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Lovette-Cephus v. Village of Park Forest

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

March 25, 2014

JENNIFER LOVETTE-CEPHUS, Plaintiff,
v.
VILLAGE OF PARK FOREST, Defendant

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Jennifer Lovette-Cephus, Plaintiff: Anthony J. Peraica, LEAD ATTORNEY, Jennifer Marie Hill, Anthony J. Peraica & Associates, Chicago, IL; Jillian Marie Moore, Peraica and Associates, LLC, Chicago, IL.

For Village of Park Forest, Defendant: Michael Russell Hartigan, LEAD ATTORNEY, Patrick Halpin O'Connor, Hartigan & O'Connor P.C., Chicago, IL.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION

Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, United States District Court Judge.

This matter is before the court on Defendant Village of Park Forest's (Village) motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, the Village's motion for summary judgment is granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Jennifer Lovette-Cephus (Lovette-Cephus) alleges that she is African-American and that on or about June 7, 2011, she filed an application for a business license from the Village. Lovette-Cephus alleges that she was treated unequally by the Village compared to similarly situated non African-American individuals with regard to the application process. Lovette-Cephus further alleges that she met all of the Village's application requirements. Lovette-Cephus claims that her business license was denied due to her race and the Village's alleged " ill-will" towards her.

Lovette-Cephus brought the instant action and includes in her complaint claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Section 1983) alleging race discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, U.S. Const. amend. XIV (Count I). Lovette-Cephus named both the Village and the Village of Park Forest Building Department (Village Building Department) as defendants

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in her complaint. On May 21, 2013, Lovette-Cephus voluntarily dismissed all claims brought against the Village Building Department. The Village has filed the instant motion for summary judgment.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when the record, viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, reveals that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Smith v. Hope School, 560 F.3d 694, 699 (7th Cir. 2009). A " genuine issue" in the context of a motion for summary judgment is not simply a " metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists when " the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Insolia v. Phillip Morris, Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 599 (7th Cir. 2000). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must consider the record as a whole, in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; Bay v. Cassens Transport Co., 212 F.3d 969, 972 (7th Cir. 2000).

DISCUSSION

The Village contends that Lovette-Cephus has failed to point to sufficient evidence to meet the required Monell standards for recovery from a municipal entity, and that Lovette-Cephus' equal protection claim is without merit. (SJ Mot. 2). Lovette-Cephus has not named ...


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