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03/16/94 ROSEE TORRES v. CITY CHICAGO

March 16, 1994

ROSEE TORRES, INDIVIDUALLY AND D/B/A LEGAL SECRETARIAL SERVICES, LTD., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Paddy McNamara, Judge Presiding.

Rehearing Denied April 28, 1994.

McCORMICK, Hartman, Scariano

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mccormick

JUSTICE McCORMICK delivered the opinion of the court:

Rosee Torres sued the City of Chicago (the City) for breach of contract. The trial court granted the City summary judgment and Torres appeals.

We find that the document appended to the complaint was only an invitation for orders, not a contract, when the parties signed it. The document established the terms of the contract which became effective when the City actually ordered services from Torres. Since the documentary evidence showed that the City fully performed its obligations under the contract, we affirm the decision granting the City summary judgment.

On June 4, 1984, the City sent Torres, doing business as Legal Secretarial Services, Ltd. (LSS), a letter asking Torres to tell the City LSS's rates for telephone switchboard operators, and asking how many bilingual and single-language operators were available through LSS. Following further correspondence, Torres sent 20 operators to interview for the available positions on September 3, 1984. The City chose four of the operators from LSS. Torres billed the City for their services and the City paid the bills. On November 6, 1984, the four operators all resigned their positions with LSS and became employees of other temporary employment agencies. The four operators continued working for the City, and the City paid their new employment agencies for their services. In February 1985 the City canceled its request for temporary operators.

Torres sued the City in Federal court for violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (1987) and for breach of contract. The Federal court granted the City judgment on the pleadings on the section 1981 claim, and it chose not to exercise pendent jurisdiction over the breach of contract claim, so it dismissed that claim without prejudice. Torres then sued the City in State court for breach of contract.

Torres alleged in her Federal complaint that around June 4, 1984, the City sent letters similar to the one it sent Torres to nine other temporary employment agencies, asking for rates and availability of switchboard operators. On July 25, 1984, after receiving responses from several agencies, the City sent LSS and four other agencies the form at issue here, requesting operators to work for the City, as needed, between July and December 1984. The form provided:

"DELIVERY DATE

AS REQ'D.

AMOUNT

DEPENDS ON REQUIREMENT

The rates are as follows:

1-4 Operators 5-9 Operators 10 Operators

$8.15/hr $7.96/hr $7.84/hr

Contractor is to be responsible for maintaining any fringe benefits, FICA, Worker's Compensation taxes, insurance ...


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