Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

VARNER v. ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY

September 24, 1996

DR. IRIS I. VARNER, DR. TERESA M. PALMER, AND DR. PAULA J. POMERENKE, ON THEIR OWN BEHALF AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY; ROBERT W. JEFFERSON, DEAN; DAVID STRAND, PROVOST; JOHN K. URICE, VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST; THOMAS P. WALLACE, PRESIDENT; THE BOARD OF REGENTS; INCLUDING DAVID T. MURPHY; CAROL K. BURNS; JOSEPH B. EBBESEN; CARL E. KASTEN; NANCY J. MASTERSON; PATRICIA A. MCKENZIE; JAMES W. MYLES; BARBARA SCHEIBLING; NIRANJAN SHAH; AND WILLIAM SULASKI, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN THEIR CAPACITY AS MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mihm, Chief Judge.

ORDER

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [# 71] and Plaintiffs' Motion to Vacate Prior Order and for Extension of Time [# 81]. For the reasons set forth below, the Defendants' Motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, and Plaintiffs' Motion is DENIED.

Background

On March 13, 1995, three female professors employed at Illinois State University ("the University"), Dr. Iris I. Varner, Dr. Teresa M. Palmer, and Dr. Paula J. Pomerenke, filed a Complaint against Illinois State University, four officials of Illinois State University, the Board of Regents, and the ten members of the board. The Complaint has been certified as a class action on behalf of any female teaching faculty at Illinois State University who was an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or full Professor anytime during the period beginning with the 1982-1983 academic year up to and including the present.

The named Plaintiffs have been employed by the University as teaching faculty (in the case of one Plaintiff since 1969). Drs. Varner, Palmer, and Pomerenke allege that from the dates of their respective employment, they have been paid less than their male counterparts, given considerations of teaching experience, the number of classes and class size they taught, academic papers published, service to the University, and other matters to go to the quality of their services. The Complaint further alleges that the Defendants engaged in retaliation against female professors who complained of the Defendants' alleged employment practices.

Jurisdiction

Plaintiffs brought this suit pursuant to the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.; and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, et seq. This Court has jurisdiction of this action pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.; the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.; and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, et seq.

Discussion

In resolving a motion to dismiss, this Court must consider all well-pled facts as true and must draw all inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Bontkowski v. First Nat. Bank of Cicero, 998 F.2d 459, 461 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1012, 114 S.Ct. 602, 126 L.Ed.2d 567 (1993). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, courts consider whether relief is possible under any set of facts that could be established consistent with the allegations in the Complaint. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 101-02, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957). This Court will dismiss a claim only if it is beyond doubt that no set of facts would entitle the Plaintiffs to relief. Venture Associates Corp. v. Zenith Data Systems Corp., 987 F.2d 429, 432 (7th Cir. 1993).

On August 14, 1996, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss, to which Plaintiffs filed a Response instanter on September 10, 1996. In support of their Motion to Dismiss, Defendants make the following arguments: (1) By adding a Defendant, Plaintiffs have amended the pleadings and should file an amended complaint; and (2) Plaintiffs cannot proceed in federal court on any claims based on the Equal Pay Act because the State of Illinois has not consented to suit. Each of these arguments will be addressed in turn.

John Urice ("Urice") was initially named as a Defendant in this case. However, Judge James B. Zagel of the Northern District of Illinois dismissed Urice in an Order dated August 18, 1995 because Urice was not alleged to have participated in the basic claims of gender discrimination and had been sued in his individual capacity. Plaintiffs then filed a related suit making similar allegations against Urice, Case No. 96-1355. On July 15, 1996, Plaintiffs filed a Motion before this Court to add Urice as a Defendant once again. The Court granted Plaintiffs' Motion on July 26, 1996, stating that Urice was to be added as a named Defendant in this case, and Plaintiffs were to submit a voluntary dismissal regarding the related case against Urice. To date, Plaintiffs have taken no steps to implement this Court's Order.

Plaintiffs have not only failed to file an amended complaint adding Urice to the present case, but they have also failed to dismiss the related action. Rather, Plaintiffs state that they are exercising "an abundance of caution" and have moved to vacate the order they requested adding Urice as a Defendant in order "to keep the Title VII and § 1981 claims presented in 96-1355 separate from the issues raised by Defendants under the Equal Pay Act." (Plaintiffs' Resp. to Mot. to Dismiss at 2.) Plaintiffs have presented no logical or practical reason why two separate suits should be conducted based on the same set of facts and similar issues. Accordingly, Plaintiffs' Motion to Vacate Prior Order is denied.

Defendants argue that adding a party generally requires an amendment to the Complaint. In the present case, they claim that the addition of Urice as a Defendant requires Plaintiffs to file an amended complaint because there are no allegations currently pending against him as a result of Judge Zagel's previous Order dismissing Urice from the case. Thus, without an amended complaint, Defendants claim that it is not currently possible to determine what allegations are pending against Urice.

While notice pleading may not require a plaintiff to plead in great detail, Rule 8 does require sufficient clarity to determine that "the pleader is ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.