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Collins v. State

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD DIVISION


December 7, 2007

MARGARET J. COLLINS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF ILLINOIS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, U.S. District Judge

OPINION

In an Order entered on November 20, 2007, the Court granted the motion of Defendant Illinois Federation of Teachers, Local 4408, Jean Reeder and Gary Leach ("Union Defendants") for attorney's fees and costs, thus ordering the Plaintiff to pay fees and costs in the amount of $1,575.00. Pending is the Plaintiff's motion to vacate that order.

In support of her motion to vacate, Plaintiff Margaret J. Collins alleges that she did not have an opportunity to respond to the Defendant's itemized bill for attorney's fees. However, the record shows that the Plaintiff neither filed a response within the fourteen day period allowed under Local Rule 7.1B(1), nor did she request an extension of time.

The Plaintiff also asserts that based on her notice of appeal entered on October 19, 2007, this Court lacks jurisdiction to award attorney's fees and costs. A notice of appeal generally "divests the district court of its control over those aspects of the case involved in the appeal." May v. Sheahan, 226 F.3d 876, 879 (7th Cir. 2000) (citation omitted). However, "[a] district court may wrap up unfinished business--awarding costs and attorneys' fees, for example," after a notice of appeal is filed. Alberio v. City of Kankakee, 122 F.3d 417, 418 (7th Cir. 1997). Accordingly, the Plaintiff's notice of appeal in this case does not preclude the Court from ruling on the Defendant's motion for attorney's fees and costs. The Plaintiff's additional arguments warrant no discussion.

Ergo, the Plaintiff's motion to vacate the November 20, 2007 order awarding attorney's fees to the Illinois Federation of Teachers [d/e 195] is DENIED.

20071207

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