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Jacoby v. Schimka Auto Wreckers

August 11, 2010

JOHN JACOBY, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF AND ALL OTHER PLAINTIFFS KNOWN AND UNKNOWN, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SCHIMKA AUTO WRECKERS, INC., AND MICHAEL SCHIMKA, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment in Plaintiff's class action suit for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion is granted. Counts I, II, and III are dismissed with prejudice. Counts IV and V are dismissed without prejudice.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Facts

Defendant Michael Schimka is the President of Defendant Schimka Auto Wreckers, Inc. (hereinafter, collectively, "Schimka"), a towing business that tows vehicles of the City of Des Plaines, Illinois (the "City"). Schimka tows vehicles at the City's request, engages in safety towing pursuant to the Illinois Commercial Safety Towing Law, and does commercial towing for auto body repair shops and car dealerships. Schimka does not have any contracts with any businesses that are located outside of Illinois.

Plaintiff John Jacoby ("Jacoby") was employed by Schimka as a tow truck driver from December 8, 2008 until he was terminated on or about April 13, 2009. During the time he was employed, Jacoby worked five days a week from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and also worked alternate Saturdays. Jacoby's duties consisted solely of towing motor vehicles. Jacoby did not engage in the towing of any vehicles across state lines, nor did he have any duties that required him to communicate across state lines.

Jacoby filed this suit in federal court, claiming that Schimka violated the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. (the "FLSA") (Counts I, II, and III), the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (Count IV), and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (Count V).

B. Issues

Jacoby claims that Schimka violated the FLSA because Jacoby was not paid one and a half times the regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of forty hours per week. Schimka filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on Counts I through III, arguing that Jacoby's claims do not fall under FLSA because (1) the Defendant company does not have a gross volume of sales made or business done of at least $500,000, as demonstrated by Schimka's tax returns, and (2) Jacoby did not engage in interstate commerce or the production of goods for commerce. Either one or the other of these two requirements would have to be met for Jacoby to have a claim under the terms of FLSA.

Jacoby counters that (1) tax returns are not the only method to determine if a business meets the threshold required to be considered an enterprise; (2) the definition of "interstate commerce" is so liberal that virtually all entities are linked to a good or material that moved in interstate commerce; and (3) Schimka is entitled to additional discovery to prove his case under Rule 56(f).

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper if "the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A fact is material if it could affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law, and a dispute is genuine where the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

The Court's role, when ruling on a motion for summary judgment, is not to weigh the evidence or determine the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue of material fact that warrants trial. Id. at 249. In making this determination, the Court must view all the evidence and draw any reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Miller v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co., 203 F.3d 997, 1003 (7th Cir. 2000). The nonmoving party, however, may not rest on mere allegations, but must present ...


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