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Dismukes v. Administrative Office of Illinois Courts

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

July 2, 2014

PAUL DISMUKES, Plaintiff,
v.
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS COURTS et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SHARON JOHNSON COLEMAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff, Paul Dismukes, pro se, filed his initial complaint on November 2, 2012, and filed an Amended Complaint on January 7, 2013, alleging employment discrimination and post-employment discrimination based on race as well as state claims for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy against the State of Illinois, Supreme Court of Illinois, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Board of Review, and several individual defendants. Defendants move to dismiss the Amended Complaint [59] in its entirety. This Court heard oral argument on defendants' motion on June 23, 2014. For the reasons stated herein, the Court grants defendants' motion and dismisses the complaint with prejudice.

Background

The Amended Complaint contains six counts:

Count I - alleges employment discrimination under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Dismukes alleges that the defendants discriminated against him on or beginning on October 22, 2012, when his supervisors defendants Tardy and Meis terminated his employment with the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts ("AOIC"), gave no reason for his termination, and hired a white woman as his replacement.

Count II - alleges post-employment retaliation under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Dismukes alleges that the AOIC contacted the State of Illinois (Illinois Dept of Employment Security "IDES") to deny Dismukes' claim for unemployment compensation. Dismukes alleges that the IDES initially granted him unemployment benefits, but corrected its determination after defendant Edge "manipulated plaintiff's unemployment file to suggest that Eloise R. Chambers, a former employee, issued the corrected determination." Dismukes further alleges that defendants Tardy and Meis testified in March 2011 that Dismukes was terminated for disciplinary reasons leading to the IDES Board of Review's June 2011 decision that Dismukes had committed misconduct resulting in his denial of his unemployment benefits. In October 2011, the Circuit Court of Cook County affirmed the decision of the IDES Board of Review.

Count III - alleges defamation per se by Tardy and Meis; Dismukes alleges that his supervisors, Tardy and Meis, committed defamation per se by testifying before the IDES that Dismukes was terminated for workplace misconduct.

Count IV - alleges defamation per se by the individual members of the IDES Board of Review; Dismukes alleges that the individual board members made or knowingly conspired and agreed to make false statements that Dismukes committed misconduct because of his behavior in a meeting with his immediate supervisor on October 19, 2010.

Count V - alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress; Dismukes alleges that defendants actions in the hearings within the State of Illinois and subsequent judicial proceedings were intentional, reckless, extreme and outrageous causing Dismukes to suffer physical and emotional distress.

Count VI - alleges civil conspiracy (42 U.S.C. § 1985, 42 U.S.C. § 1986); Dismukes alleges that the individual defendants at the State of Illinois agreed and conspired to defame plaintiff and deny his unemployment benefits. Dismukes appears to allege that the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois Appellate Court, and Illinois Supreme Court participated in the conspiracy by first affirming the IDES Board of Review decision, declining to render a decision on the appeal, and "using its official position to refuse appellate review of plaintiff's case to further perpetrate their continual tortious acts of discrimination, post-employment retaliation, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress."

Legal Standard

Defendants move to dismiss the Amended Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) sets forth the basic pleading requirement of a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although Rule 8 does not require a plaintiff to plead particularized facts, the factual allegations in the complaint must sufficiently raise a plausible right to relief above a speculative level. Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751-52 (7th Cir. 2011). When considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009).

Discussion

I. Title VII Claims (Counts I and ...


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