Woods, Albert v. City of Chicago ( 2000 )


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  • In the
    United States Court of Appeals
    For the Seventh Circuit
    
    No. 99-4069
    
    ALBERT WOODS,
    
    Plaintiff-Appellant,
    
    v.
    
    CITY OF CHICAGO, OFFICER MAKOWSKI,
    Chicago Police Officer #16971, OFFICER
    ALANIS, Chicago Police Officer #5001,
    
    Defendants-Appellees.
    
    
    
    Appeal from the United States District Court
    for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern
    Division.
    No. 98 C 7092--Charles R. Norgle, Sr., Judge.
    
    
    Argued September 13, 2000--Decided DECEMBER 8, 2000
    
    
    
    
      Before Flaum, Chief Judge, and Bauer, and
    Kanne, Circuit Judges.
    
    
      BAUER, Circuit Judge. Plaintiff-
    Appellant Albert Woods appeals from the
    order of the United States District Court
    for the Northern District of Illinois,
    Eastern Division, granting summary
    judgment to defendants-appellees
    Makowski, Alanis, and the City of
    Chicago. For the reasons set forth below,
    we affirm.
    
    BACKGROUND
    
    
      Albert Woods was arrested at his place
    of employment for misdemeanor assault.
    After the charges against him were
    dropped, Woods filed an action under 42
    U.S.C. sec. 1983 against the City of
    Chicago and Chicago police officers
    Makowski and Alanis, asserting violations
    of his Fourth Amendment rights. In his
    complaint, Woods contended that the
    officers acted unreasonably in arresting
    him without a warrant for misdemeanor
    assault one day after Gabriel Flores (the
    putative assault victim) signed a
    criminal complaint against him. He also
    asserted that the officers acted in
    accordance with a policy of the City of
    Chicago authorizing its police officers
    to make a full custodial arrest for a
    misdemeanor that did not involve a breach
    of the peace and that had not been
    committed in the officers’ presence. The
    officers moved to dismiss Woods’
    complaint against them under Fed. R. Civ.
    P. 12(b)(6), arguing that Flores’ report
    of the assault to the police (which Woods
    had referenced in his complaint) gave
    them probable cause to arrest Woods, and
    that arrests supported by probable cause
    are reasonable under the Fourth Amendment
    subject to a "rare exception" not
    applicable in Woods’ case. The City moved
    to dismiss on similar grounds, arguing
    that even if Woods could show that the
    City had a municipal "policy" authorizing
    warrantless arrests for misdemeanors not
    involving a breach of the peace and not
    committed in an officer’s presence, such
    a policy would not be unconstitutional as
    applied to Woods’ arrest, which was
    authorized by state law and based on
    probable cause.
    
    
      Woods filed a memorandum opposing the
    City’s motion to dismiss, arguing that
    his complaint did not demonstrate that
    the officers had probable cause to arrest
    him. According to Woods, the complaint
    merely asserted that a citizen had walked
    into a Chicago police station on July 21,
    1997 and stated that on July 18, 1997 he
    had been "verbally assaulted" by Woods.
    Woods noted that the complaint did not
    allege that this information was
    communicated to the arresting officers.
    Furthermore, he contended that even if
    the arresting officers had been aware of
    the citizen’s complaint, it did not
    provide them with probable cause to
    arrest because "verbal assault" is not an
    offense under Illinois law.
    
    
      The City and the individual defendants
    jointly filed a reply. Attached to the
    reply were various exhibits, including a
    copy of Flores’ verified misdemeanor
    complaint and a copy of the arresting
    officer’s report of Woods’ arrest. The
    verified misdemeanor complaint (signed
    under oath by Flores) charged Woods with
    aggravated assault, and stated that "on
    or about 18 July ’97. . . [Woods] while
    using a deadly weapon, length of a lead
    pipe, did without lawful authority
    produce weapon and came at victim yelling
    I’m going to kill you, which placed
    Gabriel Flores in reasonable apprehension
    of receiving a battery." The arrest
    report essentially repeated this account
    of the incident, stating that,
    
    [t]he above subject arrested for
    [a]ggravated assault. On 18 July 97
    victim went to truck leasing company
    where offender is employed to gas up a
    leased truck. At that time offender got
    into a verbal arguement [sic] with victim
    and produced a lead pipe and told victim
    I’m going to kill you. When offender
    started to approach victim, victim got
    into his truck and fled the scene. R/O’s
    interviewed victim who signed complainats
    [sic], R/O’s went to offender’s place of
    employment, placed subject under arrest
    and advised subject of his rights which
    he stated he understood.
    
    The arrest report was signed under the
    statement "I do solemnly, sincerely, and
    truly declare and affirm that the facts
    stated herein are accurate to the best of
    my knowledge."
    
    
      Woods moved to exclude these exhibits on
    grounds that such evidentiary material
    could not be considered during a motion
    to dismiss. He argued that the court
    could not consider the exhibits unless it
    first converted the motion to dismiss
    into a motion for summary judgment under
    Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b), and that such a
    conversion would be inappropriate in this
    case. Finally, he argued that unless the
    court excluded these materials, it must
    give Woods an opportunity to respond, and
    that in order to do so Woods must be
    allowed to depose the officers who signed
    the arrest report "about the report and
    about the circumstances of the signing of
    the complaint" as well as "the citizen
    upon whose alleged complaint plaintiff
    was arrested." The court granted Woods’
    motion to exclude the exhibits.
    Subsequently, the court granted the
    City’s motion to dismiss on the ground
    that Woods had failed to state a
    municipal policy, and it gave Woods leave
    to file an amended complaint.
      Woods filed an amended complaint which
    restated his earlier claim that Flores
    claimed to have been "verbally assaulted"
    by Woods, and which explicitly stated
    that such a claim did not supply the
    officers with probable cause to arrest
    Woods. The amended complaint also
    reasserted that the officers violated
    Woods’ Fourth Amendment rights by
    arresting him without a warrant for a
    misdemeanor offense not commited in their
    presence and not involving a breach of
    the peace pursuant to a municipal policy
    authorizing such arrests. Again, the
    defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that
    Flores’ complaint established probable
    cause./1 Woods opposed the defendants’
    motion, again contending that even if the
    officers had been aware of Flores’
    complaint (which his complaint did not
    allege), that complaint did not provide
    probable cause to arrest because "verbal
    assault" is not an offense under Illinois
    law, which defines assault as "conduct
    which places another in reasonable
    apprehension of receiving a battery." 720
    ILCS 5/12-1.
    
    
      The court then converted the defendants’
    motion to dismiss into a motion for
    summary judgment, noting that the
    defendants had attached "pertinent
    evidentiary material" to their reply to
    Woods’ memorandum in opposition to the
    motion to dismiss Woods’ original
    complaint. Addressing Woods’ claim that
    Flores had complained merely of a "verbal
    assault," the court quoted the arrest
    report’s account of Flores’ complaint,
    which stated that Woods had brandished a
    lead pipe during the altercation and
    which specifically referenced Illinois’
    aggravated assault statute. The court
    stated that "the misdemeanor complaint,
    filed by Gabriel Flores, further
    indicates that Woods committed an
    aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
    while threatening to kill Flores," and
    that "this evidence indicates that
    thearresting officers arrested Woods
    based on information that Woods committed
    an aggravated assault." In ordering Woods
    to respond to the motion for summary
    judgment, the court admonished him to
    "pay particular attention" to Fed. R.
    Civ. P. 11(b), and stated that: "Woods’
    characterization of the altercation as a
    ’verbal assault’ is grossly misleading.
    Further, his argument that ’nowhere in
    the complaint does plaintiff allege that
    any police officer had been informed that
    plaintiff had engaged in conduct which
    placed another in reasonable apprehension
    of receiving a battery’ . . . ignores
    facts and logic in a blatant attempt to
    survive the motion [to] dismiss."
    
