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Paulik v. Village of Caseyville

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 18, 1981.

DONALD PAULIK, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

THE VILLAGE OF CASEYVILLE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon. MILTON WHARTON, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE WHITE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Illinois, in a mandamus action wherein the trial court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, ordered the plaintiff reinstated as a sergeant on the Village of Caseyville's police department and awarded him back pay because of his wrongful discharge.

THE FACTS

The plaintiff, Donald Paulik, was a member of the Caseyville Police Department for a number of years. He was promoted to sergeant, then chief of police of the department on October 1, 1973.

On December 4, 1975, plaintiff was removed from the position of chief of police by action of the mayor and the board of trustees of the village. He was returned to the department as a sergeant.

Subsequently, charges were filed against the plaintiff by the then acting chief of police, Darrell Raymer, before the board of fire and police commissioners. The charges were set for hearing on May 17, 1980. At this hearing the plaintiff, his attorney, an attorney for the Village and an attorney for the Board were present. At that time the plaintiff's attorney filed motions attacking, among other matters, the jurisdiction of the board to hear the charges. He was successful in convincing the board of his position. The board held they did not have jurisdiction to hear the charges and all pending charges were dismissed by the board.

On May 22, 1980, the mayor and the trustees of the village held a hearing in the presence of the plaintiff and his attorney, heard evidence and discharged the plaintiff from his position as sergeant.

On June 23, 1980, the plaintiff filed his complaint for mandamus praying that the village reinstate him as a member of the village police department with a minimum rank of sergeant and compensate him for back pay.

Both parties in the mandamus action filed motions for summary judgment, hearings were held, the plaintiff prevailed and this appeal ensued.

ISSUES BEFORE THE COURT

1. Since the plaintiff was successful in challenging the jurisdiction of the Board of Police Commissioners, is he now estopped from challenging the jurisdiction of the mayor and the Village Board of Trustees.

2. Should the trial court have awarded back pay.

OPINION

The defendant argues that since the plaintiff was successful in convincing the board of fire and police commissioners of the Village of Caseyville, Illinois, that they did not have jurisdiction to hear the charges filed before the said board, the plaintiff now is estopped to challenge the jurisdiction of the mayor and the ...


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