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KING v. ARMSTRONG

December 9, 1985

AMELIA KING AND LEVOLIA ELLENS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ROSEMARIE ARMSTRONG, GEORGE MARSH, JAMES MCGRADY, FRANK MIKRUT, AND JOE BIALEK, DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER

Before the Court is defendants' motion, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, for partial summary judgment on a single count of plaintiffs' complaint. For the reasons stated herein, defendants' motion is granted.

I. FACTS

This is an action alleging violations of the Federal Credit Union Act and state laws of contract and defamation. The action was brought by Amelia King and Levolia Ellens against Rosemarie Armstrong, George Marsh, James McGrady, Frank Mikrut, and Joe Bialek. Jurisdiction is conferred on this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The instant motion for summary judgment concerns only Count III of plaintiffs' complaint, which alleges that the defendants committed libel against Amelia King.

Plaintiff's libel claim arises out of the defendants' publication of a meeting notice. The plaintiff is employed by the Social Security Administration and is a member of the Chicago Area Office Federal Credit Union (Credit Union). The defendants are members of the Board of Directors of the credit union. In April 1983, the Board of Directors appointed plaintiff to the Supervisory Committee of the credit union. On or about March 22, 1984, plaintiff attempted to deposit and withdraw some funds from her account at the credit union, but because a hold was placed on her deposit her withdrawal was denied. On March 23, 1984, plaintiff presented her withdrawal request to the treasurer of the credit union who issued King a check.

On April 17, 1984, the Board of Directors held its monthly meeting at which it discussed the check issuance. The Board determined that the check was issued improperly, and voted to suspend King from the Supervisory Committee. In accordance with credit union by-laws, the Board was required to convene a special meeting of the credit union membership and submit the suspension to the members for approval. On May 1, 1984, the Board of Directors posted and distributed to credit union members the following notice:

  To: All Members of Chicago Area Office Federal
    Credit Union
  From: Board of Directors Chicago Area Office
    Federal Credit Union
  Subject: Suspension of Supervisory Committee
    Member
  At the Board of Director's monthly meeting held on
  April 17, 1984, the following order of business
  was addressed:
  That on March 23, 1984, Amelia King willingly and
  knowingly did accept a check for illegal funds (in
  an undetermined amount) issued by a director
  unauthorized to issue checks.
  Based on information obtained from National Credit
  Union Administration, Illinois Credit Union
  League, and CUNA Mutual Insurance Group, the Board
  of Directors found it imperitive [sic] and
  expedient that proper action be taken in order to
  protect and safeguard the bond ability, and future
  of your Credit Union. YOU, THE MEMBERSHIP, MAKE
  THE DIFFERENCE. ATTEND TODAY'S SPECIAL MEETING AND
  VOTE FOR THE FUTURE OF YOUR CREDIT UNION.
  THE SPECIAL MEETING WILL BE HELD AT 5:00 P.M. IN
  THE EAST SIDE AUDITORIUM.

The plaintiff King alleges that this notice is libelous. The defendants submitted this motion for partial summary ...


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