United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
TONY C. FRANKLIN, Plaintiff,
WILLIAM WARMINGTON AND CITY OF RACINE, Defendants.
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. Magistrate Judge
Tony C. Franklin is proceeding on Fourth Amendment claims
against defendants William Warmington and the Racine Police
Department regarding an incident that took place on May 17,
2007. The defendants argue that they are entitled to summary
judgment because Franklin failed to file his complaint for
claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 before the six-year
statute of limitations expired. The defendants also argue in
their reply brief that the court should grant their motion
for summary judgment and impose monetary sanctions on
Franklin because Franklin submitted a false affidavit in
opposition to their motion for summary judgment.
court takes fraud on the court seriously and has inherent
power to sanction a party who “has willfully abused the
judicial process or otherwise conducted litigation in bad
faith.” Secrease v. W. & S. Life Ins. Co.,
800 F.3d 397, 401 (7th Cir. 2015) (citations omitted).
“Dismissal can be appropriate when the plaintiff has
abused the judicial process by seeking relief based on
information that the plaintiff knows is false.”
“[d]epriving the parties of a merits disposition is
serious business.” Salgado by Salgado v. General
Motors Corp., 150 F.3d 735, 739 (7th Cir. 1998).
“In the normal course of events, justice is dispensed
by the hearing of cases on their merits; only when the
interests of justice are best served by dismissal can this
harsh sanction be consonant with the role of the
courts.” Id. at 740 (quoting Schilling v.
Walworth County Park and Planning Com'n, 805 F.2d
272, 275 (7th Cir. 1986)). The parties have fully briefed the
defendants' motion for summary judgment and the court
will consider the motion on its merits.
Judgment Standard of Review
court shall grant summary judgment 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.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986); Ames v. Home
Depot U.S.A., Inc., 629 F.3d 665, 668 (7th Cir. 2011).
“Material facts” are those under the applicable
substantive law that “might affect the outcome of the
suit.” See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. A
dispute over a “material fact” is
“genuine” if “the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must
support the assertion by: “(A) citing to particular
parts of materials in the record, including depositions,
documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes
of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or
other materials; or (B) showing that the materials cited do
not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute,
or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence
to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). “An
affidavit or declaration used to support or oppose a motion
must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would
be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or
declarant is competent to testify on the matters
stated.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4).
17, 2007, Franklin was a passenger in a vehicle driven by
Michelle Warmington when her then-husband, William
Warrington, an officer with the Racine Police Department,
stopped them. According to Franklin, Officer Warmington
opened the passenger door of the vehicle, grabbed Franklin by
the arm, yanked him out of the vehicle, and slammed him onto
the sidewalk. Officer Warmington then threatened to kill
Franklin while he placed his knee on Franklin's back,
emptied Franklin's pockets, and patted him down.
days and weeks that followed the incident, Franklin declares,
“people kept coming up to me saying that I had better
watch out because Warmington was looking for me and that he
was telling people in my neighborhood that he was going to
kill me for messing with his wife.” (ECF No. 88 at 4.)
Franklin began carrying a knife for protection from Officer
was arrested in June 2007. Several inmates told Franklin that
Warmington had asked about Franklin and said he was going to
kill Franklin for messing with his wife. Franklin
subsequently “got revoked and went to prison, ”
where another inmate advised Franklin to file a formal
complaint against Warmington. (ECF No. 88 at 5.) Franklin
wrote down what happened and sent it to the Racine Police
Department. He received a response stating that Warmington
had violated the rules of the Racine Police Department and
that corrective action had been taken.
was released from prison for several months in 2008 and was
anxious about Warmington's threats. While out of custody,
Franklin “tried to stay inside so it wouldn't get
around to Warmington that [he] was out.” (ECF No. 88 at
6.) Franklin “caught a new case in November of
2008” and has been in prison ever since. Id.
unclear exactly when Warmington stopped working for the
Racine Police Department, but he began working as a ...