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United States District Court, N.D. Illinois

August 16, 2004.

Illinois State Police.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES ZAGEL, District Judge

Plaintiffs Joseph Mata and Leonard Sakoda have filed complaints against the Illinois State Police defendants, alleging national origin discrimination and/or retaliation for, among other things, Defendants' failure to promote them. Although these cases have not been formally consolidated, the parties have been conducting discovery simultaneously. To avoid duplicity of effort and expense and to prevent the possibility of inconsistent rulings, I have agreed, for now, to consolidate these cases for the purposes of this motion only. My ruling is as follows:

A. Documents Requested by Sergeant Mata
1. Documents Regarding Shift Selections/Changes
Plaintiff has requested all policies and contracts pertaining to shift selection and involuntary shift changes. Defendants claim that all relevant documents have either been produced or have been adequately represented in the ISP Defendants' depositions. To the extent that Defendants have in their possession documents containing non-duplicative information, I order that it be produced.

2. Documents Regarding Plaintiff's MCS Contracts/Inspections and CVEO Duties

  Plaintiff requests the MCS contracts/inspections for District 15 from 1993 through 1998. Defendants claim that information from the years prior to 1998 are irrelevant because Mata did not receive a CVEO position until after 1998. To allow for comparison, I order the production of information from 1996-1998.

  Plaintiff also seeks information regarding CVEO pay, duties, and selection criteria. Defendant asserts that it has produced all relevant documents in its possession except for a CVEO handbook, which Mata should have already had in his possession. For this reason, I see no need to order any further production.

  3. Personnel Documents Regarding All Troopers Promoted to Sergeant or "By Passed" For Promotion to Sergeant in 1998

  Plaintiff requests the annual job performance evaluations and promotional evaluations for all Troopers in District 15 who were either promoted or "by-passed" for promotion in 1998. Defendant has produced selected evaluations. Since these evaluations may be relevant to the establishment of Plaintiff's prima facie case, I order them produced in their entirety absent claims of a protective order.

  4. Defendants' Personnel Files

  Plaintiff requests the personnel files of the named Defendants. Defendants claim that since none of the named Defendants have been parties to race or national origin discrimination suits, the files are irrelevant. I tend to agree with the Defendants. I will, however, order an in camera inspection of any documents which pertain to allegations of race or national origin discrimination. This order also applies to the personnel files sought by Plaintiff Sakoda.

  5. Evidence of Other Acts of Discrimination

  Plaintiff is seeking evidence or testimony pertaining to all claims of harassment and discrimination. Defendants object on the grounds that claims of harassment not involving race or national origin are irrelevant to this case. Because I agree with Defendants arguments, I will not order production of documents outside those pertaining to race and national origin discrimination.

  6. Records After June 1999

  Plaintiff also requests records that post-date his departure from District 15. Defendant objects to the documents as irrelevant since Plaintiff has not alleged wrongdoing against his subsequent District, District 16. I think personnel ratings received by Mata after the move may be relevant for comparison purposes and order that they be produced.

  B. Documents Requested by Plaintiff Sakoda

  1. Copies of Promotional Certification Lists

  Plaintiff seeks production of evaluations of Masters Sergeants state-wide. Defendants object on the grounds that sergeant promotions are based on regional rankings. Since Plaintiff would not have been ranked with sergeants outside his region, I must agree with Defendants that the information is irrelevant. Thus, I will not order the production of certification lists outside Plaintiff's home region.

  2. EEO Reports

  Plaintiff seeks production of the ISP EEO Plans for 1995 through the present. Defendants object to production of EEO Plans outside the relevant time period for this litigation, which is, in Defendants' opinion, 1998-2002. Since Plaintiff's complaints of poor evaluations begin as early as 1996 and continue through 2003, I order production of the EEO reports for those years.

  3. Documents Regarding the Study, Development, and Implementation of the Promotional System

  Plaintiff seeks production of all documents regarding the study, development, and implementation of the ISP's promotional evaluation process that was established in 1996. Defendants claim to have produced over one thousand pages of information concerning its evaluation system. To the extent that more information remains, I order it be produced.

  4. Documents Withheld Pursuant to Privilege

  Plaintiff has requested that Defendants provide a log of any documents withheld as privileged. I order Plaintiffs and Defendants to exchange privilege logs.

  5. Documents Concerning Events Prior to 1999

  Plaintiff requests documents concerning events that took place prior to 1999 and are, as Defendant points out, related to activities which are, in a litigation sense, time-barred. Since these documents correspond to acts that are not applicable to this or any other litigation, I will not order their production.

  C. Plaintiffs' Requests That All Subsequent Depositions Be Taken in Wheaton

  Plaintiff has requested that all subsequent depositions take place in Wheaton. Since Plaintiff did not object to this request in their response to Plaintiff's motion, I will order depositions be held in Wheaton absent objection by a deponent not employed by Plaintiffs or Defendants.

  Plaintiff's Motion to Compel is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.


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