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KIELCZYNSKI v. VILLAGE OF LAGRANGE

September 8, 1998

MARGE KIELCZYNSKI, Plaintiff,
v.
VILLAGE OF LAGRANGE, ILLINOIS and LOREN CLARK, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEVIN

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

 Plaintiff has brought this action against Defendants for gender discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et seq. and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and breach of due process in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending is Defendants' motion, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), to dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint or applicable portions thereof. For the reasons set forth below, this motion is granted in part and denied in part.

 FACTUAL BACKGROUND1

 On January 16, 1981, Plaintiff Marge Kielczynski ("Kielczynski") was appointed to the position of police officer with Defendant Village of LaGrange's ("LaGrange") police department. Defendant Loren Clark ("Clark") is the current Chief of Police of LaGrange, Illinois and has served as Acting Chief or Chief since approximately 1995.

 Kielcynski alleges that, from 1981 to the present, she has been subjected to numerous incidents of ongoing and continuing acts of sexual discrimination and retaliation, including: (1) being asked to do demeaning tasks that male employees were not asked to do, (2) refusing to provide necessary back up to protect Plaintiff in her work as a police officer, (3) failing to provide Plaintiff with necessary training to enable her to grow in her career, (4) reprimanding and disciplining Plaintiff more severely than male officers who engaged in the same or similar conduct, (5) reviewing Plaintiff's performance more critically than male officers were reviewed, (6) and taking actions to ensure that Plaintiff did not get promoted beyond patrol officer and was not able to advance in her career.

 On or about March 9, 1996, Kielcynski submitted to a written Sergeant's promotional examination conducted by the Village of LaGrange Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. On April 22, 1996, Kielczynski submitted to an oral interview conducted by the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. Kielczynski was informed that she had the highest scores after these two tests.

 Thereafter, the Police supervisors, all males, including Clark, conducted individual evaluations of each Sergeant candidate, including Kielcynski, for purposes of awarding merit and efficiency points. According to Kielcynski, the supervisors deliberately awarded her low merit and efficiency scores in order to keep her from being one of the top three candidates on the Sergeant's Promotional Eligibility List. *fn2" On May 4, 1996, the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners posted the Police Sergeant's Eligibility Register. Kielcynski ranked number four. The top three candidates were males.

 On October 3, 1996, Kielczynski filed a Charge of Discrimination against LaGrange with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that Defendants committed certain acts of discrimination against Kielczynski on the basis of her gender. Kielczynski alleges that the aforementioned acts of the Defendants were based upon Kielczynski's sex and in retaliation for her having complained about sex discrimination.

 Subsequently, as of approximately January of 1997, Kielczynski was admitted to the Executive Management Program at the Illinois State Training and Standards Board which is affiliated with Western Illinois University. Kielczynski intended to attend this program, which was to begin in March of 1997, on her own time, at no cost to LaGrange, in an effort to enhance her career and improve her promotion opportunities in law enforcement. Beginning in approximately January of 1997, and continuing thereafter, Kielczynski alleges that LaGrange and Clark interfered with Kielczynski's admission to this program in that Clark: (1) made a Freedom of Information Act request from the program to obtain Kielczynski's application, (2) made numerous telephone calls to the program, and (3) advised the program that Kielczynski was not a qualified candidate. As a result of these actions, in approximately February of 1997, Kielczynski's invitation to attend the program was withdrawn.

 On November 21, 1997, Kielczynski filed her original complaint in this action. On May 4, 1998, this court granted leave for Kielczynski to file her Amended Complaint. Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint added Clark (in his official and/or personal capacity) as a defendant and added Counts III and IV (brought, as discussed below, under § 1983).

 The first two counts of Plaintiff's four-count amended complaint are brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. and allege that LaGrange discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her sex by deliberately downgrading her evaluations for promotion and thereby denying her promotional opportunities and other terms and conditions of employment (Count I) and retaliated against her for filing Charges of Discrimination with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission ("EEOC") (Count II). Counts III and IV are brought under Section 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and allege sex discrimination and retaliation (Count III) and violation of Plaintiff's due process rights (Count IV). Counts I and II are brought only against LaGrange and Counts III and IV are brought against both LaGrange and Clark, individually.

 STANDARDS FOR MOTION TO DISMISS

 On a motion to dismiss, the court takes all of the well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draws all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See, e.g., Wilczynski v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 93 F.3d 397, 401 (7th Cir. 1996). A complaint will not be dismissed on a motion to dismiss unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle him or her to relief. Id.

 ANALYSIS

 Defendants' motion to dismiss raises four arguments. First, Defendants argue this court should dismiss any and all allegations of conduct or incidents which did not occur within the relevant statute of limitations periods. Second, Defendants contend that allegations directed at the newly-named defendant, Clark, do not "relate back" to Plaintiff's original Complaint and, instead are time-barred. Third, Defendants argue that Plaintiff's § 1983 claims do not state a cause of action. Fourth, Defendants argue ...


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