On Petition for Direct Review from the Illinois Human Rights Commission
Rehearing Denied November 30, 1994. Released for Publication December 16, 1994.
Gordon, McNULTY, Cousin, Jr.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gordon
JUSTICE GORDON delivered the opinion of the court: *fn1
On September 5, 1978, Petitioner, who was employed as an assistant planner by Respondent, Chicago Cook County Criminal Justice Commission (CCCCJC), from mid-1977 until April 1978, filed a charge with the Fair Employment Practices Commission alleging that his termination resulted from unlawful racial discrimination. On January 31, 1982, while the matter was pending, the CCCCJC ceased operations. *fn2 It appears from the record that the case proceeded against the CCCCJC and that the CCCCJC continued to be represented by the Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago.
On April 5, 1982, an administrative law Judge of the Human Rights Commission (the HRC), the agency which succeeded the Fair Employment Practices Commission, issued her "Recommended Order and Decision" which found in favor of Petitioner. This determination was subsequently reversed by the Human Rights Commission which dismissed Petitioner's complaint with prejudice, and the circuit court affirmed. This court reversed the Human Rights Commission in Lipsey v. Human Rights Comm'n (1987), 157 Ill. App. 3d 1054, 510 N.E.2d 1226, 110 Ill. Dec. 195, finding that the decision of the Human Rights Commission was against the manifest weight of the evidence. The cause was remanded to the circuit court and to the Human Rights Commission for further proceedings.
Upon remand, on April 11, 1988, the Petitioner filed a motion to substitute the City of Chicago (City) and the County of Cook (County) as Respondents for the then-defunct Chicago Cook County Criminal Justice Commission. This motion was granted; and on June 13, 1988, an amended complaint was filed. Both the City and the County filed motions to dismiss; and on February 2, 1989, the HRC granted the motions, dismissed the City and County, and reinstated the CCCCJC as the sole party respondent.
The matter was then remanded by the HRC to an administrative law Judge who, in an order dated September 18, 1990, recommended that the Petitioner receive $72,821.17 in back pay. This award covered the period of April 14, 1978, the date Petitioner was discharged, through January 31, 1982, the date the CCCCJC ceased operation. The Petitioner did not receive back pay for the period after the CCCCJC was dissolved. The administrative law Judge also recommended that Petitioner receive $21,5000 in attorney fees and determined that reinstatement was not a proper remedy because the CCCCJC no longer existed. These recommendations were adopted in full by a three-member board of the Human Rights Commission on April 12, 1991.
Petitioner's petition for rehearing before the Human Rights Commission was denied on July 22, 1991. On August 16, 1991, the petitioner filed a petition for review in the appellate court naming the Chicago Cook County Criminal Justice Commission as the sole party-respondent. The Petitioner did not name the Human Rights Commission as a party respondent in his petition for review.
On September 30, 1991, the Human Rights Commission filed a motion to dismiss the instant appeal arguing that Petitioners' failure to name the Human Rights Commission, the administrative agency from whose order the appeal was being taken, deprived the appellate court of jurisdiction. On October 4, 1991, Petitioner filed a motion to amend the caption of his petition. These motions were taken with the case. *fn3
On appeal, Petitioner contends that the Human Rights Commission erred in dismissing the City of Chicago as a party respondent and in finding that the City was not the successor to the Chicago Cook County Criminal Justice Commission. Before we can address Petitioner's contentions on the merits, however, we must determine whether the Petitioner properly invoked the appellate jurisdiction of this court. The HRC contends that this court lacks jurisdiction to hear this matter because the Petitioner failed to name the Human Rights Commission as a party-respondent in his petition for review.
Section 8-111(A)(1) of the Illinois Human Rights Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 68, par. 8-111(A)(1) now codified at 775 ILCS 5/8-111(A)(1) (West 1992)), sets forth the proper procedure for obtaining judicial review of an order of the Human Rights Commission. It states in relevant part:
"Any complainant or respondent may apply for and obtain judicial review of a final order of the Commission entered under this Act by filing a petition for review in the Appellate Court within 35 days after the entry of the order of the Commission, in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 335."
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 335 provides in relevant part:
"The procedure for a statutory direct review of orders of an administrative agency by the Appellate ...