    
      In Woods’ response, he argued that the
    arrest report and the misdemeanor
    complaint could not be considered on a
    motion for summary judgment because: (1)
    the defendants had not laid any
    foundation for their admission, (for
    example, they did not show the date or
    time of the alleged interview between
    Flores and the arresting officers in the
    arrest report); (2) they were
    unauthenticated; and (3) the police
    report did not fully and fairly set out
    the facts. In support of the latter
    argument, Woods attached a Chicago Police
    Case Report to his response, which he
    relied upon for its accuracy. The case
    report stated that "R/O interviewed the
    victim who related to R/O that . . .
    offender . . . grabbed lead pipe--told
    victim to get out of the truck and said
    ’If I get fired over this, I’m going to
    kill you.’ Victim left thinking offender
    overreacting. Today’s date 21 Dec. ’97
    offender told two of victim’s co-workers
    (Kenny and Mike) that he was going to
    ’get’ victim because victim filed report.
    Victim given victim information sheet.
    R/O advised warrant." Woods argued that
    the case report demonstrated that the
    police lacked probable cause to arrest
    him because it showed that Flores waited
    three days to report the incident and
    told the police that he left thinking
    Woods was "overreacting," and because
    Flores’ account of the incident showed
    only that Woods had "verbally assaulted"
    Flores, not that he had placed Flores in
    reasonable apprehension of receiving a
    battery. Woods also noted that the police
    had no documentation showing that they
    investigated Flores’ complaint or made
    any effort to corroborate it (e.g. by
    speaking to Flores’ supervisor or to
    either of the two coworkers who allegedly
    heard Woods’ renewed threat to "get"
    Flores.) Woods asked the district court
    to vacate its order converting the motion
    to dismiss into a motion for summary
    judgment, and in the alternative, to
    postpone ruling on the motion until Woods
    had a chance to depose Flores and the
    officers who signed and prepared the
    arrest report.
    
    
      In ruling on the summary judgment
    motion, the district court found that it
    could properly consider the police report
    and the misdemeanor complaint. Responding
    to Woods’ objection that the documents
    were not authenticated, the court held
    that the documents were "credible and
    trustworthy" because they were sworn to
    under oath by the officers and by Flores,
    and because they were business records
    kept by the police department.
    Additionally, the court found that Woods
    had admitted to the accuracy of the
    complaint and the arrest report by
    attaching and relying on the case report,
    which corroborated the account given by
    the complaint and the arrest report. The
    court also noted that it was examining
    the records "not for their truth, but for
    what the officers knew when they arrested
    Woods."
    
    
      Upon considering the exhibits, the court
    concluded that they showed that the
    officers had arrested Woods believing
    that he had threatened to kill Flores
    with a lead pipe, and that this alone
    established probable cause. In response
    to Woods’ discovery request, the court
    noted that it had given Woods the
    opportunity to show why it should not
    accept the information in the complaint
    and the arrest report as credible, and
    that he had failed to do so (indeed, he
    had even corroborated the documents by
    submitting the case report). Moreover,
    the court found that Woods had offered
    absolutely no evidence that the documents
    were "fraudulent, signed by mistake, or
    even inaccurate," nor had he even denied
    that he had threatened to kill Flores
    while approaching him with a lead pipe.
    Under the circumstances, the court found
    that depositions would be a waste of
    time, and it granted summary judgment for
    the defendants without allowing Woods to
    depose Flores or the officers who signed
    the arrest report. This appeal followed.
    
    DISCUSSION
    I. Procedural Issues
    
    
      Woods argues that, in deciding the
    converted motion for summary judgment,
    the district court improperly considered
    the verified misdemeanor complaint and
    the arrest report. He also argues that
    the district court abused its discretion
    in ruling on the motion without allowing
    him to depose Flores and the officers who
    prepared and signed the arrest report.
    
    
      A district court may properly grant
    summary judgment when "the record shows
    that there is no genuine issue as to any
    material fact and that the moving party
    is entitled to judgment as a matter of
    law." Whetstine v. Gates Rubber Co., 
    895 F.2d 388
    , 391-92 (7th Cir. 1990)
    (citation omitted). The moving party has
    the burden of establishing the lack of
    such an issue. See id. at 392 (citing
    Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 
    477 U.S. 317
    ,
    323 (1986)).
    
    
      We review a district court’s grant of
    summary judgment de novo, drawing all
    reasonable inferences from the record in
    the light most favorable to the
    nonmovant.
    
    
      As a preliminary matter, we note that
    the court did nothing improper in
    converting the defendants’ motion to
    dismiss into a motion for summary
    judgment. Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b), a
    district court must make such a
    conversion when matters outside of the
    complaint are presented and not excluded
    by the court. Here, the district court
    initially granted Woods’ motion to strike
    the defendants’ exhibits, and ruled on
    the initial motion to dismiss without
    considering the exhibits or anything
    outside of the pleadings. Then, after
    Woods filed an amended complaint and the
    defendants moved again to dismiss, the
    court reconsidered the previously
    stricken exhibits and treated the
    defendants’ new motion to dismiss as a
    motion for summary judgment. Woods cites
    no cases that suggest that a district
    court may not consider previously
    stricken exhibits in ruling on a
    converted motion for summary judgment,
    and we find that the district court acted
    properly in doing so here.
    
    
      However, Woods argues that the district
    court erred in considering the arrest
    report and the misdemeanor complaint in
    deciding the summary judgment motion
    because the reports contained
    inadmissible hearsay, and because the
    documents were not "affidavits" under
    Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) and 28 U.S.C. sec.
    1746. He also argues that the district
    court abused its discretion in ruling on
    the summary judgment motion before giving
    him leave to depose Flores and the
    officers who signed and prepared the
    arrest report. We address these arguments
    in turn.
    
    
    
      A. Woods’ Hearsay Argument
    
    
      Woods argues that the arrest report and
    the misdemeanor complaint contained
    inadmissible hearsay, and therefore could
    not properly be considered on a motion
    for summary judgment. The district court
    found that the information in these
    documents was credible and trustworthy
    under Fed. R. Evid. 803(6) because they
    were sworn to under oath by the officers
    and by Flores, and because they were
    business records kept by the police
    department. Woods concedes that portions
    of police reports that contain
    information prepared by the business are
    admissible as business records. For
    example, Woods suggests that a properly
    authenticated police report would be
    admissible to show the date and time of
    the arrest and the date and time that the
    arrestee was released on bond. However,
    Woods notes that "the business records
    exception does not embrace statements
    contained within a business record that
    were made by one who is not a part of the
    business if the embraced statements are
    offered for their truth." United States
    v. Vigneau, 
    187 F.3d 70
    , 75 (1st Cir.
    1999). In other words, Woods argues that
    statements made by third parties in an
    otherwise admissible business record
    cannot properly be admitted for their
    truth unless they can be shown
    independently to fall within a recognized
    hearsay exception.
    
