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Hartman v. City of Chicago

OPINION FILED MARCH 13, 1951

FRED W. HARTMAN ET AL., APPELLEES,

v.

CITY OF CHICAGO, APPELLANT.



Appeal by defendant from the Superior Court of Cook county; the Hon. JOSEPH A. GRABER, Judge, presiding. Heard in the second division of this court for the first district at the December term, 1949. Judgment order reversed in toto and cause remanded with directions. Opinion filed March 13, 1951. Rehearing denied April 4, 1951. Released for publication April 6, 1951.

MR. JUSTICE SCANLAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Rehearing denied April 4, 1951

A suit by Fred W. Hartman and 362 other plaintiffs for "balance of salaries" alleged to be due them. City of Chicago, defendant, filed a motion to strike the complaint and dismiss the suit. The trial court overruled the motion and defendant elected to stand by the motion. The trial court thereupon entered judgments in favor of all the plaintiffs, in various amounts, that totaled $139,141.25. Defendant appeals.

The complaint alleges that plaintiffs, 363 in number, are patrolmen in the classified service of the Department of Police of the City of Chicago; that prior to their becoming patrolmen in the classified service they served under temporary appointments at various dates beginning with February 9, 1945, and throughout the years 1945, 1946, to October, 1947; that said temporary appointments were necessary, due to the fact that the eligible list created by examination for the filling of vacancies in the position of patrolman had been exhausted by certifications and appointments therefrom; that while employed as temporary patrolmen they took the examination for patrolman, successfully passed the same, were accorded military credit, and were certified and appointed patrolmen in the classified service; that said certifications and appointments began on or about September 12, 1947, and continued through October, 1947; that plaintiffs, while serving as temporary patrolmen, were paid the rate of salary appropriated by the City Council of the City of Chicago for the year 1945 for temporary patrolmen, which sum was the same as that appropriated for patrolmen in their first year of service in the civil service, of $2,598 per annum; for the year 1946 at the rate of $2,778 per annum, being the same salary as appropriated for patrolmen for the first year of service in the civil service; for the year 1947 as appropriated for temporary patrolmen on the basis of $2,778 per annum, which was the same rate appropriated for patrolmen of the first year of service in the civil service; and for the year 1948 the salary appropriated for the first year of service as patrolmen in the civil service at $3,012 per annum up to the 13th month of service in the civil service after the date of certification and appointment. The complaint then sets forth the rate of compensation and salary appropriated for the years 1947 and 1948 by the City Council of the City of Chicago (hereinafter referred to in this opinion). The complaint further alleges:

"IV. . . . That after the posting of the eligible list on September 12, 1947, the plaintiffs, and each of them, were duly certified and appointed police patrolmen in the classified service of the Department of Police of the City of Chicago; that after their certification and appointment as police patrolmen they were entitled, as members of the classified service, to be paid on the basis of their actual service and at the rate appropriated by the City Council of the City of Chicago for the years 1947 and 1948; that the plaintiffs were not paid on said basis but were paid only the minimum rate appropriated for 1947 and 1948 for one year after the dates of their respective certifications and appointments as police patrolmen in the classified service of the Department of Police of the City of Chicago, as being in their first year of service, whereas they were in their second and others in their third year of actual and continuous service during 1947 and 1948, their actual and combined service consisting of time they were employed as temporary policemen and time employed as members of the classified service as patrolmen to December 1, 1948; that they were actually in their second and others in their third year of continuous service as patrolmen as hereinafter set forth in Paragraph VI of this complaint showing the dates of their temporary appointment, the dates they were certified and appointed, the amounts they should have received together with amounts paid and amounts illegally withheld from them for the years 1947 and 1948, and the total amounts of the difference in salary withheld for the years 1947 and 1948, as appropriated by the City Council of the City of Chicago for the respective years 1947 and 1948, due them because of the City of Chicago paying the minimum rate instead of second or third year rate of pay as appropriated for patrolmen and because of the continuous service as patrolmen in the Department of Police of the City of Chicago as hereinafter set forth in Paragraph VI of this complaint, which by reference thereto is made part hereof as though fully set forth herein. . . ."

The complaint further alleges:

"V. That they and each of them are now patrolmen in the classified service of the Department of Police of the City of Chicago; that they and each of them have been employed from the respective dates hereinafter set opposite their names in Paragraph VI of this complaint continuously from the dates of their respective appointments as temporary policemen and as patrolmen in the classified service of the Department of Police of the City of Chicago; that during the period they were employed as temporary patrolmen they purchased their own uniforms, revolvers, and were subject to the same risks and hazards as all patrolmen of the City of Chicago performing the duties of police patrolman; that they had equal authority and precedence and were subject to the same rules and regulations as all policemen; that they and each of them faithfully and efficiently performed the duties of patrolmen to the satisfaction of their superiors; that after they had served as temporary policemen in conformity with the Civil Service regulations, they and each of them served the prescribed six month probationary period and because thereof their appointments were and are deemed complete under the provisions of Section 10 of `An Act to regulate the Civil Service of Cities' (as amended); that they have been paid the minimum rate of salary appropriated for police patrolmen for more than three years last past; that after nearly two years under temporary appointment they were paid, after being certified and appointed as patrolmen in the classified service of the Department of Police of the City of Chicago, the minimum rate appropriated for police patrolman; that they were not paid the salary appropriated, after their certification and appointment, on the basis as appropriated for actual service, or total continuous service, as patrolman of the City of Chicago which was appropriated for the years 1947 and 1948 by the City of Chicago; that they were paid at the minimum rate for 1945 at $2598 per annum, for the year 1946 at the minimum rate of $2778 per annum and after their respective certifications and appointments in October of 1947 they were still paid at the minimum rate of $2778 per annum as being only in their first year of service whereas they were in their second year and others were in their third year of actual service, and because thereof entitled to the higher rate fixed by the City Council of Chicago, predicated upon years of service; that the appropriation for the City of Chicago for the year 1948 fixed the minimum rate of salary of $3012 per annum for `first year of service', $3168 per annum for `second year of service', and $3480 per annum `for third year of service and thereafter'; that the total salary actually received by them and the salary the respective plaintiffs and each of them are entitled to are hereinafter set forth in this complaint in Paragraph VI and by reference thereto made a part hereof as though fully incorporated herein."

The complaint then sets forth in detail the amount that each plaintiff claims is due him. Defendant's motion to strike avers, inter alia, that the complaint and the matters therein contained in the manner and form as the same are therein set forth are not sufficient in law for plaintiffs to maintain their action and that defendant is not bound by law to answer the same.

Plaintiffs state that "the plaintiffs' rights to salary depend upon the appropriation ordinances, and nothing else." We are, therefore, called upon to interpret parts of certain appropriation ordinances. The pertinent part of the 1946 ordinance reads as follows:

"Salaries and wages — "For the employment of the following as needed: ". . .

"Patrolman — first year of service at $2,778.00; second year of service at $2,922.00; third year of service and thereafter at $3,210.00 per annum and temporary patrolmen at $2,778.00 per annum . . . $20,700,000.00."

(Italics ours.)

Plaintiffs base their claims upon the appropriation ordinances for 1947 and 1948, the ...


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