to hire him as a bus driver after he obtained the waiver in 1997 somehow was included in his 1995 EEOC charge.
3. Long's request for a declaratory judgment
Long's second amended complaint has also added a second count that seeks a declaratory judgment. In Count II, Long requests the court to enter an order declaring that (1) DOT has the statutory authority to award a training waiver; (2) Long may participate in the CTA's program by virtue of his receipt of the training waiver; and (3) the CTA's continuing refusal to employ Long violates the ADA.
A federal district court is empowered to issue a declaratory judgment, provided that there is an actual controversy and the court has subject matter jurisdiction. See Crowley Cutlery Co. v. United States, 849 F.2d 273, 279 (7th Cir. 1988). It is well settled, however, that a federal district court has the "discretion to decline to hear a declaratory judgment action, even though it is within [its] jurisdiction." Id. at 279; Tempco Elec. Heater Corp. v. Omega Eng'g, Inc., 819 F.2d 746, 747 (7th Cir. 1987) (citations omitted). Further, because the plaintiff in a declaratory-judgment action is not seeking immediate relief, "[federal] judges ought to be alert to the possibility that [the plaintiff] may be trying to enlist them in a tactical maneuver undeserving of the expenditure of federal judicial resources." Crowley, 849 F.2d at 279 (citing American Auto. Ins. Co. v. Freundt, 103 F.2d 613, 617 (7th Cir. 1987)).
In this case, the court declines to hear Long's declaratory judgment action. As is apparent from his request, what Long is attempting to do is make an end run around the requirements that an ADA plaintiff file a charge with the EEOC and receive a right to sue letter before filing an action in federal court. The court refuses to be a pawn in such a tactical maneuver.
Once Long obtained the requisite waiver from DOT, Long should have reapplied at the CTA. Further, Long should have submitted an application for a non-driving position if he in truth sought such a position. If the CTA still refused to hire him, Long then should have filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, affording the EEOC and the CTA a chance to resolve the matter before suit was filed in federal court. Long cannot attempt to couch his claim of discrimination in terms of a request for a declaratory judgment in order to avoid the conditions precedent to his bringing his ADA claim in federal court.
In sum, the added allegations and claims of the second amended complaint do nothing to cure the deficiencies of the first amended complaint. To the extent that the second amended complaint attempts to state new claims, those claims are barred because Long has failed to file an EEOC charge based on those claims and those claims do not pass the two-prong test of Jenkins. Further, the court declines to hear Long's declaratory judgment action. Accordingly, the court denies Long's motion for leave to file a second amended complaint because the proposed amendments are futile.
For the foregoing reasons, the court denies plaintiff Bryant Long's motion to amend the judgment and for leave to file a second amended complaint. Further, because Long was not qualified to be a CTA bus driver on the date of the adverse employment decision and because any claim that the CTA did not hire him for a non-driving position was not included in his EEOC charge, the court finds that Long will never be able to state an ADA claim against the CTA for its alleged refusal to hire plaintiff on or before December 15, 1995. Accordingly, the court dismisses Long's claim with respect to the CTA's conduct on or before December 15, 1995 with prejudice.
Date: DEC 11 1997
James H. Alesia
United States District Judge