United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
April 7, 2004.
MARGARET J. COLLINS, Plaintiff,
STATE OF ILLINOIS, ILLINOIS SECRETARY OF STATE AND STATE LIBRARIAN, JESSE WHITE, ILLINOIS STATE LIBRARY, JEAN WILKINS, Director of Illinois State Library, Individually and Professionally, KATHLEEN BLOOMBERG, Associate Director of Illinois State Library, Individually and Professionally, ILLINOIS FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, JEAN REEDER, and GARY LEACH, Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD MILLS, Senior District Judge
The Plaintiff has filed no less than three civil actions with this
Court in the previous five years.
Because the allegations in the Plaintiff's most recent complaint in
this case are very similar to those in her previous actions-cases which
are currently on appeal to the Seventh Circuit-this Court does not have
jurisdiction to entertain the Plaintiff's claims.
This case must be DISMISSED.
I. PENDING MOTIONS
In the complaint in this case, the Plaintiff has purported to allege
claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (Title VII),
42 U.S.C. § 1981, and 29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.
Pending before the Court are the following motions:
(1) Motion to dismiss and motion to hold in abeyance by Defendants
Illinois Federation of Teachers, Jean Reeder and Gary Leach;
(2) Motion for sanctions by Defendants State of Illinois; Illinois
State Library; Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White; Jean Wilkins and
(3) Motion to dismiss by Defendants State of Illinois; Illinois State
Library; Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White; Jean Wilkins and
Kathleen Bloomberg; (4) Motion for an injunction by the Plaintiff against the Illinois
State Library and Illinois Secretary of State;
(5) Motion for a hearing by the Plaintiff on her motion for an
(6) Second motion for an injunction by the Plaintiff against the
Illinois State Library and Illinois Secretary of State;
(7) Motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's amended complaint by Defendants
State of Illinois; Illinois State Library; Illinois Secretary of State,
Jesse White; Jean Wilkins and Kathleen Bloomberg;
(8) Motion to dismiss by Defendants Illinois Federation of Teachers,
Jean Reeder and Gary Leach; and
(9) Motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's amended complaint by Defendants
Illinois Federation of Teachers, Jean Reeder, and Gary Leach.
A. Plaintiff's First Civil Action
The Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, has filed several actions with this Court in recent years. One such case was filed on June 21,
1999,*fn1 against Defendants Bridget L. Lament, Tina Prose, and
Gregory McCormick.*fn2 See Collins v. Lamont et al., No.
01-1150 (C.D. Ill. 2001). In an Order dated September 3, 2002, United
States District Judge Michael M. Mihm entered summary judgment against
the Plaintiff on all of her claims.
B. Plaintiff's Second Civil Action
On February 22, 2002, while the previously filed case was still
pending, the Plaintiff filed an action in this Court against Defendants
Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois State Library, Jean Wilkins,
Gregrory McCormick, Mike Ragan, Patricia Norris,*fn3 Tina Prose, and the
Illinois Federation of Public Employees. See Collins v. Illinois
Secretary of State et al., No. 02-3054 (C.D. Ill. 2002). In an Order
dated November 1, 2002, the undersigned allowed those Defendants' motion
to dismiss on the basis that the Plaintiff's claims were barred by the
doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel.*fn4
C. Plaintiff's Pending Civil Action
The case sub judice was filed on June 30, 2003. In her
amended complaint, the Plaintiff alleges the following:
She is a black female who has been employed
by the Illinois State Library since 1976.
Defendant Kathleen Bloomberg is currently
the Associate Director of Library Operations and
is the Plaintiff's immediate supervisor in
that unit of the Illinois State Library.
Defendant Jean Wilkins is the Director of
the Illinois State Library. Although Ms. Wilkins has never supervised
the Plaintiff, she was once a co-worker in the
Library Development Group of the Illinois
Ms. Wilkins authorized her 1999 suspension,
her 2000 written warning, her 2002 written
warning and her December 2003 suspension.
Moreover, Ms. Wilkins transferred the
Plaintiff in 2003 without giving her a copy of
the grievance letter.
The Plaintiff alleges generally that Ms.
Wilkins has not provided her with documentation
showing that she was disciplined. The Plaintiff
next alleges that the duties assigned to and
performed by her are not similar to the job
description and duties performed by a Library
Program Specialist. Additionally, the Plaintiff
She is the only Library Program
Specialist in Library Operations.
The work performed by similarly situated
whites is substantially similar to that of
other Library Program Specialists.
On March 1, 2003, her position of Library
Program Specialist was transferred from the Library Development Group
to Library Operations.
She was placed under the direction of a
manager who was not experienced in the specific
job that she was performing.
No white Library Program Specialist who
was similarly situated to her was placed under
the supervision of that manager.
The Plaintiff also alleges that, since
her transfer, she has had many of her normal
responsibilities and tasks taken away and has
been assigned certain clerical tasks, such as
shelving books and filing.
Moreover, she has not been allowed to
attend meetings of the Illinois System
Presidents and Directors and Illinois State Library
The Plaintiff further alleges: (1) she was
not given overtime that she reported; (2) she
was not allowed to use the overtime she earned
in the manner she would like; (3) she was placed
on proof status for four work injuries she
suffered in 2002; and (4) she returned to proof
status on December 9, 2003, and was not given
a fair evaluation. The Plaintiff next alleges that she believes
she has been denied certain employment
opportunities. Specifically, the Plaintiff alleges:
She has been denied equal job and
promotional opportunities and equal pay for
doing the same work as higher classified whites.
