United States District Court, Central District of Illinois, Springfield Division
March 11, 1992
U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF,
STATE OF ILLINOIS, AND TROOPERS LODGE NO. 41 OF THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge:
Judgment in favor of the State of Illinois.
This cause is before the Court on the State's motion for
judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c), or
for summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.
Because this Court will consider matters outside the
pleadings, Defendant's motion will be treated as a motion for
The EEOC has brought this suit against the State of Illinois
challenging Ill.Rev. Stat. ch. 121, ¶ 307.12-1 (section 12-1),
which sets the mandatory retirement age of Illinois State
Police Special Agents at 60, as violative of the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq.
The State contends that § 12-1 is within the exceptions
listed in the ADEA under 29 U.S.C. § 623(j) because it was in
effect as of March 3, 1983. The State asserts ch. 121, ¶ 307.8
(1979) which codified the 1977 reorganization of the State
Police by Executive Order. Thus, Special Agents were covered by
the mandatory retirement provisions of § 12-1 prior to March 3,
The EEOC concedes that § 623(j) exempts the State from the
proscriptions of the ADEA if the age limit was in effect on
March 3, 1983. However, the EEOC contends that at least until
1977, Special Agents were not subject to § 12-1 because the
designation "State policemen" applied only to uniformed state
troopers. Accordingly, the State cannot rely on the "plain
language" of § 12-1 to support its argument because Special
Agents were not "State policemen" as used in § 12-1 when it was
originally enacted. Thus, the EEOC asserts that the State must
put forth evidence conclusively showing that by March 3, 1983,
the term "State policeman" in § 12-1 had been expanded to
include Special Agents. The EEOC argues that the 1977 Executive
Order unifying the personnel system for all sworn officers is
not evidence that Special Agents became classified as "State
policemen" because neither the plain language of the Order nor
its stated purposes purported to alter the terms of § 12-1 as
it existed until March 3, 1983.
II. Summary Judgment
Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c), summary judgment shall be granted
if the record shows 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." Black v. Henry Pratt Co.,
778 F.2d 1278, 1281 (7th Cir. 1985). The moving party has the
burden of providing proper documentary evidence to show the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). A
genuine issue of material fact exists when "there is sufficient
evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a
verdict for that party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2511, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).
Unquestionably, in determining whether a genuine issue of
material facts exists, the evidence is to be taken in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress &
Co., 398 U.S. 144, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 26 L.Ed.2d 142 (1970). Once
the moving party has met its burden, the opposing party must
come forward with specific evidence, not mere allegations or
denials of the pleadings, which demonstrates that there is a
genuine issue for trial. Howland v. Kilquist, 833 F.2d 639 (7th
In Burke v. Margolis, 738 F. Supp. 1201 (C.D.Ill. 1990), this
Court determined that Special Agents were defined as "State
policemen" under Illinois Law and were included within the
March 3, 1983 law which set the mandatory retirement age at 60.
In Burke, the plaintiff was a master sergeant who was forcibly
retired. He brought suit under the ADEA contending that master
sergeants were not within the March 3, 1983 law. This Court
Unfortunately for Plaintiff, he is not correct in
his position. Plaintiff was employed by the
Illinois State Police and its predecessor
agencies for 1968 until his retirement on
December 31, 1987. Whether he was a master
sergeant, a Special Agent, or a Special Agent
Master Sergeant at the time of his retirement is
immaterial. Each of these positions is classified
as an Illinois State Policeman. An Illinois law
in effect on March 3, 1983 requires Illinois
State Policemen to retire upon reaching age 60.
Thus, Plaintiff's mandatory retirement fits
within the exception contained in the ADEA for
law enforcement officers.
Burke, at 1204.
This Court finds that the differences between the positions
of master sergeant and Special Agent are without distinction
for the purposes of determining the question presented.
Accordingly, summary judgment in favor of the State is
warranted because, as noted by the decision in Burke, Special
Agents were classified as Illinois State Policemen when the
March 3, 1983 law was in effect. Therefore, the Special Agents
mandatory retirements fit within the exception contained in the
ADEA for law enforcement officers.
Ergo, the State's motion for summary judgment is ALLOWED.
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