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Johnson v. City of Peoria

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS PEORIA DIVISION


January 28, 2010

VIDA JOHNSON, FRANKIE L. KING, SR., AUBRY DUNCAN, FREDDIE E. WRIGHT, SR.,TIMOTHY J. MORRIS, CHUCKY WADE, AND RAY MOSLEY, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CITY OF PEORIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joe Billy Mcdade United States District Judge

OPINION and ORDER

Before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant, City of Peoria [Doc. 4]. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is DENIED.

Each of Plaintiffs claim that they were hired as temporary employees of the City of Peoria's Department of Public Works and that they were passed up for permanent employment, terminated, and/or disciplined because of their race.

Defendant has filed a Motion to dismiss stating that Plaintiffs' Complaint should be dismissed because they are suing a non-entity, the Department of Public Works, and not the correct entity, the City of Peoria. Defendant argues that, as captioned in the Complaint, the "City of Peoria, Department of Public Works" is a non-entity and incapable of being sued. Defendant further asserts that failing to name just the "City of Peoria" as a party-defendant is fatal to Plaintiff's claim.

Defendant's argument is without merit. While Plaintiffs may have elected to specify the Department (where they worked) in the caption and throughout the Complaint, it is clear that they are suing the City of Peoria. Rule 8(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that "pleadings must be construed so as to do justice." Consistent with this ruling, the "Department of Public Works" is STRICKEN from the caption. In light of this conclusion, Defendant's remaining arguments are moot.

This matter is REFERRED to Magistrate Judge Gorman for a Rule 16 scheduling conference and all other pretrial matters.

20100128

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