United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
August 12, 2005.
ROYAL TOWING, INC., an Illinois corporation, RICK GRAVES and CHRISTINE GRAVES, Plaintiffs,
CITY OF HARVEY, a municipal corporation, et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES MORAN, Senior District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Rick Graves moves for clarification under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) of our Memorandum Opinion and Order
dated June 24, 2005. Royal Towing, Inc. v. City of Harvey, 2005
WL 15631198 at *1 (N.D.Ill. 2005). In that order we denied the
parties' cross motions for summary judgment on plaintiff's claim
for administrative review of the Harvey Police Pension Board's
termination of his disability benefits. Under the Illinois
Administrative Review Act, a reviewing court may only reverse a
pension board's factual findings if they are against the manifest
weight of the record. 735 ILCS 5/3-110; see International
College of Surgeons v. City of Chicago, 153 F.3d 356, 364-65
(7th Cir. 1998). After analyzing the record we determined
that we could not conduct a meaningful review of the Board's
findings in light of its failure to explain the reasoning for its
decision. We remanded the case to the Board for "further
Plaintiff recently learned that pursuant to our order the
Pension Board now intends to reconvene the hearing on plaintiff's
disability status and take testimony from at least one doctor who examined him. Plaintiff argues that the Board should
not be able to supplement the record with more evidence, but
rather should be limited to explaining its decision based on the
record that exists. Contrary to plaintiff's contention, we did
not intend the Board's "further proceedings" to be limited to the
issuance of a more detailed decision terminating plaintiff's
benefits. Upon remand, the Board is free to reassess the evidence
on record and its ultimate decision. In that process it may
determine that it needs more evidence in order to issue a sound
opinion with an articulable basis. Thus, the Board may reconvene
the hearing and supplement the evidentiary record.
Plaintiff's motion appears born out of a concern that the Board
intends to call only one additional witness to testify, Dr.
Mercier, the lone doctor of five, who believes plaintiff is able
to perform unrestricted police work. Plaintiff implies that Dr.
Mercier's testimony before the Board will provide it with a
justification for valuing his opinion over the opinions of the
other doctors. We simply note that, were this the case, the
Board's failure to hear testimony from the other four doctors
would weigh against the reasonableness of its reliance on Dr.
Mercier's minority opinion.
In its further proceedings on remand, the Harvey Police Pension
Board may supplement the record concerning plaintiff's
eligibility for disability benefits.
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