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Green v. Illinois Power Co.

September 5, 2007

CHARLES LEE GREEN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ILLINOIS POWER COMPANY, AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, NOW D/B/A AMERENIP, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCUSKEY Chief U.S. District Judge

OPINION

This case is before the court for ruling on the Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (#10) filed by Defendant AmerenIP.*fn1 Following this court's careful review of the arguments of the parties and the documents filed by the parties, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (#10) is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

FACTS

This court agrees with Defendant that this is the latest in a long line of lawsuits that Plaintiff, Charles Green, has filed against his employer, the Defendant. This court also agrees that each of Green's prior actions has been terminated in Defendant's favor because his claims were previously adjudicated, time-barred, not properly exhausted at the administrative level, or unsupported by any evidence. Because of the numerous previous filings by Green in this court, this court had entered an Opinion in an earlier case which barred Green "from filing any future lawsuits, letters, pleadings, or motions unless he first obtains leave of this court to file a given document."*fn2 This court further ordered that "any motions for leave to file must either: (a) be prepared and filed by a licensed attorney or (b) if filed by Green pro se, must be accompanied by a memorandum of law in support of Green's claims." This court also stated that the "memorandum must include an affidavit certifying that the claims Green wishes to present are new and have never before been raised in any court and are not barred by the statute of limitations."

On April 23, 2007, Green filed a pro se Motion for Leave to File Complaint, Memorandum, Affidavit, and Supporting Documents in Case No. 07-mc-2029. On April 27, 2007, this court entered an Opinion which denied Green's Motion for Leave to File (#1). This court noted that Green's Memorandum of Law, which he attached to his Motion, was completely unhelpful and included no explanation as to how the various propositions of law and statements regarding various statutes related to the claims included in his proposed Complaint. This court also noted that many of them had no apparent connection to his claims at all. This court also concluded that Green's affidavit fell short of the requirements this court clearly set out in its prior Opinion because it was rambling and, for the most part, did not address any of the requirements of this court's prior Opinion. Specifically, it did not certify "that the claims Green wishes to present are new and have never before been raised in any court and are not barred by the statute of limitations."

On May 7, 2007, Green filed a pro se Motion for Leave of Court to File Amended Complaint, Memorandum, Affidavit and Supporting Documents. Green attached an 10-page proposed Complaint, which included an allegation that the claims he was presenting "are new and have never been raised in any court and are not barred by statute of limitation." Green also attached a 15-page Memorandum of Law, which suffered from the same infirmities as the Memorandum of Law attached to his previous Motion for Leave. In addition, Green attached his notarized affidavit. This affidavit, like the affidavit attached to his previous Motion, was rambling and, for the most part, completely irrelevant to the claims included in his Complaint or any of the requirements of this court's prior Opinion. However, in the new affidavit, Green did state that the "claims I have presented are new and have never been raised in any court and are not barred by statute of limitation." Green attached to his affidavit a copy of the Notice of Right to Sue he received from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a copy of a charge of discrimination he filed with the EEOC. Green's Complaint includes many of the same allegations as those included in his charge of discrimination.

On May 23, 2007, this court entered an Opinion in Case No. 07-mc-2029. This court concluded that Green still had not entirely complied with this court's prior Opinion because his Memorandum and Affidavit were, for the most part, completely unhelpful and irrelevant to the claims in his proposed Complaint. This court noted, however, that Green's Complaint did appear to raise new allegations, which were presented in his charge of discrimination. In addition, Green's new affidavit did include a certification that his claims were new, had never been raised in any court and were not barred by the statute of limitations. Accordingly, this court granted Green's Motion and stated that Green's proposed Complaint could be filed after Green paid the filing fee.

