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Debra L. Shull v. Dewitt County

June 4, 2011

DEBRA L. SHULL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEWITT COUNTY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:

E-FILED

Tuesday, 05 June, 2012 04:30:15 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Motion) (d/e 6). For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 10, 2012, Plaintiff Debra L. Shull filed a four-count Complaint against Defendant DeWitt County. See d/e 1. Count I alleges a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) (42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.), Count II alleges an equal protection claim under the Fourteenth Amendment, Count III alleges false imprisonment, and Count IV alleges breach of contract.

On April 16, 2012, Defendant filed its Motion to Dismiss in which it argued that Counts I, III, and IV of the Complaint should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). The Motion is fully briefed.

II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

The federal questions posed by Plaintiff's Title VII claim gives this Court subject-matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. §1331. The Court has jurisdiction over the state law claims pursuant to its supplemental jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). Personal jurisdiction and venue requirements are satisfied because the relevant acts occurred in this judicial district. See World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297 (1980) (personal jurisdiction exists where a defendant "purposefully avail[ed] [himself or herself] of the privilege of conducting activities" in the forum state); see 28 U.S.C. §1391(b) (venue in non-diversity cases is proper in a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State).

III. ANALYSIS

A. Legal Standard

Under Rule 12(b)(6), dismissal is proper where a complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). To state a claim upon which relief can be granted, a complaint must provide a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). That statement must be sufficient to provide the defendant with "fair notice" of the claim and its basis. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929, 940 (2007). This means that (1) "the complaint must describe the claim in sufficient detail to give the defendant 'fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests" and (2) its allegations must plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, raising that possibility above a "speculative level." EEOC v. Concentra Health Services, Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007). While detailed factual allegations are not needed, a "formulaic recitation of a cause of action's elements will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S. Ct. at 1965, 167 L. Ed. 2d at 940. Conclusory allegations are "not entitled to be assumed true." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1951, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868, 885 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)). "In ruling on Rule 12(b)(6) motions, the court must treat all well-pleaded allegations as true and draw all inferences in favor of the non-moving party." In re marchFIRST Inc., 589 F.3d 901, 904 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1081).

B. Count I--Plaintiff's Title VII Claim In Count I, Plaintiff alleges that from 1998 until February 10, 2011, she was employed by Defendant. On February 10, 2011, she served in the position of Emergency Services Disaster Agency Coordinator. She performed all of the essential function of her positions with Defendant.

On February 10, 2011, Plaintiff attended the meting of the Public Safety Committee of the County Board of the County of DeWitt (Public Safety Committee). During this meeting, David Taylor, a member of the Public Safety Committee, advised Plaintiff that her employment was going to be terminated as a result of her performance review. She was told to resign or be terminated. Plaintiff refused to resign and was thereafter terminated. According to ...


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