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Rogers v. Community Care Systems and Department of Human Services

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

October 2, 2013

LULA ROGERS, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMUNITY CARE SYSTEMS and DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Defendants.

ORDER

MICHAEL P. McCUSKEY, District Judge.

This case is before the court for ruling on the Report and Recommendation (#43) filed by Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal on September 25, 2013. Plaintiff filed her Objection to the Report and Recommendation (#44) on September 30, 2013. Following careful de novo review, this court agrees with and accepts Judge Bernthal's Report and Recommendation (#43).

BACKGROUND

On July 25, 2013, Judge Bernthal filed a Report and Recommendation (#34) in this case. Judge Bernthal recommended granting the Motions to Dismiss (#25, #28) filed by Defendants Department of Human Services (DHS) and Community Care Systems (CCS). Judge Bernthal concluded that Plaintiff's claim against CCS must be dismissed because she alleged that CCS fired her due to her prior theft conviction, not her race. Therefore, Plaintiff's Title VII claim failed. Judge Bernthal also concluded that Plaintiff's claim against DHS must be dismissed because she failed to name DHS as a respondent in her EEOC charge and because Plaintiff's claim against DHS was that DHS put a red flag on her background due to her prior theft conviction, which led CCS to fire her. Judge Bernthal noted that "Title VII does not prohibit an employer from taking an adverse action against an employee, such as placing a red flag on the employee's background, on the basis of the employee's criminal record." Judge Bernthal concluded that Plaintiff did not state a plausible claim of race discrimination against DHS.

On August 12, 2013, Plaintiff, Lula Rogers, filed a pro se document which this court construed as an Objection to the Report and Recommendation (#35). Plaintiff provided no allegations or argument regarding discrimination on the basis of her race and, instead, said that she was "Redflag[ged]" and Blackball[ed]" and told she was a "Little trouble maker."

Following this court's careful de novo review, this court agreed with Judge Bernthal's recommendation that the Motions to Dismiss (#25, #28) should be granted. This court also agreed with Judge Bernthal that, because Plaintiff was proceeding pro se, the dismissal should be without prejudice and Plaintiff should be allowed fourteen days to amend her Complaint so that she may explain if she is actually claiming race discrimination by CCS and DHS, and to allege whether DHS was given the opportunity to participate in the EEOC conciliation process, despite Plaintiff's failure to name DHS in her EEOC charge.

On August 26, 2013, Plaintiff filed her Amended Complaint (#37) against CCS and DHS. On September 5, 2013, DHS filed a Motion to Revive Motion to Dismiss (#38), and CCS filed a Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint (#39). Plaintiff filed a response (#42) in opposition.

ANALYSIS

On September 25, 2013, Judge Bernthal filed his Report and Recommendation (#43). Judge Bernthal recommended that the Motions to Dismiss (#38, #39) be granted and that the case be terminated, without prejudice as to any claims Plaintiff may wish to bring in state court. Judge Bernthal noted that Plaintiff's Amended Complaint alleged: "On September 11, 2011, I call State of Illinois Department of Human Rights, and talk to someone in there office, I explain what had happen, what each company had don they was the one that decide it was discriminal." Plaintiff added on the next page, "I have tryed to do everything in the cases, I am not trying to bring discrimination, like I say it was state of Illinois Department of Human Rights." Judge Bernthal concluded that Plaintiff had pled herself out of court by specifically stating she is not claiming discrimination. Judge Bernthal also stated that he had "reviewed all of Plaintiff's materials and cannot discern any other claim against DHS and CCS that would invoke this Court's jurisdiction."

On September 30, 2013, Plaintiff filed her pro se Objection to Report and Recommendation (#44). Plaintiff provided some information regarding her employment with DHS and history of great work performance. Plaintiff then stated that she "would not like for DHS to Dismissed because they are the one that started this Red flag Ball to rolling." Plaintiff attached a document showing that her services were terminated on November 15, 2010.

This court has carefully reviewed Judge Bernthal's Report and Recommendation (#43) and Plaintiff's Objection (#44). This court agrees with Judge Bernthal that Plaintiff has not alleged discrimination on the basis of her race and, in fact, has specifically stated that she is not claiming discrimination. Therefore, Judge Bernthal correctly concluded that this court lacks jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claim and the Motions to Dismiss must be granted.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:

(1) The Report and Recommendation (#43) is accepted by this court.

(2) Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (#38, #39) are GRANTED.

(3) Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (#37) is dismissed. The dismissal is without prejudice as to any claims Plaintiff may wish to bring in state court.

(4) This case is terminated.


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