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Sangster v. Hines

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

January 25, 2017

DERRICK A. SANGSTER, Plaintiff,
v.
THOMAS HINES, STEVE KICKHAVER, NATHAN CIHLAR, SHAWN FRITSCH, SANDRA HUNT, AND DALE ZANDER, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          LYNN ADELMAN United States District Judge

         The pro se plaintiff, Derrick Sangster, is a Wisconsin state prisoner. He filed this civil rights action alleging that, prior to his incarceration, the defendants conspired to search his apartment and seize his property, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The court will deny plaintiffs motion, grant defendants' motion, and dismiss this case.

         SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

         "The 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 "material fact" is "genuine" if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id.

         A party 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).

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         A. The Parties

         At all times relevant to this case, plaintiff lived in Wausau, Wisconsin. Defendants Dale Zander, Thomas Hines, Nathan Cihlar, Shawn Fritsch, Sandra Hunt, and Steve Kickhaver are police officers for the Wausau Police Department.

         B. Plaintiffs Claims

         Plaintiff claims that defendants violated his Fourth Amendment rights when they searched his apartment on November 26, 2012, after his brother, Joseph Sangster, called 911 and informed a dispatcher that there were guns and drugs in the apartment and he was worried for his safety. Plaintiff was not in the apartment when police arrived. He was arrested on a warrant shortly after they arrived, and subsequently removed from the scene.

         Plaintiff alleges that he did not give the officers consent to search his apartment, and that his brother Joseph did not have a legal right to consent to search the apartment because Joseph did not live there. Plaintiff alleges that the officers conspired to gain entry to his apartment to search for guns and drugs, encouraged his brother to search the apartment for the officers, and unlawfully seized his property. Plaintiff claims that defendants manipulated his brother, a paranoid schizophrenic with mental disabilities, to force entry into the apartment and conduct a search on their behalf, as a "private citizen, " in violation of his constitutional rights, and conspired to do so.

         C. ...


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