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CRAFT v. BOARD OF TRUSTEES

June 30, 1981

WILLIE WARREN CRAFT AND LOUIS A. DESALLE, III, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS; JOHN E. CORBALLY; JOSEPH BEGANDO; TRUMAN O. ANDERSON; MORTON CREDITOR; HOWARD M. BERS; JEROME SILVER; GERALD CERCHIO; PENNY PERSICO; ELIZABETH MCGREW; JACK BULMASH; OLGA JONASSON; LAWRENCE SOLOMON; LEON LEBEAU; RUTH SEELERS; JOAN ANDERSON, DIRECTOR OF THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REGISTRATION AND EDUCATION; PATRICIA ROBERTS HARRIS, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE; AND ERNEST L. BOYER, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Flaum, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter comes before the court on the "university" defendants' motion to dismiss or strike certain portions of the complaint, the defendant director of the Illinois Department of Registration and Education's ("DRE") motion to dismiss certain portions of the complaint, the federal defendants' motion for summary judgment, the university defendants' motion for costs and fees for failure to comply with discovery, the plaintiffs' motion for a protective order, the university defendants' motion to compel the plaintiffs to supplement the answers to certain interrogatories, and the university defendants' motion for a discovery conference. For the reasons set forth below, the university defendants' motion to dismiss the portion of count I of the complaint regarding alleged deprivations of constitutionally-protected liberty and property interests for failure to state a claim is denied; the university defendants' motion to dismiss the portion of count I of the complaint regarding alleged deprivations of substantive due process for failure to state a claim is denied; the university defendants' motion to dismiss the portion of count I of the complaint which alleges that the university defendants conspired to violate the plaintiffs' constitutional rights for failure to state a claim is denied; the university defendants' motion to dismiss count II of the complaint for lack of standing on the part of the plaintiffs is granted; the university defendants' motion to dismiss Creditor and Begando as defendants is denied; and the university defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' claim under 31 U.S.C. § 1242 (1978) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim is denied. In addition, the defendant director's motion to dismiss counts II and III of the complaint for lack of standing on the part of the plaintiffs is granted. Count IV of the complaint as it pertains to the director is dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The federal defendants' motion for summary judgment on count IV of the complaint is granted. The court reserves on the university defendants' motion for costs and fees for failure to comply with discovery. The plaintiffs' motion for a protective order is denied without prejudice. The university defendants' motion to compel the plaintiffs to supplement the answers to certain interrogatories is granted. The plaintiffs are ordered to file an amended complaint to comport with this memorandum opinion. In addition, a discovery conference pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) is set for Wednesday, July 15 at 4:30 p.m. The plaintiffs and university defendants are ordered to exchange lists of remaining discovery prior to the conference.

The complaint in the present case contains many allegations against several defendants. The various allegations are as follows. The plaintiffs Willie Craft ("Craft") and Louis DeSalle ("DeSalle") filed suit against the board of trustees of the University of Illinois ("the board"); John Corbally ("Corbally"), president of the University of Illinois ("the university"); Joseph Begando ("Begando"), chancellor of the university at the medical center; Truman Anderson ("Anderson"), former executive dean of the medical school at the medical center ("the medical school"); Morton Creditor ("Creditor"), present executive dean of the medical school; Howard Bers ("Bers"), associate dean for student affairs of the medical school and minority opportunity program ("MOP")*fn1 officer; Jerome Silver ("Silver"), chairperson of the medical school's committee on student appraisal; Gerard Cerchio ("Cerchio"), associate dean of the medical school; Penny Persico ("Persico"), coordinator of student programs at the medical school; Elizabeth McGrew ("McGrew"), assistant to the associate dean of the medical school; Jack Bulmash ("Bulmash"), faculty member at the medical school; Olga Jonasson ("Jonasson"), chairperson of the committee on student promotions at the medical school; Lawrence Solomon ("Solomon"), past chairperson of the committee on student promotions at the medical school; Leon LeBeau ("LeBeau"), chairperson of the student progress committee at the medical school; Ruth Seelers ("Seelers"), vice-chairperson of the student progress committee at the medical school;*fn2 Joan Anderson, the director of the Illinois DRE ("the director"); Patricia Harris ("Harris"), the Secretary of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare ("HEW");*fn3 and Ernest Boyer ("Boyer"), Commissioner of Education of HEW.

The complaint alleges that in 1972 the plaintiffs were enrolled in the university's medical school pursuant to the MOP which is funded in whole or in part by the federal government. The complaint also alleges that the board and the board's employees, acting under color of state law, denied equal services and benefits to the plaintiffs based upon their race in violation of the United States Constitution. The plaintiffs allege that the board and the board's employees had express and implied contracts with the plaintiffs to afford each plaintiff equal treatment and benefits and to fully matriculate the plaintiffs as doctors of medicine upon satisfactory completion of the necessary courses and requirements. The complaint also alleges that defendants Bers, Anderson, and Jonasson intentionally denied benefits to the plaintiffs based upon their race. The plaintiffs also allege that the board intentionally denied benefits and property rights to the plaintiffs based upon their race as part of a policy and custom of the board.

