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LYMAN v. BOARD OF EDUC. CITY OF CHICAGO

March 27, 1985

JULIE ANN LYMAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO AND DR. HARRY STRASBURG, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Plaintiff Julie Ann Lyman brings this action against defendants, the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, and Dr. Harry Strasburg, alleging violation of her constitutional and statutory rights to employment. Count I is brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1343, 2201, and 2202; 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Count II is brought pursuant to the doctrine of pendent jurisdiction and alleges violations of Ill.Rev.Stat., ch. 122, § 34-15. Count III is brought under the doctrine of pendent jurisdiction and alleges violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, Ill.Rev. Stat. ch. 102, § 41 et seq.

Before the Court is defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendants have also requested that the issue of plaintiff's status as a career service employee be treated under Fed.R. Civ.P. 56. Finally, defendants have filed a motion to strike the plaintiff's affidavit. For the reasons stated below, defendant Board of Education's motion to dismiss is granted. Defendant Dr. Harry Strasburg's motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part. Defendants' request that the issue of plaintiff's status as a career service employee be treated under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 is denied. Defendants' motion to strike plaintiff's affidavit is granted without prejudicing plaintiff's right to submit a new affidavit after discovery.

I. FACTS

Plaintiff was hired as an employee of the defendant Board of Education of the City of Chicago ("Board") on or about April 1, 1976. Plaintiff performed her duties satisfactorily for the Board continually until June 13, 1983. Defendant Dr. Harry Strasburg ("Strasburg") is the Deputy Superintendent for Finance and Administration for the Board. On June 13, 1983, Strasburg informed the plaintiff that her employment would be terminated effective July, 1983 because of a budget cut. The Board subsequently took action to terminate plaintiff's employment.

Lyman alleges she was a career service employee of the Board.

Ill.Rev.Stat., ch. 122, § 34-15 provides, in part:

  No civil service employee shall be removed except for cause.
  The board by a vote of a majority of its full membership must
  first approve a motion containing written charges and
  specifications presented by the general superintendent of
  schools. Such motion shall contain a request to the State Board
  of Education to schedule a hearing on these charges before an
  impartial hearing officer. . . .

Lyman further alleges that § 34-15 gave plaintiff the right to continued employment unless terminated for cause, thus creating a property interest in her employment. Lyman claims that the Board did not subsequently reduce its budget and charges that her termination was arbitrary and capricious in that she was terminated for no valid reason. Lyman was never given a hearing prior to termination as required by § 34-15.

The plaintiff predicates liability upon two theories. Count I is a claim for monetary, injunctive, and declaratory relief for defendants' violation of plaintiff's civil rights, specifically their unconstitutional deprivation of her property interest in continued employment. Count II is a pendent claim for damages and declaratory relief for defendants' violation of plaintiff's statutory rights to employment under Ill.Rev. Stat., ch. 122, § 34-15, which prohibits termination of civil service employees without a showing of cause and a hearing on written charges.*fn1

II. DISCUSSION

A. Defendants' Summary Judgment Request

Defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). In regard to the defendants' request that the issue of plaintiff's status as a career service employee be treated as a motion for summary judgment, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) states:

  If, on a motion asserting the defense numbered (6) to dismiss
  for failure of the pleading to state a claim upon which relief
  can be granted, matters outside the pleading are presented to
  and not excluded by the court, the motion shall be treated as
  one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule
  56, and all parties shall be given ...

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