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O'Leary v. Kaupas

October 19, 2010

MARLIS O'LEARY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PAUL KAUPAS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This case comes before the court on the motion of Defendant James Luna for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 and the motion of Plaintiff Marlis O'Leary to compel discovery under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37. For the reasons stated below, we grant both motions.

BACKGROUND

On March 18, 2006, the Will County Sheriff's Office hired Plaintiff Marlis O'Leary ("O'Leary") as a correctional officer at the Will County Adult Detention Facility ("ADF"). O'Leary worked at the ADF from March 18, 2006, until June 27, 2007. Defendant Sergeant James Luna ("Luna") also worked at the ADF with O'Leary. As sergeant, Luna served in a supervisory capacity and had the authority to discipline other correctional officers at the ADF.

From March 2006 to August 2006, Luna made a number of advances toward O'Leary and engaged in sexually suggestive behavior in her presence. During O'Leary's first month of employment, Luna asked her out on dates ten or fifteen times. On one occasion, Luna placed a baton between his legs, used it to simulate sexual intercourse with O'Leary, and then struck her with the baton on the upper thigh. Luna also made a wager with another correctional officer regarding who would be the first person to sleep with O'Leary. During a training session, Luna grabbed O'Leary by the arm and began yelling at her about the manner in which she wore her bulletproof vest. In another incident during training, Luna discharged a stun gun in O'Leary's direction. Finally, Luna invited O'Leary to his birthday party in the summer of 2006. Luna never bothered O'Leary again after that. On December 10, 2006, Luna stopped working at the ADF due to a work-related injury and did not return until June 1, 2007.*fn1

O'Leary filed suit against Luna on December 18, 2008. In her complaint, O'Leary asserted a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that Luna violated her equal protection rights by subjecting her to sexual harassment. Her complaint also included a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED") under Illinois law. Luna moved for summary judgment on all claims against him on June 29, 2010.

On September 17, 2010, O'Leary filed a motion to compel discovery related to the destruction of a "Book of Shame" maintained by employees at the ADF.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when "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 summary judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A genuine issue of material fact exists when the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could find for the non-movant. Buscaglia v. United States, 25 F.3d 530, 534 (7th Cir. 1994). The movant in a motion for summary judgment bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact by specific citation to the record; if the party succeeds in doing so, the burden shifts to the non-movant to set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue of fact for trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). In considering motions for summary judgment, a court construes all facts and draws all inferences from the record in favor of the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).

DISCUSSION

I. Motion For Summary Judgment

Luna argues that he is entitled to summary judgment on O'Leary's claims against him because they are both barred by the applicable statute of limitations. We will first discuss the merits of Luna's motion with respect to O'Leary's federal claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 before assessing the timeliness of her IIED cause of action under Illinois law.

A. Timeliness of O'Leary's Section 1983 Claim

Luna contends that we should enter judgment as a matter of law in his favor on O'Leary's § 1983 claim because no genuine issues of fact exist regarding Luna's lack of involvement in harassing behavior during the limitations period. In Illinois, suits under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. Williams v. Lampe, 399 F.3d 867, 870 (7th Cir. 2005). O'Leary instituted this action against Luna on December 18, 2008. The parties do not dispute that Luna did not engage in sexually harassing behavior after August 2006. Additionally, the parties agree that Luna was absent from the Will County ADF from December 10, 2006, until June 1, 2007, by which time the incidents of improper conduct toward O'Leary had ceased. Given the parties' agreement as to ...


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