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Tiffany Conway, et al v. Chicago Housing Authority

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION


October 17, 2011

TIFFANY CONWAY, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Tiffany Conway ("Conway"), Joshua Bardney ("Bardney") and Paris Miller ("Miller") have joined in a self-prepared Complaint against Chicago Housing Authority ("CHA") and a number of contractors in the building trades, charging employment discrimination under Title VII (each plaintiff is African-American), 42 U.S.C. §1981 ("Section 1981") and the Housing and Urban Development Act's §3 ("Section 3," 12 U.S.C. §1701u). According to the Complaint, each of the three suffered discriminatory adverse employment actions when working for a different subcontractor of co-defendant Walsh Construction Company ("Walsh").

There is some question whether the three plaintiffs qualify for permissive joinder under Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 20(a)(1), but for the present it will be assumed arguendo that they may. This sua sponte memorandum order is triggered instead by some other threshold questions.

For one thing, there has been no payment of the $350 filing fee, even though Conway alone has submitted an In Forma Pauperis Application ("Application"). Although Conway's Application would suffice for in forma pauperis treatment if this were solely her lawsuit, in the present posture of affairs the action cannot go forward now.*fn1

Next, Bardney's Title VII claim appears to come too late, for Complaint ¶12 shows that he most likely received his right-to-sue letter more than 90 days before the lawsuit was tendered. And as for Miller, the Complaint is totally silent as to his invocation of Title VII's administrative procedures, so that he may not claim under that law at all.

There may well be other problems that might be raised by one or more of the named defendants if the action were to proceed, but this Court has sought only to address some obvious threshold issues. Accordingly no action will be taken at this time. But if the filing fee problem is not cured on or before October 27, 2011, this Court would be constrained to dismiss both the Complaint and this action.


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