Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Chvatik v. Stoychoff

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

July 25, 2019

MARK CHVATIK, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM STOYCHOFF, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          BARBARA B. CRABB DISTRICT JUDGE

         In this civil action for monetary relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, pro se plaintiff Mark Chvatik asserted 24 claims against defendant William Stoychoff, a Bayfield County Sheriff's Office deputy, stemming from plaintiff's arrest on December 1, 2015. After defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, dkt. #13, plaintiff abandoned 16 of his claims. The remaining claims are premised on plaintiff's argument that defendant lacked probable cause to arrest him. However, because the undisputed facts show that defendant had probable cause to arrest plaintiff for trespassing and burglary as a party to a crime, plaintiff's claims must fail. Therefore, I will grant defendant's motion for summary judgment.

         From the parties' proposed findings of fact and evidence in the record, I find the following facts to be material and undisputed unless otherwise noted. I note that although plaintiff cites his own affidavit in support of many of his proposed findings of facts and responses, he never filed an affidavit with the court. As a consequence, the majority of plaintiff's proposed findings of fact and responses are not supported by any admissible evidence and will not be considered.

         UNDISPUTED FACTS

         On December 1, 2015, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Jameson Hecimovich, a resident of Bayfield County, called 911 and reported that someone had broken into buildings located on his farm. He reported that there was a trail of footprints in the snow leading away from the buildings that could be followed. Defendant William Stoychoff, a Bayfield County Sheriff's Department deputy, and Edward McKillip, a Bayfield County Sheriff's Department investigator, were dispatched to investigate the call. Hecimovich told defendant and McKillip that he had not given permission to anyone to enter his buildings or to take any of his property. Defendant followed the footprints in the snow to the adjacent farm. On his return, he reported what he had discovered, and he and McKillip drove to the adjacent farm to investigate.

         Shortly after defendant and McKillip arrived at the neighboring farm, which belonged to the Chvatik family, plaintiff Mark Chvatik and his brother, Anthony Chvatik, drove into the driveway. McKillip spoke with Anthony Chvatik, who admitted that he and plaintiff had made the footprints in the snow at the Hecimovich farm and that they had gone there to find a tire plug. Anthony Chvatik stated that he had entered the buildings on the Hecimovich farm and that he did not have permission to do so. He stated that plaintiff also went onto Hecimovich's farm but did not enter any of the buildings. (Plaintiff states that he was standing near Anthony Chvatik and did not hear him admit to trespassing on the Hecimovich farm or taking anything.) After he finished questioning Anthony Chvatik, McKillip told defendant that based on Anthony Chvatik's statements, there was probable cause to arrest both Anthony Chvatik and plaintiff for burglary and trespass. Specifically, he told defendant that Anthony Chvatik's statements suggested that plaintiff had been involved in the burglary. Defendant first arrested Anthony Chvatik, and McKillip transported Anthony Chvatik to the Bayfield County jail.

         After McKillip left, defendant questioned plaintiff. Plaintiff denied any involvement in the matter and told defendant that he had not taken anyone else's property. Plaintiff then started to walk away, but defendant told him he was under arrest for burglary. During the arrest, defendant searched plaintiff for weapons and seized plaintiff's wallet and cell phone. Defendant did not search plaintiff's wallet or the data on his cell phone. (Plaintiff states that defendant did search the cell phone and wallet, but he cites no admissible evidence to support this assertion.) Defendant transported plaintiff to the Bayfield County jail, where defendant turned over plaintiff's wallet and cell phone. Plaintiff was later charged with being party to the crimes of burglary and theft, but the charges were dismissed on the prosecutor's motion before trial.

         OPINION

         In his complaint, plaintiff asserted 24 claims under the constitution and Wisconsin state law against defendant arising out of his arrest and detention on December 1, 2015. In his response to defendant's motion for summary judgment, plaintiff abandoned 16 of the of the counts: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 of his complaint. Plt.'s Br., dkt. #21, at 11. Therefore, I will grant defendant's motion for summary judgment as to those claims without further discussion.

         This leaves the following eight claims:

• unreasonable seizure (count 1)
• false arrest (count 3)
• false imprisonment (count 5)
• unlawful search of plaintiff's person ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.