The complaint also alleges that defendants Cerchio, Persico, and McGrew failed to provide the plaintiffs with remedial programs necessary to prepare for the senior certifying examination ("SCE")*fn4 as required by a board committee in violation of the plaintiffs' property rights and their rights under the United States Constitution. The plaintiffs allege that defendants Cerchio, Persico, and McGrew conspired to falsely represent the status of the plaintiffs in the remedial program at the medical school, thereby depriving the plaintiffs of their property rights and other constitutional rights. The complaint also alleges that defendant Bulmash was hostile towards plaintiff Craft and intentionally made false representations about Craft to the committee in charge of student promotions in violation of Craft's constitutional rights.

The complaint also alleges that defendant Solomon intentionally made false statements about Craft to the committee in charge of student promotions which denied Craft "the right to remain a medical student and the liberty to gain useful knowledge to become a medical doctor" in violation of Craft's constitutional rights. The plaintiffs allege that defendants LeBeau and Seelers knew that a senior remedial program did not exist and falsely represented the progress of the plaintiffs in the nonexistent program, thereby intentionally depriving the plaintiffs of their property rights and other constitutional rights. The complaint also alleges that defendants LeBeau and Seelers conspired to misrepresent the status of the plaintiffs in violation of their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs allege that defendants Bers and Anderson falsely represented to the student promotions committee the existence of a senior remedial program with the intent to deprive the plaintiffs of their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs contend that these actions by defendants Anderson, Bers, Cerchio, Persico, McGrew, Bulmash, Solomon, LeBeau, and Seelers caused the plaintiffs to be dismissed as medical students based upon the plaintiffs' failure to pass the SCE required by the medical school.

The complaint also alleges that the medical school promulgated a rule for the first time in 1978 which provided that a second failure to pass the SCE could result in dismissal for academic reasons and applied the rule to the plaintiffs in violation of their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs allege that defendants Begando, Corbally, and Creditor had knowledge but took no action to prevent the violation of the plaintiffs' constitutional rights.

Count I of the complaint asks the court to issue a mandatory injunction enjoining the board and the board's employees from acts which deprive the plaintiffs and other black medical students of their constitutional rights; to declare that the actions by the board and its employees have deprived the plaintiffs of their constitutional rights; to order the medical school to readmit the plaintiffs and immediately confer upon them the degree of doctor of medicine; and to award compensatory and punitive damages as well as costs.

Count II of the complaint alleges that the medical school's special admissions program, which is governed by the Illinois "Fifth Pathway Statute,"*fn5 permits non-black students in the program to bypass the certifying procedures required of other students, including the plaintiffs, in order to receive a degree of doctor of medicine. The plaintiffs contend that the Illinois statute has no reasonable relationship to the end it seeks to achieve but rather intentionally establishes a preferential class of medical school graduates who have received less training than the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs also contend that the board and the board's employees have denied the plaintiffs equal protection of the law by permitting less qualified students to be certified pursuant to the special admissions program. The plaintiffs further contend that the director of the Illinois DRE issues state medical licensing examinations to students who have been certified under the special admissions program in violation of the plaintiffs' and other medical students' constitutional rights.

Count III of the complaint alleges that the Illinois statute violates equal protection in that it arbitrarily establishes a preferential class of persons who receive a license to practice medicine in Illinois while denying same to the plaintiffs. Count IV of the complaint alleges that the board received and continues to receive federal funds from HEW, now HHS, for use to operate, in whole or in part, the MOP and that the board permitted these funds to be used for non-minority programs in order to intentionally deprive the plaintiffs and other black medical students of the necessary services. The plaintiffs also contend that defendant Harris, as Secretary of HHS,*fn6 and defendant Boyer, as Commissioner of Education of HHS, continue to approve federal funding for the MOP despite the fact that the funds are used to unlawfully deprive the plaintiffs and other black medical students of their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs further contend that defendants, the director, Harris, and Boyer are conspirators with the other defendants to deprive the plaintiffs of their constitutional rights.

The university defendants filed a motion to strike the allegations in count I of the complaint regarding deprivations of constitutionally-protected liberty and property interests for failure to state a claim; to strike the portion of count I of the complaint which alleges a violation of substantive due process for failure to state a claim; to strike the allegations in count I which contend that the university defendants conspired to violate the plaintiffs' constitutional rights for lack of standing on the part of the plaintiffs; to dismiss count II of the complaint for lack of standing on the part of the plaintiffs; to dismiss defendants Creditor and Begando as defendants because the allegations regarding Creditor and Begando are insufficient to show that they violated any of the plaintiffs' legal or constitutional rights or that they acted other than in good faith; and to dismiss the plaintiffs' claim under 31 U.S.C. § 1242 (1978) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim.*fn7 The university defendants also ask the court to order the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 10(b).

The defendant director of the Illinois DRE filed a motion to dismiss counts II and III of the complaint for failure to state a claim and on the ground that the plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Illinois statute. The director also moves to dismiss count IV of the complaint as it pertains to her for failure to state a claim and on ...


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