    
      While we agree fully with this principle
    of law, we find that it is not implicated
    in this case and is of no help to Woods.
    As the district court noted, the
    defendants offered the statements in the
    arrest report and the verified criminal
    complaint describing the details of the
    alleged altercation between Woods and
    Flores not for their truth, but to show
    the effect that the statements had on the
    officers. Because the officers asserted
    the defense of qualified immunity, Woods
    had the burden at trial to prove that the
    police lacked probable cause to arrest
    him. See Sorenson v. Ferrie, 
    134 F.3d 325
    , 330 (5th Cir. 1998); see generally
    Eversole v. Steele, 
    59 F.3d 710
    , 717-18
    (7th Cir. 1995). The determination of
    whether an arresting officer has probable
    cause to arrest an alleged offender turns
    on whether a reasonable person in the
    officer’s position would have probable
    cause to believe that an offense has been
    committed. This inquiry, in turn, depends
    upon whether the facts and circumstances
    communicated to the arresting officer at
    the time of the arrest would warrant a
    reasonable officer in holding such a
    belief. The defendants correctly note
    that "so long as a reasonably credible
    witness or victim informs the police that
    someone has committed . . . a crime, the
    officers have probable cause to place the
    alleged culprit under arrest . . ."
    Jenkins v. Keating, 
    147 F.3d 577
    , 585
    (7th Cir. 1998), and that once such a
    reasonably credible complaint has been
    made, the existence of probable cause to
    arrest does not depend upon the actual
    truth of the complaint. See Kelley v.
    Myler, 
    149 F.3d 641
    , 647 (7th Cir. 1998)
    ("Probable cause does not depend on the
    witness turning out to have been right;
    it’s what the police know, not whether
    they know the truth that matters."). In
    this case, the defendants offered the
    information conveyed to the police by
    Flores and memorialized in the
    misdemeanor complaint and arrest report
    not to show that Woods had actually
    performed the conduct as reported in
    those documents, but rather to show that
    they had probable cause to arrest Woods
    based upon the information communicated
    to them by Flores. The district court
    considered the statements strictly to
    determine the effect that they would have
    upon the arresting officers when
    communicated to them by a presumptively
    reliable citizen. Thus, the district
    court did not run afoul of the
    prohibition on hearsay by considering
    these documents for this limited purpose.
    B. Woods’ "affidavit" argument
    
      Woods also argues that the district
    court should not have considered the
    arrest report and the misdemeanor
    complaint because they did not qualify as
    admissible "affidavits" under 28 U.S.C.
    sec. 1746 and Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). Rule
    56(e) authorizes parties to submit
    affidavits supporting or opposing a
    motion for summary judgment, but it
    specifically mandates that such
    affidavits "shall be made on personal
    knowledge, shall set forth such facts as
    would be admissible in evidence, and
    shall show affirmatively that the affiant
    is competent to testify to the matters
    stated therein." Moreover, 28 U.S.C. sec.
    1746 provides, in relevant part, that
    "[w]herever, under any law of the United
    States or under any rule . . . made
    pursuant to law, any matter is required
    or permitted to be supported . . . by .
    . . affidavit, such matter may, with like
    force and effect, be supported . . . by
    the unsworn declaration, certificate,
    verification, or statement, in writing of
    such person which is subscribed by him,
    as true under penalty of perjury . . ."
    (emphasis added). Woods contends that the
    misdemeanor complaint and the arrest
    report were not "affidavits" as
    contemplated by 28 U.S.C. sec. 1746
    because, while they were purportedly
    sworn by Flores and officer Makowski
    (respectively), neither document
    contained the "penalty of perjury"
    language as required by that section.
    Moreover, Woods maintains that even if
    officer Makowski’s signed declaration on
    the arrest report were sufficient to
    transform that document into an
    "affidavit," the report would still be
    inadmissible under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)
    because it contained statements made by
    Flores regarding matters not within
    Makowski’s personal knowledge.
    
    
      Woods’ arguments are unpersuasive.
    First, while Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) allows
    a party to submit affidavits in support
    of its summary judgment motion, it does
    not require that all supporting material
    be submitted in affidavit form. See Fed.
    R. Civ. P. 56(b) (permitting a party to
    move for summary judgment "with or
    without supporting affidavits"); Celotex,
    477 U.S. at 323 (1986). Sworn testimony
    is not the only basis on which summary
    judgment may be granted; rather, "’the
    court may consider any material that
    would be admissible or usable at trial,’"
    Aguilera v. Cook County Police & Corrs.
    Merit Bd., 
    760 F.2d 844
    , 849 (7th Cir.
    1985) (citation omitted), including
    properly authenticated and admissible
    documents or exhibits. See Martz v. Union
    Labor Life Ins. Co., 
    757 F.2d 135
    , 138
    (7th Cir. 1985). Therefore, the district
    court was entitled to consider the arrest
    report and the misdemeanor complaint even
    if they were not admissible as
    "affidavits," under 28 U.S.C. sec. 1746
    or Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e), so long as
    those documents were properly
    authenticated and were otherwise
    admissible.
    
    
      The district court found the documents
    admissible as a business record under
    Fed. R. Evid. 803(6). To be admissible as
    a business record, a document must have
    sufficient indicia of trustworthiness to
    be considered reliable. See Saks Int’l,
    Inc. v. M/V "Export Champion," 
    817 F.2d 1011
    , 1013 (2d Cir. 1987). Normally, to
    demonstrate such trustworthiness and
    reliability at the summary judgment
    stage, the party seeking to offer the
    business record must attach an affidavit
    sworn to by a person who would be
    qualified to introduce the record as
    evidence at trial, for example, a
    custodian or anyone qualified to speak
    from personal knowledge that the
    documents were admissible business
    records. See Federal Deposit Ins. Corp.
    v. Patel, 
    46 F.3d 482
    , 484 (5th Cir.
    1995); see also Martz, 757 F.2d at 138
    ("When a party seeks to offer evidence
    through other exhibits, they must be
    identified by affidavit or otherwise made
    admissible in evidence."). However, under
    the rather peculiar circumstances of this
    case, we feel that the district court did
    not abuse its discretion in admitting the
    arrest report and the misdemeanor
    complaint as business records without
    requiring the defendants to authenticate
    them by affidavit.
    