She has been given work assignments and
job classifications which are lower than
similarly positioned and situated white employees
on the basis of her race.
Moreover, she has been discriminated
against in that: (1) her travel has been
curtailed; (2) she has not been allowed
perform all the duties of her job description;
(3) she has been more everely punished for
expressing an opinion; (4) she has been
subject to reprimands after missing lunch or
asking to take a late lunch; (5) she has been
subject to an unfair evaluation and more
rigorous reporting; (6) she has had the use of
technical staff curtailed while similarly
situated whites have not been similarly
treated; and (7) she is currently assigned to
oversee the work of a black support worker,
but not given supervision recognition. The Plaintiff next asserts that she has been
punished for reporting discrimination.
Specifically, the Plaintiff alleges:
The Defendant punished her by giving her
an annual evaluation of 1.67 in retaliation
for filing her EEOC charge against the Illinois
State Library in November 2002 and the
complaint in this case in June 2003.*fn5
She was suspended for the third time
since 1997 on December 15, 2003; the
suspension was served December 16-18.
She was suspended for her evaluation
comments, her e-mail messages to Ms.
Bloomberg, and disagreeing with Ms. Bloomberg
in a staff meeting on or about October 9, 2003.
The suspension occurred almost six months
after the initial complaint was filed in this
The Plaintiff has also asserted claims against
the following Defendants: the Illinois
Federation of Teachers ("IFT"), Jean Reeder, and
Gary Leach. The Plaintiff further alleges: The Illinois Federation of Teachers
("IFT") is a union that represents the Illinois
Federation of Public Employees #4408 ("IFPE"),
and the Plaintiff is a member of the IFPE Union.
Ms. Reeder is a field representative for
Ms. Reeder refused to file a grievance
against the Illinois Secretary of State for
violating the IFT contract.
Moreover, Ms. Reeder colluded with the
Illinois Secretary of State and white IFPE
Union members from the Library Development Group
to file a grievance to have the Plaintiff
removed from the Library Development Group.
Ms. Reeder, in collusion with the
Illinois State Library and Illinois Secretary
of State, failed to provide the Plaintiff with a
copy of her grievance.
Ms. Reeder acted against a union member
and did not provide her with representation.
Ms. Reeder did not allow the Plaintiff to
respond to the grievance filed against her with
the Illinois State Library. Moreover, Ms. Reeder represented
similarly situated white union members against
Ms. Reeder blocked the Plaintiff from
appealing to the executive committee of the IFPE.
Additionally, she refused to represent
the Plaintiff against the Illinois State
Library regarding compensatory time from the March
15-21, 2003, trip to Arlington, Virginia.
The Plaintiff makes the following allegations
as to Defendant Gary Leach:
Mr. Leach is Director of the IFT.
Mr. Leach lied to the EEOC in 2000 in regard
to pursuing arbitration of the Plaintiff's
October 1999 suspension.
In retaliation for the Plaintiff's April
2000 EEOC complaint, moreover, Mr. Leach
refused to arbitrate her September 2000 written
warning, thereby sanctioning unfair labor
practices by the Illinois State Library and
Illinois Secretary of State.
Mr. Leach also refused to allow the
Plaintiff to appear before the executive committee of the IFT in 2002.
Finally, Ms. Reeder and Mr. Leach
continue to provide unfair and
under-representation of the Plaintiff in
violation of the IFT and Secretary of State's
non-discrimination clause, the National Labor
Relations Act, the Civil Rights Act and Title
In Count I of her amended complaint, the Plaintiff alleges that she has
been discriminated against by the IFT on the basis of her race and
retaliated against pursuant to Title VII.
In Count II, she asserts that she has suffered emotional distress, lost
wages, embarrassment, humiliation, degradation, and loss of esteem as a
result of the Defendants' intentional and willful actions.
In Count III, she contends that the actions of the Defendants as
alleged were in retaliation for her filing a discrimination charge.
A review of the Plaintiff's complaint and amended complaint reveals
that the case sub judice is basically the same case as the two
most recent cases she has filed in this Court.*fn6 While some of the
Defendants have changed and some new allegations have been added,*fn7
the Plaintiff's general factual allegations are very similar to those she
has asserted in the previous lawsuits. As the Court earlier noted, the
Plaintiff's most recent EEOC charge was filed the same month that her
second case was dismissed.
The Court has reviewed the docket, and notices of appeal have been
filed in the two previous cases. Those cases are currently pending on
appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
The filing of a notice of appeal divests a district court of jurisdiction
and shifts control over the issues on appeal to the court of appeals.
Brenner v. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 338 F.3d 713, 722
(7th Cir. 2003). Pursuant to this rule, a district court retains
jurisdiction to act only if the proceeding before that court is a
discrete matter ancillary to the issues being considered by the appellate
court. May v. Sheahan, 226 F.3d 876, 879 (7th Cir. 2000).
Because the issues in the instant case are closely related to the issues
in the two cases that are currently on appeal to the Seventh Circuit,
this Court is without subject matter jurisdiction to consider the
Ergo, this case is hereby DISMISSED.
FOR THE COURT.