Name of Assigned Judge Ronald A. Guzman Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge
For the reasons stated below, the Defendants' motion to dismiss [21-1] is granted in part and denied in part. Hall's due process claim is dismissed while the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim remains. Hall is granted 14 days from the date of entry of this order to replead the due process claim.
O[ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.
Christopher Hall was terminated from his position as head baseball coach at Clemente High School, which he held from January 2008 until October 2011. Hall then filed this action alleging racial discrimination, denial of due process, retaliation, negligent supervision, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Defendants, the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, Marcey Sorensen, and Carmen Diaz, move to dismiss the intentional infliction of emotional distress and procedural due process claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below the motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part.
Hall was employed in a paid position as the head baseball coach of Clemente High School for the period between January 2008 and October 2011. (Compl. ¶ 12.) During his tenure as head coach, he improved the academic and athletic standards of his students. (Id. ¶ 20.) Prior to being appointed head coach, Hall worked at Clemente as a volunteer assistant coach between 1999 and 2007. (Id. ¶ 12.) During this time period, the majority of the Clemente baseball team was of Hispanic or Latino descent. (Id. ¶ 14).
In August and September of 2011, Sorensen, Clemente's Principal, and Diaz, its Athletic Director, asked several parents of students on the baseball team to write letters complaining of Hall's performance. (Id. ¶ 16.) On September 28, 2011, Hall met with Kevin McCray, Chicago Public Schools Baseball Coordinator, and Calvin Davis, Chicago Public Schools Director of Sports Administration, to complain that he was being discriminated against because of his race. (Id. ¶ 17.) On October 4, 2011, Sorensen terminated Hall as the head baseball coach, although he currently remains employed at Clemente as a student advocate. (Id. ¶¶ 10, 21.) Hall alleges that his employers asked the parents of several baseball players to write "complaints about his performance" in order to replace him with another candidate. (Id. ¶ 16.) Hall was replaced by Nelson Perez, who is of Latino descent, in October 2011. (Id. ¶ 13.) Hall alleges that Diaz and Sorensen fired him because is African American and they wanted to replace him with a Latino coach. (Id. ¶ 15.)
The Defendants move to dismiss the counts for intentional infliction of emotional distress and procedural due process.
II. Motion to Dismiss Standard
When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court accepts the well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draws all reasonable inferences from them in plaintiff's favor. Hecker v. Deere & Co., 556 F.3d 575, 580 (7th Cir. 2009). However, a complaint must "'give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests'" and set forth facts sufficient "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).