    
      Woods attached a Chicago Police Case
    Report to his response to the defendants’
    motion for summary judgment, and he
    relied on the case report for its
    accuracy both in his original response
    before the district court and in his
    appellate brief presented to this Court.
    The case report recapitulated Flores’
    account of the altercation as presented
    in the arrest report and the misdemeanor
    complaint in each of its essential
    details. By submitting and relying upon
    the case report, Woods conceded the
    accuracy of the documents that the
    defendants sought to introduce. This
    situation is strikingly similar to the
    situation that the First Circuit
    confronted in Cerqueira v. Cerqueira, 
    828 F.2d 863
     (1st Cir. 1987). In that case,
    the plaintiff sued the legal titleholder
    to a fishing boat, seeking recovery for
    injuries he sustained while he was
    working on the boat. The defendant moved
    for summary judgment on the grounds that
    he was not the owner of the boat and was
    therefore not liable for the plaintiff’s
    injuries. The defendant tried to show
    that he was not the owner of the boat by,
    inter alia, attaching an exhibit to his
    legal memorandum supporting his motion
    for summary judgment. The exhibit was
    purportedly an unsigned draft of an
    agreement between the parties prepared by
    the plaintiff’s lawyer for use in an
    earlier case between them, and it showed
    that the plaintiff had bought the boat
    and that the defendant held title for the
    plaintiff because the plaintiff was not a
    U.S. citizen. In his appellate brief, the
    plaintiff conceded that he had drafted
    the document as a proposed resolution of
    the earlier case. While the court noted
    that "technically speaking, [the
    defendant] should have introduced his
    exhibits into the record through
    affidavits, not as exhibits to a
    memorandum of law . . .," it held that
    given the plaintiff’s concession, it was
    appropriate for the district court to
    have considered the exhibit in ruling on
    the motion for summary judgment. Id. at
    865. The court reasoned that there was
    "no point in remanding this case to
    permit [the defendant] to file an
    affidavit stating the very thing that
    [the plaintiff] has conceded, namely,
    that the document is what it purports to
    be." Id.
    
    
      We find this reasoning persuasive and
    applicable to the facts of this case. By
    submitting the case report and relying on
    it, Woods has conceded that Flores made
    out a complaint against him to the
    Chicago Police, and that in that
    complaint Flores alleged that Woods had
    threatened to kill him while wielding a
    lead pipe. Since these are exactly the
    facts that the defendants sought to prove
    through the arrest report and the
    misdemeanor complaint, we conclude that
    Woods cannot reasonably question the
    reliability of those documents. Requiring
    authenticating affidavits in this case
    would be an empty formality, and the
    district court did not abuse its
    discretion when it considered the
    documents without such affidavits.
    
    
      Moreover, even were we to hold that the
    district court erred in considering the
    arrest report and misdemeanor complaint
    absent a certifying affidavit or some
    other traditional method of
    authentication, such an error would be
    harmless in this case. Rule 56(c)
    provides that summary judgment shall be
    granted if, among other documents, "[the]
    admissions on file . . . show that there
    is no genuine issue as to any material
    fact and that the moving party is
    entitled to a judgment as a matter of
    law." An "admission" includes "anything
    which is in practical fact an admission"
    Cerqueira, 828 F.2d at 865 (citation
    omitted), including statements made in a
    brief presented to the district court,
    see United States v. One Heckler-Koch
    Rifle, 
    629 F.2d 1250
    , 1253 (7th Cir.
    1980). Woods submitted the case report to
    the district court, and he relied on its
    account of the complaint that Flores gave
    to the police in his response to the
    defendants’ summary judgment motion. As a
    practical matter, this amounted to an
    admission of the facts presented in the
    case report, and the district court was
    entitled to consider the facts admitted
    in ruling on the defendants’ summary
    judgment motion. By continuing to rely on
    the case report and subsequently failing
    to offer any evidence to rebut its
    account of Flores’ complaint, Woods left
    the district court free to grant summary
    judgment upon consideration of the facts
    admitted by Woods alone and without even
    considering the arrest report or the
    misdemeanor complaint. Thus, even if the
    latter documents were inadmissible and
    therefore not available for the district
    court’s consideration, the court could
    still properly have granted summary
    judgment for the defendants. See In re
    Sunset Bay Assocs. v. Eureka Fed. Sav. &
    Loan Ass’n, 
    944 F.2d 1503
    , 1513-14 (9th
    Cir. 1991) (holding that, once a party
    had admitted that the opposing party’s
    unauthenticated exhibit contains truthful
    information, the court may consider the
    material in that exhibit because "an
    admission is, or course, admissible in
    evidence"). In his reply brief, Woods
    tries to avoid having some of the
    damaging information in the case report
    admitted against him (in particular, the
    case report’s statement that the "R/O’s
    interviewed the victim") by asserting
    that the case report itself is unverified
    and lacks the "basic foundation
    predicates of date, time, place, and
    persons present." However, while
    unauthenticated documents generally
    cannot be considered on a motion for
    summary judgment, a party who submits
    such a document without reservation
    cannot subsequently complain because the
    district court considered the contents of
    the document. See Walker v. Wayne County,
    Iowa, 
    850 F.2d 433
    , 435 (8th Cir. 1988).
    
    
    
      C. Woods’ discovery request
    
      Woods also argues that the district
    court "applied an erroneous legal
    standard" in refusing to permit him to
    depose Flores and the arresting officers
    before ruling on the defendants’ summary
    judgment motion. Citing Illinois State
    Employees Union v. Lewis, 
    473 F.2d 561
    (7th Cir. 1973), Woods maintains that
    summary judgment should not be entered
    "until the party opposing the motion has
    had a fair opportunity to conduct such
    discovery as may be necessary to meet the
    factual basis for the motion." See
    Celotex, 477 U.S. at 326 (1986). Woods
    contends that the district court
    erroneously denied him this opportunity,
    and that its "sua sponte" decision to
    enter summary judgment was unfair and
    premature. Woods’ argument is
    unconvincing.
    
      A district court’s decision to consider
    a defendant’s motion for summary judgment
    before allowing the plaintiff to depose
    certain witness is a discovery matter
    which we review for abuse of discretion.
    Doty v. Illinois Central R.R. Co., 
    162 F.3d 460
    , 461 (7th Cir. 1998). Rule 56(f)
    authorizes a district court to refuse to
    grant a motion for summary judgment or to
    continue its ruling on such a motion
    pending further discovery if the
    nonmovant submits an affidavit
    demonstrating why it cannot yet present
    facts sufficient to justify its
    opposition to the motion. Fed. R. Civ. P.
    56(f). While Woods did ask the district
    court to postpone its ruling until he
    could depose Flores and the officers, he
    did not file an affidavit outlining his
    reasons for needing further discovery as
    contemplated by Rule 56(f). This alone
    justifies affirmance of the district
    court’s decision. See Wallace v. Tilley,
    
    41 F.3d 296
    , 302-03 (7th Cir. 1994)
    (holding that the court was precluded
    from considering whether the district
    court had abused its discretion in ruling
    on defendant’s summary judgment motion
    before allowing plaintiff to conduct
    requested discovery where the plaintiff
    had not filed an affidavit pursuant to
    rule 56(f), and stating that "’when a
    party does not avail himself of relief
    under Rule 56(f), it is generally not an
    abuse of discretion for the district
    court to rule on the motion for summary
    judgment’" (citation omitted)); see also
    Jones v. Merchants Nat’l Bank & Trust
    Company of Indianapolis, 
    42 F.3d 1054
    ,
    1060 (7th Cir. 1994); Kinney v. Indiana
    Youth Ctr., 
    950 F.2d 462
    , 466 (7th Cir.
    1991); Boling v. Romer, 
    101 F.3d 1336
    ,
    1339 n.3 (10th Cir. 1996); Burlington
    Coat Factory Warehouse Corp. v. Esprit de
    Corp., 
    769 F.2d 919
    , 926 (2d Cir. 1985)
    (collecting cases); see also Committee
    for the First Amendment v. Campbell, 
    962 F.2d 1517
    , 1522 (10th Cir. 1992) (ruling
    that unverified statements in an
    attorney’s memoranda of law alleging a
    need for a continuance on a motion for
    summary judgment pending further
    discovery were insufficient as grounds
    for a continuance under Rule 56(f), and
    stating that "[a]dvocacy by counsel does
    not suffice for evidence or fact in the
    Rule 56(f) context.") (citation omitted).
    
