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02/17/94 MATTER JAMES PARSONS v. NATIONAL RAILROAD

February 17, 1994

IN THE MATTER OF: JAMES PARSONS, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.



Petition from the Illinois Human Rights Commission

Rehearing Denied March 18, 1994. Released for Publication April 19, 1994.

Cahill, Johnson, Hoffman

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cahill

PRESIDING JUSTICE CAHILL delivered the opinion of the court:

James Parsons appeals from an order of the Illinois Human Rights Commission (Commission) granting summary judgment in favor of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). We consider whether Parsons' failure to name a necessary party in the petition for review requires dismissal of the appeal.

Parsons was hired by Amtrak in 1975. In 1980 he began a disability leave of absence. In 1987 he attempted to return to work. Amtrak denied him reinstatement. Parsons charged Amtrak with disability discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act (Human Rights Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 68, par. 101 et seq). The Illinois Department of Human Rights (Department) filed a complaint with the Commission based on Parsons' charge.

At the time Parsons petitioned Amtrak to return to work he was representing to the Social Security Administration that he was physically unable to work. Parsons drew benefits based on this representation. Because of the representation Parsons made to the administration, the Commission ruled he was estopped from maintaining a disability discrimination claim and granted summary judgment in favor of Amtrak. Parsons filed a petition for rehearing which the Commission denied on June 29, 1992.

Parsons filed a petition for review directly to this court on August 3, 1992, under the Human Rights Act. Section 8-111 of the Human Rights Act provides review "of a final order of the Commission * * * in the Appellate Court within 35 days after entry of the order of the Commission, in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 335." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 68, par. 8-111(A)(1).

When Parsons filed the petition he failed to name the Commission as a respondent. On appeal the Commission argues that Parsons' petition is not "in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 335" because he failed to name a necessary party.

Rule 335 states:

"(a) The Petition for Review. The petition for review shall be filed in the Appellate Court and shall specify the parties seeking review and shall designate the respondent * * *. The agency and all other parties of record shall be named respondents." 134 Ill. 2d R. 335(a).

The Commission argues that Parsons' failure to name the "agency," the Commission, in the petition deprives this court of jurisdiction. In support, the Commission cites Bailey v. Human Rights Commission (1993), 247 Ill. App. 3d 853, 617 N.E.2d 1370.

As here, Bailey involved an appeal from an order of the Commission brought under the Human Rights Act. In Bailey the petitioner did not name the Department as a respondent in the petition for review. The court held it lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the petitioner did not meet the procedural requirements of Rule 335. Bailey, 247 Ill. App. 3d at 856, 617 N.E.2d at 1372.

The Bailey court noted that the third district in McGaughy v. Human Rights Commission (1993), 243 Ill. App. 3d 751, 612 N.E.2d 964, when presented with the same facts, reached the opposite Conclusion. The Bailey court ...


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