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RASKY v. DEPARTMENT OF REGISTRATION AND EDUCATION

November 29, 1982

BENJAMIN A. RASKY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF REGISTRATION AND EDUCATION, ET AL, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Benjamin A. Rasky ("Rasky") sues the Department of Registration and Education ("Department"), certain of its officials, the City of Chicago ("Chicago"), two Chicago building inspectors and State Representative Ellis B. Levin ("Levin") for damages under both 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1985. Rasky claims defendants, individually and as co-conspirators, infringed his Fourteenth Amendment due process and equal protection rights in bringing about revocation of his real estate broker's license. Most defendants have moved for dismissal under Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 12 (b)(6). For reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, this action is dismissed in its entirety.*fn1

Facts*fn2

In January 1977 Department filed a complaint seeking revocation of Rasky's license under a provision of the Professions and Occupations Act, Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 111, § 5732(e)(11):

  The Department . . . may revoke any certificate of
  registration . . . for any one . . . of the following
  causes:
  (e) Where the registrant in performing or attempting
  to perform or pretending to perform any act as a real
  estate broker or salesman, or where such registrant,
  in handling his own property, whether held by deed,
  option, or otherwise, is found guilty of:
    11. Having demonstrated unworthiness or incompetency
    to act as a real estate broker or salesman in such
    manner as to safeguard the interest of the
    public....

Department claimed Rasky's repeated violations of the Illinois Building Code (in connection with his apartment buildings) established the requisite "unworthiness" and "incompetency."

During the few months that preceded the revocation hearing, unidentified Department officials orchestrated a defamatory publicity campaign against Rasky. State Representative Levin contributed in some unspecified manner to the media's coverage of the revocation proceedings.

Sometime before the scheduled June 14, 1977 hearing date, Rasky underwent open heart surgery. On June 8 he requested (in writing) Department to postpone the hearing until he recovered. Department did not respond. When Rasky arrived at Department's offices June 14 (expecting to receive a new hearing date), he was told the hearing had ended fifteen minutes earlier.

Department Director Joan Anderson ("Anderson") presided at the ex parte administrative hearing. Algis Augustine ("Augustine") and Alan Scheffres ("Scheffres") prosecuted the case. During the hearing building inspectors LaVernon Rollins ("Rollins") and Jack Sterling ("Sterling") perjured themselves in testifying as to various Building Code infractions committed by Rasky. Those acts of perjury stemmed from the "official policy or custom" of Chicago, employer of the building inspectors.

When Rasky made his appearance after the hearing had ended, Department refused to grant a continuance or another hearing. It formally revoked Rasky's license October 21, 1977. Both the Circuit Court of Cook County and the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the revocation. During the administrative review proceedings before the Appellate Court, counsel for Department first acknowledged Rasky's request for a new hearing date had in fact been received.

At some point during the revocation proceedings (either at the administrative or judicial level), Rasky requested Levin to produce:

  The names and addresses of all persons who submitted
  Complaints to you against the Respondent setting forth
  all ...

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