    
      Further, even if we were to waive Rule
    56(f)’s affidavit requirement in this
    case, we would still find that the
    district court did not abuse its
    discretion in ruling on the motion before
    granting Woods leave to depose Flores and
    the arresting officers. Woods offered
    virtually nothing to demonstrate why the
    depositions that he sought were likely to
    generate any genuine issue of material
    fact. Woods never denied that Flores
    complained to the Chicago police that
    Woods had approached him with a lead pipe
    while threatening to kill him (indeed,
    his submission of and reliance upon the
    case report precluded him from denying
    this)./2 This admission alone would be
    enough to establish that the arresting
    officers had probable cause to arrest
    Woods (thereby entitling the officers to
    summary judgment on Woods’ sec. 1983
    claims), absent some evidence showing
    that it should have been apparent to the
    officers that Flores was incredible as a
    matter of law and that the officers acted
    unreasonably in relying on his complaint.
    Woods never put forward any such
    evidence, nor did he explain why
    discovery was likely to unearth it.
    Instead, Woods merely pointed to a
    sentence in the case report which
    indicated that Flores told the police
    that he had left the scene of the
    altercation with Woods thinking that
    Woods was "overreacting," suggesting that
    this establishes that the officers should
    not have relied on Flores’ account of the
    incident when arresting Woods./3
    However, Flores’ comment that he thought
    that Woods was "overreacting" is
    completely irrelevant to the material
    facts that Woods needed to contest to
    defeat summary judgment; it tends to show
    neither that Flores did not report Woods’
    assault to the police, nor that Flores’
    account of the assault was in any way
    incredible. At best it shows merely that
    Flores thought that Woods was
    "overreacting" when he assaulted Flores,
    not that Flores was overreacting by
    reporting a crime to the police. Thus,
    based upon the facts that Woods presented
    to the district court, any claim that
    Flores was incredible as a matter of law
    and that the officers should not have
    relied upon his complaint would have been
    pure speculation. This is far too slender
    a reed upon which to hang a discovery
    request. See generally United States v.
    All Assets and Equip. of West Side Bldg.
    Corp., 
    58 F.3d 1181
    , 1190 (7th Cir.
    1995).
    
    
      Indeed, under the circumstances of this
    case, we would most likely affirm even if
    the district court had converted the
    defendants’ motion to dismiss into a
    motion for summary judgment and granted
    the motion without giving Woods any
    notice of the conversion or any
    opportunity to respond to the summary
    judgment motion. While the conversion of
    a 12(b)(6) motion into a summary judgment
    motion "should be accompanied by prior
    notice and ’a reasonable opportunity to
    establish the existence of material
    controverted facts,’" the failure to
    afford such procedure will not
    necessarily mandate reversal unless "the
    record discloses the existence of
    unresolved material fact issues," or "the
    parties represent that they would have
    submitted specific controverted material
    factual issues to the trial court if they
    had been given the opportunity."
    Milwaukee Typographical Union No. 23 v.
    Newspapers, Inc., 
    639 F.2d 386
    , 391 (7th
    Cir. 1981) (citation omitted). As has
    been noted, Woods did not present
    anything that would create a genuine
    issue of material fact, nor did he point
    to any specific controverted factual
    issue that he would be able to present
    after conducting depositions. Thus, the
    court could have granted the converted
    motion against Woods without notice. The
    fact that the court gave Woods notice and
    ample opportunity to respond and Woods
    still failed to raise any genuine issue
    of material fact only strengthens our
    conclusion that the district court did
    not abuse its discretion when it granted
    the motion without allowing Woods to
    depose Flores or the officers.
    
    
    II. Fourth Amendment Issue
    
      Woods argues that his warrantless arrest
    for misdemeanor assault was
    unconstitutional because the alleged
    assault did not involve a breach of the
    peace and did not occur in the presence
    of the arresting officers. Woods notes
    that the Supreme Court has recently
    stated that "[i]n determining whether a
    particular governmental action violates
    [the Fourth Amendment], we inquire first
    whether the action was regarded as an
    unlawful search or seizure under the
    common law when the Amendment was
    framed." Wyoming v. Houghton, 
    526 U.S. 295
    , 299 (1999). The common law in
    existence at the time of the framing of
    the Fourth Amendment prohibited a peace
    officer from making a warrantless arrest
    for a misdemeanor unless the misdemeanor
    was committed in the presence of the
    arresting officer and involved a breach
    of the peace. See United States v.
    Watson, 
    423 U.S. 411
    , 418 (1976); Carroll
    v. United States, 
    267 U.S. 132
    , 156-57
    (1925); Bad Elk v. United States, 
    177 U.S. 529
    , 534-35 (1900). Relying on
    Houghton, Woods maintains that the common
    law rule controls the Fourth Amendment
    inquiry in this case, and that therefore
    his warrantless arrest for a misdemeanor
    not committed in the presence of the
    arresting officers violates the
    Amendment. Woods further argues that the
    Chicago "municipal policy" which
    authorized his arrest is unconstitutional
    insofar as it abrogates the common law
    rule. We are not persuaded.
    
    
      The Supreme Court has never held that a
    police officer violates the Fourth
    Amendment merely by arresting someone
    without a warrant for a misdemeanor
    offense which did not occur in the
    officer’s presence and/or did not involve
    a breach of the peace. Rather, when
    determining the constitutionality of a
    warrantless arrest for a criminal
    offense, the Court has repeatedly focused
    its inquiry on the existence of probable
    cause for the arrest. See, e.g., Gerstein
    v. Pugh, 
    420 U.S. 103
    , 111-12 (1975).
    While "the Court has expressed a
    preference for the use of arrest warrants
    when feasible," Gerstein, 420 U.S. at
    113, the Court has never elevated this
    judicial preference to a per se rule
    mandating warrants for all arrests
    irrespective of the existence of probable
    cause. See, e.g., Watson, 423 U.S. at 417
    (stating that "’such a requirement would
    constitute an intolerable handicap for
    legitimate law enforcement’" (citation
    omitted)). Indeed, in Gerstein, the court
    noted that it "has never invalidated an
    arrest supported by probable cause solely
    because the officers failed to secure a
    warrant," 420 U.S. at 113, and in the
    intervening years since Gerstein it has
    strayed from this principle only once,
    when it imposed a warrant requirement for
    arrests made in a suspect’s home. See
    Payton v. New York, 
    445 U.S. 573
    , 585-86,
    589-90 (1980) (holding that, absent
    exigent circumstances, the Fourth
    Amendment prohibits warrantless,
    nonconsensual entry into a suspect’s home
    in order to make a felony arrest--
    notwithstanding the existence of probable
    cause to arrest). Moreover, in Payton the
    Court justified its departure from the
    usual rule by emphasizing that the Fourth
    Amendment affords citizens special
    protections against government intrusions
    into their homes, stating that "’physical
    entry of the home is the chief evil
    against which the wording of the Fourth
    Amendment is directed’" (quoting United
    States v. United States District Court,
    
