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Yahnke v. County of Kane

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

April 28, 2014

STEVEN YAHNKE, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF KANE, KANE COUNTY SHERIFF, PATRICK PEREZ, in his official and individual capacities, Defendants.

ORDER

AMY ST. EVE, District Judge.

The Court adopts Magistrate Judge Keys' April 4, 2014 Report and Recommendation in its entirety [99] and grants Plaintiff's motion for sanctions [67].

STATEMENT

Before the Court is Magistrate Judge Keys' Report and Recommendation addressing Plaintiff's December 9, 2013 motion for sanctions and to compel. On January 10, 2014, Magistrate Judge Keys granted Plaintiff's motion to compel, but held Plaintiff's motion for sanctions in abeyance. On April 4, 2014, Judge Keys recommended that the Court grant Plaintiff's motion for sanctions. On April 14, 2014, Defendants objected to Judge Keys' Report and Recommendation as provided by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(2) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). On April 25, 2014, Plaintiff responded to Defendants' objections. For the following reasons, the Court adopts Judge Keys' Report and Recommendation in its entirety.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

"When a magistrate judge prepares a report and recommendation for a district court, the governing statute provides that the district court shall make a de novo determination' with respect to any contested matter." Kanter v. C.I.R, 590 F.3d 410, 416 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)). As the Seventh Circuit explains:

De novo review requires the district judge to decide the case based on an independent review of the evidence and arguments without giving any presumptive weight to the magistrate judge's conclusion. The district judge is free, and encouraged, to consider all of the available information about the case when making this independent decision. A district judge may be persuaded by the reasoning of a magistrate judge or a special master while still engaging in an independent decision-making process.

Mendez v. Republic Bank, 725 F.3d 651, 661 (7th Cir. 2013). "The magistrate judge's recommendation on a dispositive matter is not a final order, and the district judge makes the ultimate decision to adopt, reject, or modify it." Schur v. L.A. Weight Loss Ctrs., Inc., 577 F.3d 752, 760 (7th Cir. 2009); see also Rule 72(b)(3).

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On June 27, 2012, Plaintiff Steven Yahnke filed a three-count Complaint against Defendants Kane County and Kane County Sheriff Patrick Perez alleging a First Amendment political affiliation claim (Count I) and a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim (Count II). In the alternative, Plaintiff brings a retaliatory discharge claim under Illinois law (Count III).

According to the allegations in the Complaint, in 2006, Perez ran for Sheriff of Kane County and won. At one point, Yahnke, who worked in the Sheriff's Office, had considered running for Sheriff himself, but ultimately supported Perez's opponent in the 2006 election. On June 28, 2007, just over six months after Perez's election, Yahnke was injured on the job. Yahnke alleges that after he was injured "a multitude of fictitious complaints and investigations arose into Yahnke's job, including, but not limited to: his previously approved secondary employment, his alleged failure to submit a travel request when off work due to his work injury, his comp time, and his light duty work which had previously been granted through the chain of command." On October 28, 2008, Perez terminated Yahnke's employment resulting in the present lawsuit.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On August 27, 2013, the Court entered a comprehensive Memorandum, Opinion, and Order granting in large part Plaintiff's motion to compel. Plaintiff filed the present motion to compel on December 9, 2013 in relation to certain areas discussed in the Court's August 27 Order. On January 10, 2014, Magistrate Judge Keys granted Plaintiff's motion to compel, but held Plaintiff's motion for sanctions in abeyance. Also on January 10, 2014, Judge Keys held an evidentiary hearing on Plaintiff's motion for sanctions. On April ...


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