access to the timber or other forest products designated in this contract." Premier recorded the contract with the county on May 26, 2010, and began its logging operations on July 15, 2010. The project was expected to last one month but was delayed by rain.
In August 2010, the events forming the basis of this case occurred. According to Cichon, he learned at that time that Premier had been harvesting trees without regard to fence lines and thereby removing trees from the property of two of his neighbors as well as from the township's right of way. Cichon also was concerned that Premier was destroying the ground in its work because the ground was unusually wet at the time. In response to those concerns, Cichon contacted his attorney who sent a letter on August 20, 2010, to Richard C. Zimmerman (who was Zimmerman's father and the former owner of Premier) demanding that Premier " cease and desist from any further cutting of trees, removing of any wood products, further destruction of the land, and performing any other activities on the Property." Although the letter was sent to his father, Zimmerman acknowledged that he received the letter on August 24 or 25, but he disregarded it because he believed that the contract could be halted only through a court-issued temporary restraining order.
Cichon also contacted the Carroll County Sheriff's Office in an attempt to halt the logging operations on his property. On August 23, 2010, he informed the dispatcher that he had " retained a logger to do some work on [his] land" but the logger had " taken more than he was supposed to." He further advised the dispatcher that he had retained an attorney and served a " cease and desist" ...