    407 U.S. 297
    , 313 (1972)) and that the
    language of the Fourth Amendment
    "unequivocally establishes the
    proposition that ’[a]t the very core [of
    the Fourth Amendment] stands the right of
    a man to retreat into his own home and
    there be free from unreasonable
    governmental intrusion.’" Id. at 589-90
    (citation omitted). No authorities cited
    by either of the parties to this appeal,
    nor any that we have found, expressly
    require the police to obtain an arrest
    warrant before lawfully arresting a
    subject whom they have probable cause to
    believe has committed an offense in any
    instance other than an arrest in a
    suspect’s home./4 Indeed, we have
    concluded otherwise. See, e.g., United
    States v. Fernandez-Guzman, 
    577 F.2d 1093
    , 1097 (7th Cir. 1978) ("[I]n the
    area of arrests made in a public place,
    an arrest warrant has never been
    considered to be constitutionally
    mandated even when there was opportunity
    for one to be obtained.") (citing Watson,
    
    423 U.S. 411
     (1976)). Because Woods was
    not arrested in his home, he cannot avail
    himself of Payton’s holding, and under
    the inquiry traditionally applied by the
    Supreme Court, his arrest would not
    violate the Fourth Amendment unless the
    arresting officers lacked probable cause.
    
    
    
      However, Woods argues that the
    historical analysis employed by the Court
    in Houghton changed the traditional
    Fourth Amendment inquiry and imposed a
    warrant requirement for all routine
    misdemeanor arrests unless the
    misdemeanor is committed in the presence
    of the arresting officer and involved a
    breach of the peace. Unfortunately for
    Woods, however, Houghton did not
    constitutionalize the common law rules
    regarding misdemeanor arrests, nor did it
    even address the reasonableness of an
    arrest under the Fourth Amendment.
    Houghton addressed the reasonableness of
    a search, not of a seizure of the person,
    and it held merely that "police officers
    with probable cause to search a car may
    inspect passengers’ belongings found in
    the car that are capable of concealing
    the object of the search." 526 U.S. at
    307. Moreover, neither of the cases cited
    by Houghton as authority for its
    historical analysis held that the common
    law rules governing misdemeanor arrests
    controls the inquiry into the
    "reasonableness" of a misdemeanor arrest
    under the Fourth Amendment. California v.
    Hodari D. looked to the common law to
    determine the meaning of "seizure" under
    the Fourth Amendment, not to determine
    whether a given seizure was reasonable
    under the Amendment. See 
    499 U.S. 621
    ,
    624-29 (1991). Wilson v. Arkansas ruled
    that the common law "knock and announce"
    rule forms a part of the Fourth Amendment
    reasonableness inquiry, and that the
    reasonableness of a search of a dwelling
    "may depend in part on whether law
    enforcement officers announced their
    presence and authority prior to
    entering." 
    514 U.S. 927
    , 931 (1995)
    (emphasis added). Indeed, in Wilson, the
    Court was careful not to reduce the
    reasonableness inquiry to any inflexible,
    per se rule, noting that "[t]he Fourth
    Amendment’s flexible requirement of
    reasonableness should not be read to
    mandate a rigid rule of announcement that
    ignores countervailing law enforcement
    interests," and holding that "although a
    search or seizure of a dwelling might be
    constitutionally defective if police
    officers enter without prior
    announcement, law enforcement interests
    may also establish the reasonableness of
    an unannounced entry." Id. at 934. Thus,
    neither Houghton nor the cases it relied
    upon directly support Woods’ argument.
    
    
      Moreover, in a case that was decided
    after both Hodari and Wilson, the Court
    strongly and unequivocally affirmed its
    traditional view that, absent certain
    extraordinary circumstances, a seizure is
    reasonable under the Fourth Amendment
    when it is based upon probable cause
    regardless of the severity of the offense
    involved. See Whren v. United States, 
    517 U.S. 806
    , 817-18 (1996). In Whren, the
    Court held that a traffic stop of a
    motorist by plainclothes policemen in an
    unmarked car did not violate the Fourth
    Amendment where the officers had probable
    cause to believe that the motorist
    committed a traffic violation. The
    motorist argued that the stop was
    unreasonable because the law enforcement
    interests in investigating minor traffic
    offenses were minimal and were outweighed
    by the individual motorist’s right to be
    free from such intrusions. In rejecting
    this reasoning, the Court stated that
    while it is true in principle that the
    reasonableness inquiry always involves a
    balancing of all relevant factors,
    "[w]ith rare exceptions . . . the result
    of that balancing is not in doubt where
    the search or seizure is based upon
    probable cause." Id. at 817. The Court
    noted that "[w]here probable cause has
    existed, the only cases in which we have
    found it necessary actually to perform
    the ’balancing’ analysis involved
    searches or seizures conducted in an
    extraordinary manner, unusually harmful
    to an individual’s privacy or even
    physical interests--such as, for example,
    seizure by means of deadly force,
    unannounced entry into a home, entry into
    a home without a warrant, or physical
    penetration of the body." Id. at 818
    (citations omitted). After concluding
    that the traffic stop at issue did not
    "remotely qualify" as any such extreme
    practice, the Court held that it was
    "governed by the usual rule that probable
    cause to believe the law has been broken
    ’outbalances’ private interest in
    avoiding police contact." Id. Whren did
    not directly address the question
    presented here since it involved a
    temporary traffic detention and not a
    full custodial arrest, and since it did
    not address the relationship between the
    Fourth Amendment and the common law
    arrest rules. However, Whren’s
    unequivocally stated rationale flatly
    contradicts Woods’ assertion that certain
    warrantless non-felony arrests violate
    the Fourth Amendment even if they are
    based upon probable cause, and it
    undermines any claim that the reasonable
    ness of a seizure under the Fourth
    Amendment depends entirely upon whether
    the offense is classified as a felony or
    as a misdemeanor./5
    
    
      In addition, while we have never decided
    whether the Fourth Amendment incorporates
    the common law "in the presence" rule for
    misdemeanor arrests,/6 we have held
    that other aspects of the common law
    standards of misdemeanor arrests are not
    part of the Fourth Amendment’s
    prohibition of "unreasonable" searches
    and seizures. In Ricci v. Arlington
    Heights, Illinois, the plaintiff brought
    a sec. 1983 action against the Village of
    Arlington Heights and the police officers
    who had arrested him, arguing that a full
    custodial arrest for the fine-only
    misdemeanor offense of operating a
    business without a license violated the
    Fourth Amendment. See 
    116 F.3d 288
    , 288
    (7th Cir. 1997). The plaintiff did not
    dispute that the officers had probable
    cause to believe that he was violating
    the ordinance. See id. at 290. However,
    the plaintiff argued that the misdemeanor
    offense for which he was arrested did not
    involve a breach of the peace, and that
    because the common law prohibited
    custodial arrests for such offenses, his
    arrest was unreasonable under the Fourth
    Amendment. We declined to read the
    literal strictures of the common law rule
    into the Fourth Amendment, and we upheld
    the plaintiff’s arrest on Fourth
    Amendment grounds, noting that "the
    common law rule has been relaxed to
    include arrests for offenses other than
    breaches of the peace." Id. at 291
    (citations omitted). Woods correctly
    notes that Ricci is distinguishable from
    his case in some key respects, because
    Ricci (unlike Woods) committed his
    offense in the presence of the arresting
    officers, and because Ricci did not
    directly address the question of whether
    and under what circumstances a warrant is
    constitutionally required for a non-
    felony arrest./7 However, the fact
    remains that we upheld a warrantless
    arrest in Ricci which would not have been
    permitted under framing-era common law,
    and in doing so we rejected the argument
    that the strict terms of the common law
    rule control the inquiry into the
    constitutionality of a misdemeanor
    arrest. Thus, while Ricci does not
    definitively refute Woods’ argument, it
    directly undermines his major premise.
    
