White v. Hefel, No. 16-1051 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Around 9:00 p.m., as Mr. White was escorting guests outside, an unknown teenager (Hyles) charged uninvited into the White family’s Chicago home. Minutes later, police officers who were chasing Hyles pushed past White and followed Hyles into the house with guns drawn. White either fell or was pushed down. Officers found Hyles huddled in a basement room and arrested him, but they did not leave the house. Instead, they searched the house. Police claim that Mrs. White signed a consent; she claims she thought she was signing a complaint for trespass. The Whites sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, seeking damages related to the entry and search of their home. After a trial, the district court granted judgment as a matter of law for the officers on three claims. The jury ruled for the defendants on the remaining four claims. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting challenges to the district court’s credibility determinations concerning whether GPS data supported the police account of the incidents. While finding the admission of the transcript of Hyles’s guilty‐plea proceedings “unusual,” to establish the factual events that supported probable cause, the court noted that the Whites invited error by insisting that the entire transcript be read.