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Grobsmith v. Kempiners

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 13, 1981.

MICHAEL S. GROBSMITH ET AL., APPELLEES,

v.

WILLIAM KEMPINERS, ACTING DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH, ET AL., APPELLANTS.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Will County, the Hon. Herman S. Hasse, Judge, presiding.

CHIEF JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied January 29, 1982.

Defendants, William Kempiners, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, William Boys, Director of the Illinois Department of Personnel, and Robert Davito, Director of the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, "individually and as representatives for all Directors and Chairmen of the Departments, Boards and Commissions of the State of Illinois," appeal from the judgment of the circuit court of Will County, holding unconstitutional section 8b.18 of the Personnel Code. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 127, par. 63b108b.18; Rule 302(a), 73 Ill.2d R. 302(a).) Section 8b.18 provides:

"Term appointments. Appointees for all positions not subject to paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (6) of Section 4d [Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 127, par. 63b104d] in or above merit compensation grade 12 or its equivalent shall be appointed for a term of 4 years. During the term of such appointments, Jurisdictions A, B and C shall apply to such positions. When a term expires, the Director or Chairman of the Department, Board or Commission in which the position is located, shall terminate the incumbent or renew the term for another 4 year term. Failure to renew the term is not grievable or appealable to the Civil Service Commission.

For the purpose of implementing the above Section, the Director of Personnel shall supply each such Director or Chairman with a list of employees selected randomly by social security numbers in his particular Department, Board or Commission who are in salary grades subject to this Section on February 1, 1980. Such list shall include 25% of all such employees in the Department, Board or Commission. Those employees shall only continue in state employment in those positions if an appointment is made pursuant to this Section by the Director or Chairman of that Department, Board or Commission.

The same process shall occur on February 1, 1981, 1982 and 1983 with an additional 25% of the employees subject to this Section who are employed on the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1979 being submitted by the Director of Personnel for appointment each year.

New appointments to such positions after the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1979 shall be appointed pursuant to this Section.

The Director of Personnel may exempt specific positions in agencies receiving federal funds from the operation of this Section if he finds and reports to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, after good faith negotiations, that such exemption is necessary to maintain the availability of federal funds.

All positions, the duties and responsibilities of which are wholly professional but do not include policy-making or major administrative responsibilities and those positions which have either salaries at negotiated rates or salaries at prevailing rates shall be exempt from the provisions of this Section."

Section 2 of Public Act 81-1002, in which section 8b.18 was enacted, provides:

"Section 8b.18 of said Act is repealed on January 1, 1984."

It is alleged in plaintiffs' complaint for declaratory judgment and injunction that plaintiffs are civil service employees of the State of Illinois who have been certified by the Director of the Department of Personnel and appointed and employed pursuant to the Personnel Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 127, par. 63b101 et seq.) and the rules adopted pursuant thereto; that plaintiffs were in or above merit compensation grade 12 or its equivalent as of December 31, 1979; that plaintiffs have been notified by the Director of Personnel that a lottery would be conducted on January 31, 1980, and that their Social Security numbers would be submitted to the lottery; that if selected the directors and chairmen of each department, board and commission would be notified by the defendant Boys that on February 1, 1980, plaintiffs were subject to termination or a four-year term appointment; that plaintiffs have protested the official notification and have requested reconsideration thereof; that defendant Boys has required documentation in support of the request for reconsideration to which these plaintiffs are unable to respond in that the documentation required is "unclear, vague and lacking in specifics and detail"; that the application by the defendants of the provisions of the statute will interfere with, destroy and impair legal, equitable and contractual rights of the plaintiffs; that said act is unconstitutional and without force of law for a number of reasons alleged in said complaint.

The parties stipulated that defendants waived their right to file an answer to the complaint and that there were no material allegations of fact to be decided by the circuit court.

The circuit court found that the cause could be maintained as a class action and defined the class. It further found that plaintiffs were vested with a statutorily created property right which could not be terminated in the manner provided in section 8b.18 and that the statute deprived them of the property right without due process of law. The court entered judgment holding the statute unconstitutional and enjoining the defendants "from exercising any of the powers, rights and/or duties respecting the enforcement of Public Act 81-1002 against said ...


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