    
      Moreover, several of our sister circuits
    have squarely addressed Woods’ argument,
    and they have uniformly held or stated
    that the common law "in the presence"
    rule is not part of the Fourth Amendment.
    See Vargas-Badillo v. Diaz-Torres, 
    114 F.3d 3
    , 6 (1st Cir. 1997) (upholding a
    grant of summary judgment for defendant
    police officer on a sec. 1983 claim
    alleging illegal arrest, and stating that
    "[t]o date, neither the Supreme Court nor
    this circuit ever has held that the
    Fourth Amendment prohibits warrantless
    arrests for misdemeanors not committed in
    the presence of arresting officers");
    United States v. Smith, 
    73 F.3d 1414
    ,
    1416 (6th Cir. 1996) (stating that the
    requirement that a misdemeanor must have
    occurred in the officer’s presence to
    justify a warrantless arrest "is not
    mandated by the Fourth Amendment; it is
    merely a rule of the common law"); Pyles
    v. Raisor, 
    60 F.3d 1211
    , 1215 (6th Cir.
    1995) (rejecting a Fourth Amendment
    challenge to a misdemeanor arrest when
    probable cause existed, and holding that
    the plaintiff’s "right as an alleged
    misdemeanant to be arrested only when the
    misdemeanor is committed in the presence
    of the arresting officer [is] not
    grounded in the federal Constitution and
    will not support a sec. 1983 claim");
    Fields v. City of South Houston, Texas,
    
    922 F.2d 1183
    , 1189 (5th Cir. 1991)
    (ruling that "[t]he United States
    Constitution does not require a warrant
    for misdemeanors not occurring in the
    presence of the arresting officer");
    Barry v. Fowler, 
    902 F.2d 770
    , 772 (9th
    Cir. 1990) (ruling that "[t]he
    requirement that a misdemeanor must have
    occurred in the officer’s presence to
    justify a warrantless arrest is not
    grounded in the Fourth Amendment");
    Street v. Surdyka, 
    492 F.2d 368
    , 372
    (1974) (rejecting a constitutional
    challenge to a warrantless misdemeanor
    arrest and stating that "[w]e do not
    think the fourth amendment should now be
    interpreted to prohibit warrantless
    arrests for misdemeanors committed
    outside an officer’s presence. . . . The
    fourth amendment protects individuals
    from unfounded arrests by requiring
    reasonable grounds to believe a crime has
    been committed. The states are free to
    impose greater restrictions on arrests,
    but their citizens do not thereby acquire
    a greater federal right"); see also Scott
    v. District of Columbia, 
    101 F.3d 748
    ,
    754 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (noting that several
    circuits agree that "the Fourth Amendment
    does not incorporate the common-law
    presence requirement for misdemeanor
    arrests, and that no cause of action
    exists under sec. 1983 unless the
    arresting officer lacked probable cause
    to believe a crime was committed," but
    declining to decide the issue)./8
      Therefore, given the weight of Supreme
    Court authority on this issue, the
    overwhelming consensus of the circuits,
    and our similar holding in Ricci, we
    reject Woods’ invitation to
    constitutionalize the framing-era common
    law of misdemeanor arrests and to
    overturn any Illinois state or municipal
    laws which abrogate it.
    
    
      However, while the Fourth Amendment does
    not require a warrant for a misdemeanor
    arrest like the one effected here, it
    does require that all warrantless arrests
    be "reasonable." Payton, 445 U.S. at 585
    (citations omitted). We have held that
    the "reasonableness of an arrest depends
    on the existence of two objective
    factors: First, did the arresting
    officers have probable cause to believe
    that the defendant had committed or was
    committing an offense. Second, was the
    arresting officer authorized by state and
    or municipal law to effect a custodial
    arrest for the particular offense."
    Ricci, 116 F.3d at 290 (quoting United
    States v. Trigg, 
    878 F.2d 1037
    , 1041 (7th
    Cir. 1989)). Woods’ warrantless
    misdemeanor arrest was authorized by
    Illinois law, see 725 ILCS 5/107-2
    (1998), so in order to survive summary
    judgment, Woods needed to raise a genuine
    issue regarding whether the officers had
    probable cause to arrest him. On the
    facts presented, there can be no doubt
    that Woods failed to do so.
    
    
      Probable cause has been defined as
    "facts and circumstances ’sufficient to
    warrant a prudent man in believing that
    the [suspect] had committed or was
    committing an offense.’" Gerstein, 420
    U.S. at 111-12 (quoting Beck v. Ohio, 
    379 U.S. 89
    , 91 (1964)); see United States v.
    Rucker, 
    138 F.3d 697
    , 700 (7th Cir.
    1998). The rule of probable cause is a
    "practical, nontechnical conception" that
    affords the "best compromise" between the
    interests of individual liberty and
    effective law enforcement. Illinois v.
    Gates, 
    462 U.S. 213
    , 231 (1983);
    Gerstein, 420 U.S. at 112 (citation
    omitted). Contrary to what its name might
    seem to suggest, probable cause "demands
    even less than ’probability,’" United
    States v. Moore, 
    215 F.3d 681
    , 685 (7th
    Cir. 2000) (quoting United States v.
    Burrell, 
    963 F.2d 976
    , 986 (7th Cir.
    1992)); it "requires more than bare
    suspicion but need not be based on
    evidence sufficient to support a
    conviction, nor even a showing that the
    officer’s belief is more likely true than
    false." Id. at 686 (citation omitted).
    
    
      Applying this standard, we have
    consistently held that an identification
    or a report from a single, credible
    victim or eyewitness can provide the
    basis for probable cause. See Tangwall v.
    Stuckey, 
    135 F.3d 510
    , 520 (7th Cir.
    1998); Hebron, 18 F.3d at 422; Gramenos
    v. Jewel Cos., Inc., 
    797 F.2d 432
    , 439
    (7th Cir. 1986) (holding that a police
    officer had probable cause to arrest an
    alleged shoplifter based upon the
    uncorroborated report of a single
    security guard, and stating that "[w]hen
    an officer has ’received information from
    some person--normally the putative victim
    or eye witness--who it seems reasonable
    to believe is telling the truth,’ he has
    probable cause") (citation omitted). In
    this case, the evidence showed that the
    arresting officers arrested Woods after
    Flores made out a criminal complaint
    against him, claiming that Woods had
    brandished a lead pipe and threatened to
    kill Flores. Woods has offered nothing to
    dispute the fact that the complaint was
    made, nor does he offer anything to
    challenge either the accuracy or the
    credibility of Flores’ description of the
    incident. Woods argues that the complaint
    as made by Flores, if true, establishes
    only that Woods had committed a "verbal
    assault," which is not a crime under
    Illinois law; thus, Woods argues that
    Flores’ complaint did not give the
    arresting officers probable cause to
    believe that Woods "had committed an
    offense." However, as Woods notes, a
    offender commits an assault under
    Illinois law when he engages in "conduct
    which places another in reasonable
    apprehension of receiving a battery" 720
    ILCS 5/12-1 (1998), and Woods offers
    nothing which would suggest why his
    wielding a lead pipe while moving towards
    Flores and threatening to kill him would
    not place Flores in reasonable
    apprehension of receiving a battery.
    Indeed, such conduct would seem to be the
    paradigm case of assault as defined by
    the Illinois Criminal Code, and as the
    defendants note, the very case which
    Woods relies upon for his claim that no
    crime occurred here states that
    "[w]ielding a tire iron while using
    threatening words has been held an
    assault." People v. Floyd, 
    663 N.E.2d 74
    ,
    76 (Ill. App. Ct. 1996) (citing People v.
    Alexander, 
    350 N.E.2d 144
     (Ill. App. Ct.
    1976)). Thus, Flores’ complaint clearly
    related the occurrence of an assault
    under Illinois law.
    