On June 1, 2007, Green paid the $350.00 filing fee and his Complaint (#1) was filed in this case. Green stated that his Complaint was filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. In his Complaint, Green included 12 separate counts.*fn3 In Count I, Green alleged that, in December 2005, he was subjected to discrimination based upon his race because he was denied the opportunity to serve on a substation safety committee. In Count II, Green alleged that, in December 2005, he was denied the opportunity to serve on a substation safety committee in retaliation for his opposition to unlawful discrimination. In Count III, Green alleged that, in October 2005, he was harassed in retaliation for his opposition to unlawful discrimination when Defendant displayed a "confederate/rebel/racist flag" in the Hazel street substation. In Count IV, Green alleged that, in October 2005, he was subjected to a hostile environment in retaliation for his opposition to unlawful discrimination when Defendant displayed a "confederate/rebel/racist flag" in the Hazel street substation.*fn4 In Count V, Green alleged that, in October and November 2005, he was forced to drive a defective truck in retaliation for his complaints about Defendant's illegal activities. In Count VI, Green alleged that, in October and November 2005, he was subjected to discrimination based upon his race when he was forced to drive a defective truck to work, putting his life in danger. In Count VII, Green alleged that, in October and November 2005, he was subjected to a hostile environment because of his race when Defendant displayed a "confederate/rebel/racist flag" in the Hazel street substation. In Count VIII, Green alleged that, in October 2005 through July 2006, he was subjected to a hostile environment in retaliation for his opposition to unlawful discrimination when he was forced to reside within 30 miles of his reporting area. In Count IX, Green alleged that, in October 2005 through July 2006, he was subjected to discrimination based upon his race when he was forced to reside within 30 miles of his reporting area. In Count X, Green alleged that, from October 2005 through April 23, 2007, he was "discriminated against, retaliated against, placed in a false light in regard to absenteeism, forced to fill out FMLA forms, placed in a hostile work environment, denied opportunity to serve on committees." In Count XI, Green alleged that, from October 2005 through April 23, 2007, he was subjected to continuing violations of the collective bargaining agreement including discrimination and unequal terms and conditions. In Count XII, Green again alleged discrimination and unequal terms and conditions from October 2005 through April 23, 2007. Green attached a copy of a Dismissal and Notice of Rights issued by the EEOC on January 26, 2007, and a charge of discrimination he filed with the EEOC on December 14, 2006.*fn5

On August 13, 2007, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (#10) and a Memorandum of Law in Support (#11) with attached exhibits. Defendant argues that Green should not be allowed to continue to abuse the judicial system and serve Defendant with frivolous lawsuits. Defendant contends that Green's Complaint should be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendant argues that the Complaint attempts to assert claims that have been previously adjudicated, claims that could have been raised in one of his prior actions and claims that are outside the scope of or not included in a timely-filed administrative charge. Defendant also argues that Green's Complaint fails to state a cause of action against Defendant for which relief may be granted. In addition, Defendant has requested an order from this court awarding Defendant its attorneys' fees and costs incurred in preparing and filing its Motion to Dismiss and preventing Green from filing similar frivolous claims against Defendant in the future.

On August 29, 2007, Green filed his Response to the Motion to Dismiss (#14). Green argues that the claims in his Complaint are new, have never been raised in any court and are not barred by the statute of limitations. He contends that the claims are the result of his current EEOC charge and that the events alleged in the current Complaint happened after the filing of Green's prior cases.*fn6

ANALYSIS

I. STANDARD

The purpose of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) is to test the legal sufficiency of the complaint, not the factual sufficiency. Szabo v. Bridgeport Mach., Inc., 249 F.3d 672, 675-76 (7th Cir. 2001); see also Cler v. Ill. Educ. Ass'n, 423 F.3d 726, 729 (7th Cir. 2005). Factual sufficiency is tested later, by a motion for summary judgment under Rule 56 and, if necessary, by trial. Szabo, 249 F.3d at 675. When ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court generally should only consider the allegations of the complaint. Centers v. Centennial Mortgage, Inc., 398 F.3d 930, 933 (7th Cir. 2005). The court must also accept well-pleaded allegations as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Centers, 398 F.3d at 933; see also Erickson v. Pardus, ___ U.S. ___, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007).

Working hand in glove with Rule 12(b)(6) is Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Cler, 423 F.3d at 729. Rule 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Erickson, 127 S.Ct. at 2200. In order to meet this requirement, the complaint must "'give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Erickson, 127 S.Ct. at 2200, quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. ___, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964 (2007); see also E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., ___ F.3d ___, 2007 WL 2215764, at *2 (7th Cir. 2007). In addition, the "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." See Bell Atl. Corp., 127 S.Ct. at 1965; see also Concentra Health, 2007 WL 2215764, at *2. "[A]t some point the factual detail in a complaint may be so sketchy ...


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