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Clemmer v. Office of the Chief Judge

April 8, 2008

REGINA CLEMMER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUDGE AND STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morton Denlow United States Magistrate Judge

Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Regina Clemmer ("Plaintiff") moves this Court to compel a non-party, the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board ("JIB"), to produce, pursuant to subpoena, files maintained by the JIB. The JIB objects to the subpoena on the grounds that its files are protected by confidentiality provisions found in the Illinois Constitution and the JIB's Rules of Procedure. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Plaintiff's motion to compel. In addition, at the hearing on March 26, the Court denied Defendants' motion for a closed hearing on the motion to compel. The Court provides a further explanation in this opinion.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

A. Complaint with the JIB

In June 2002, Plaintiff, an Official Court Reporter, filed a complaint with the JIB against Cook County Circuit Court Judge Anthony Iosco alleging sexual harassment. The JIB launched an investigation into the charges. In November 2002, the JIB found that Plaintiff's charges were unfounded, and the JIB informed Plaintiff that it would not file a formal complaint against Judge Iosco with the Illinois Court's Commission.

B. Federal Lawsuit

In August 2002, Plaintiff filed a formal complaint with the EEOC. On June 20, 2006, Plaintiff filed a two-count complaint in this Court against Defendants Office of the Chief Judge of Circuit Court of Cook County and the State of Illinois (collectively "Defendants"), alleging that Defendants engaged in sex discrimination (Count I) and retaliation (Count II) against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.

1. Judge Aspen's Decision Regarding Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment

On May 9, 2007, Judge Marvin E. Aspen granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment on Count I, and granted in part and denied in part the motion for summary judgment on Count II, dismissing Plaintiff's entire sex discrimination claim and most of Plaintiff's retaliation claim. However, Judge Aspen denied the motion with respect to Count II "as it pertains to the specific issue of [Plaintiff's] alleged increased assignments to 'TBA' status after she filed discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission." Clemmer v. Office of the Chief Judge of Circuit Court of Cook County, 2007 WL 1390618 (N.D. Ill 2007).

In the beginning of his opinion, Judge Aspen expressly discussed each of the allegations in Plaintiff's retaliation claim. Id. at *1-*2. However, Judge Aspen did not include in this discussion Plaintiff's allegation that "[w]hen investigators from the Judicial Inquiry Board came to the Office of the Official Court Reporters to interview other reporters, the manager interfered with the investigation and directed the investigators to leave the office immediately." See Complaint at 3; Clemmer, 2007 WL 1390618. When granting in part Defendants' motion for summary judgment on Count II, Judge Aspen stated that "most of Clemmer's allegations and supporting evidence fail as a matter of law to state a case for Title VII unlawful retaliation." Clemmer, 2007 WL 1390618 at *6. He stated that "[e]xcept for the 'TBA' status assignments discussed below, we cannot conclude that any of the alleged acts of retaliation, viewed separately or cumulatively, were significant enough to deter most individuals in Clemmer's situation from filing charges or complaints of discrimination." Id. Judge Aspen expressly held that the only genuine issues of material fact left for trial were "the alleged TBA assignment increase under Lawless, as well as the impact of that increase on Clemmer's overall compensation." Id. at *7.

2. Plaintiff's Motion to Reopen Limited Discovery

On December 4, 2007, Judge Aspen granted Plaintiff's motion to reopen limited discovery. Doc. No. 80. In Plaintiff's motion, she specifically requested discovery be reopened in part so that she could "obtain the names and addresses of the aforementioned JIB investigators who were allegedly obstructed in their investigation by way of a subpoena for deposition so ...


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