The opinion of the court was delivered by: NORGLE
CHARLES R. NORGLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Before the court is the summary judgment of defendants Human Rights Commission, Kent Sezer, and David Strauss. For the reasons discussed below, the motion is granted.
On April 19, 1989, plaintiff Constance Hill ("Hill") filed this employment discrimination action, together with a petition to proceed in forma pauperis and a motion for appointment of counsel. In her complaint, Hill alleges that she had been unfairly evaluated and unjustly suspended, denied promotion, and ultimately discharged from her secretary job at the Illinois Human Rights Commission on the basis of racial and sexual discrimination.
The Human Rights Commission is a state agency created by the Illinois Human Rights Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 68, § 1-101, et seq.).
The court granted Hill's in forma pauperis petition and appointed counsel. For various reasons, plaintiff's original appointed counsel withdrew, as did two subsequently appointed attorneys. In September 1989, a fourth attorney was appointed to represent Ms. Hill. On May 31, 1990, this attorney withdrew after Ms. Hill rejected a settlement proposal tendered by defendants. As reflected on the court docket sheet, the next two status hearings were each continued for 30 days to give plaintiff an opportunity to obtain her counsel on her own. Ms. Hill did not obtain counsel within this sixty day period.
At this time, Ms. Hill has still not obtained legal counsel, although the court has given her additional opportunities over the last nine months to do so.
Plaintiff has given the court no reason to believe that she will be any more successful in the future than she has been in the past. The interests of judicial economy and fairness to the defendants require that Ms. Hill now proceed with her case, either with or without counsel.
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A dispute about a material facts is "genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). A plaintiff cannot rest on mere allegations of a claim without any significant probative evidence which supports his complaint. Id.; see First National Bank of Arizona v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 20 L. Ed. 2d 569, 88 S. Ct. 1575, reh. den., 393 U.S. 901, 21 L. Ed. 2d 188, 89 S. Ct. 63 (1968). "One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims and defenses." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). Accordingly, the non-moving party is required to go beyond the pleadings, affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file to designate specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial. Id.
In their submissions, defendants point out that while Hill alleges that she was treated differently from similarly situated white employees, she has not presented any evidence in support of these allegations. See Defendants Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment, pp. 12-18. Bare allegations, without supporting evidence, cannot survive a properly supported motion for summary judgment. See Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248-249 ("[a] party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment 'may not rest upon the mere allegations of his pleading, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial'"), quoting Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. at 288-289.
Further, even assuming arguendo that plaintiff has established a prima facie case of discrimination under Title VII, such a showing "merely creates a presumption which defendants may rebut by articulating a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the plaintiff's discharge." Texas v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 253-55, 67 L. Ed. 2d 207, 101 S. Ct. 1089 (1981). In their memorandum in support of summary judgment, defendants have articulated legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for Hill's discharge (as well as her evaluation, suspensions, and denial of promotion). See Defendants' Memorandum in Support of Summary Judgment, pp. 18-21.
Defendant correctly argues that once they have made such a rebuttal, the burden of production shifts back to the plaintiff to establish by a preponderance of the evidence
that the legitimate reasons offered by the defendants were not their true reasons, but were merely used as a pretext for discrimination. See Burdine, 450 U.S. at 252-253. Here, plaintiff has not responded in any way to the legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons articulated by defendants. Thus, plaintiff has not met her burden of production and the court must therefore construe these reasons as being legitimate and not a pretext.
Finally, the court notes that plaintiff has not made any effort to respond to defendants' Local Rule 12 statement of material facts. According to this rule, "all material facts set forth in the statement required of the moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing party." Local Rule 12(n); see also Bell, Boyd & Lloyd v. Tapy, 896 F.2d 1101, 1103 (7th Cir. 1990). Hill's failure to respond to defendant's properly supported 12(m) statement of material facts, therefore, has the ...