OCTOBER 27, 2016
from the United States District Court for the Central
District of Illinois. No. 3:14-cv-03013-CSB-EIL - Colin S.
WOOD, Chief Judge, and BAUER and MANION, Circuit Judges.
Scott Allin, brought this action against Patricia Baskett,
Sergeant Jeff Barr of the Springfield Police Department, and
the City of Springfield, Illinois, raising both 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and state law claims.
asserts that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when
Baskett, with Barr in attendance, came to his residence to
gather her property, and, after a dispute about the ownership
of a motorcycle, Barr announced he would not prevent her from
taking it. Barr filed a motion for summary judgment on
Allin's § 1983 claims, contending that he was
entitled to qualified immunity. The district court denied his
motion. We reverse and remand.
and Baskett lived together in Allin's residence from
December 2010 until February 2012. In late July or early
August 2011, Allin was in poor health and signed over the
titles to the numerous vehicles that he owned, including a
2001 FLSTS Harley Davidson motorcycle, believing it
"would make it easier for his survivors if he passed
August 29, 2011, the Illinois Secretary of State issued a
change of ownership on the motorcycle and a certificate of
title in Baskett's name.
February 25, 2012, Allin and Baskett's relationship had
soured. They had an argument and Baskett moved in with her
sister, Kelly McClure. Baskett asked Allin for $1, 000 to
help her find her own place, but Allin refused. Following
this argument, he discovered that the certificate of title to
his motorcycle was missing. He filed a theft report with the
Springfield Police Department, alleging that Baskett had
stolen the title.
between February 25 and February 27, Baskett told McClure
that she was concerned about retrieving her personal
belongings from Allin's residence; McClure contacted Ami
Barr -Sergeant Barr's wife and McClure's coworker -
about Baskett's fears. Ami knew Baskett, having met her
on a few occasions. Ami asked Barr if he would accompany
Baskett to Allin's residence when Baskett went to remove
her belongings. Barr told Ami that he would.
February 27, 2012, Baskett and others arrived at Allin's
residence to gather her personal property; Springfield police
officers, including Barr, were there to ensure a peaceful
transition of the property. At the residence, Allin and
Baskett had a dispute as to the ownership of the motorcycle,
and decided to present their conflicting stories to Barr.
Baskett produced the certificate of title for the motorcycle
and claimed that Allin gave her the motorcycle for taking
care of him when he was sick. Allin admitted that he signed
over the title, but he stated that he did not intend for
ownership to pass to Baskett. Allin also said that he
reported the certificate of title stolen two days earlier.
police ran a title search; it is the Springfield Police
Department's policy to run title searches and rely upon
the results when responding to a removal of property call.
The search showed that title to the motorcycle had been in
Baskett's name since August 29, 2011.
officers also conducted a computer search of the reported
theft records; the results did not indicate that ...