    
      Woods also asserts that there is no
    documentation showing that the officers
    attempted to corroborate Flores’
    complaint in any way, for example by
    speaking with Flores’ supervisor, his
    coworkers, or the leasing company about
    his complaint. However, police officers
    have no constitutional obligation to
    conduct any further investigation before
    making an arrest if they have received
    information from a reasonably credible
    victim or eyewitness sufficient to supply
    probable cause. See Gramenos, 797 F.2d at
    440. This is true even if sound police
    technique would have required such
    further investigation. See id.; see also
    Spiegel v. Cortese, 
    196 F.3d 717
    , 725
    (7th Cir. 2000) ("’[t]he inquiry is
    whether an officer has reasonable grounds
    on which to act, not whether it was
    reasonable to conduct further
    investigation.’") (citation omitted).
    Therefore, even if the police had relied
    exclusively on Flores’ complaint in
    making the arrest and had made no effort
    to investigate or corroborate Flores’
    version of the events, they would have
    been justified in making the arrest
    provided that a reasonable officer would
    have found Flores’ complaint to be
    reasonably credible.
    
    
      In an effort to call the credibility of
    Flores’ complaint into question, Woods
    notes that Flores made out the complaint
    three days after the alleged assault
    occurred. He also points to the case
    report, which, in reporting Flores’
    description of the assault, states that
    Flores told the officers that he left the
    altercation thinking that Woods was
    "overreacting." As we have already noted,
    however, the case report submitted by
    Woods indicated that Flores told the
    police that Woods had renewed his threats
    against Flores through two of Flores’
    coworkers on the very day that Flores
    made out his complaint. This amounts to
    an apparently credible explanation for
    why Flores reported the offense when he
    did, and Woods offers absolutely nothing
    either to rebut this explanation or to
    undermine its credibility. Moreover, the
    bare fact that Flores left the scene of
    the altercation thinking that Woods was
    overreacting does not support any reason
    able inference that Flores did not take
    Woods’ threats seriously, nor does it in
    any way tend to diminish the credibility
    of Flores’ account of the incident.
    Finally, even if these facts did somehow
    diminish the credibility of the complaint
    that Flores made to the police, they
    certainly would not render it dubious
    enough to require the police to conduct a
    further investigation before arresting
    Woods (that is, they would not render his
    report incredible as a matter of law). We
    have found probable cause to arrest based
    upon uncorroborated citizen complaints
    which were far more questionable than was
    Flores’ complaint. See Spiegel, 196 F.3d
    at 724-26 (finding that the defendant
    police officer had probable cause to
    arrest the plaintiff even though the
    victim had waited nearly a month to make
    a report, and even though there were
    inconsistencies in the victim’s report as
    well as evidence suggesting that the
    victim’s charge against the plaintiff was
    retaliatory); Gerald M. v. J. Conneely,
    
    858 F.2d 378
    , 380-81 (7th Cir. 1988)
    (upholding district court’s grant of
    summary judgment for police officer in a
    sec. 1983 case, reasoning that the
    uncorroborated complaint of a ten-year-
    old child that his bicycle had been
    stolen by two other children was
    sufficient to provide the officer with
    probable cause to arrest the accused
    children, even though the arresting
    officer knew of a long-standing grudge
    between the victim’s family and the
    family of the accused children). Thus,
    as Woods failed to raise any material
    fact calling into question the officers’
    claim that they had probable cause to
    arrest him, he was unable to state a
    constitutional violation as required by
    sec. 1983, and the defendants were
    entitled to summary judgment.
    
    CONCLUSION
    
      For the foregoing reasons, the judgment
    of the district court is AFFIRMED.
    /1 The defendants also asserted the defense of
    qualified immunity and argued that Woods failed
    to establish a causal connection between the
    alleged municipal policy and his claimed injury.
    However, the district court did not address these
    issues, and they are not at issue in this appeal.
    
    /2 Woods did contend that there was no evidence that
    Flores’ complaint was communicated to the partic-
    ular officers who arrested him, but given that
    the case report opened its narration of Flores’
    complaint with the statement that "R/O inter-
    viewed victim who related to R/O that. . . . "
    this argument is at worse disingenuous, and is at
    best pure sophistry.
    
    /3 Woods also pointed to Flores’ delay in reporting
    the incident as a possible ground for the police
    to doubt his credibility. However, as the case
    report indicates, Flores provided the police with
    a credible explanation for the delay--namely, the
    renewed threat that Woods had communicated to
    Flores’ co-workers on the day that he reported
    the incident. Woods does not deny that Flores
    gave this explanation, nor does he suggest why it
    might have been incredible.
    
    /4 In Maryland v. Macon, which was decided five
    years after Payton, the Court expressly reserved
    the question of whether the Fourth Amendment
    prohibits a warrantless arrest outside of the
    home for the state law misdemeanor of distribu-
    tion of obscene materials. See 
    472 U.S. 463
    , 471
    (1985).
    
    /5 Furthermore, even after Houghton, courts have
    continued to apply the traditional "probable
    cause" standard that was reaffirmed in Whren in
    determining the reasonableness of an arrest. See,
    e.g., United States v. Moore, 
    215 F.3d 681
    , 685
    (7th Cir. 2000); Wooley v. City of Baton Rouge,
    
    211 F.3d 913
    , 925 (5th Cir. 2000).
    
    /6 In Gramenos v. Jewel Cos., Inc., we reserved the
    question of whether a state statute abrogating
    the common law "in the presence" rule for misde-
    meanor arrests "without putting equivalent guar-
    antees of reasonable conduct in its place" com-
    ports with the Fourth Amendment. 
    797 F.2d 432
    ,
    441 (7th Cir. 1986).
    
    /7 As Woods notes, in Ricci we held that the plain-
    tiff had waived any argument under the warrant
    clause. See id. at 292.
    
    /8 Indeed, most of these courts upheld the constitu-
    tionality of the warrantless misdemeanor arrests
    at issue even though the arrests violated the
    relevant state law which had incorporated some
    variant of the common law "in the presence" rule.
    Since Illinois law authorizes misdemeanor arrests
    regardless of whether the offense occurred in the
    presence of the arresting officer, Woods’ claim
    of a Fourth Amendment violation seems even weaker
    than the similar claims rejected by many of our
    sister circuits.