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Jump v. Montgomery County

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

October 9, 2014

KARI JUMP, Plaintiff,
v.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, SHERIFF JIM VAZZI, in his official and individual capacity, RICK ROBBINS, KURT ELLER, RICK FURLONG, DOUG WHITE, GREGORY NIMMO, and MARY SHIPMAN, in their individual capacities, Defendants.

OPINION

RICHARD MILLS, District Judge.

This is a civil rights action wherein the Plaintiff asserts several claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the Court is the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Kari Jump's Second Amended Complaint asserts a number of claims against several Defendants. It includes the following claims: (1) gender discrimination and hostile work environment based on a violation of her rights of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988, against Defendants Montgomery County, Jim Vazzi, Rick Robbins, Kurt Eller, Rick Furlong, Doug White, Gregory Nimmo and Mary Shipman (Count I); (2) gender discrimination and hostile work environment in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000, et seq . against Montgomery County (Count II); (3) retaliation in violation of Title VII against Montgomery County (Count III); (4) gender discrimination and creating a hostile work environment in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act ("IHRA") (775 ILCS § 5/1-102) against Montgomery County, Robbins, Eller, Furlong and White (Count IV); and (5) retaliation also in violation of the IHRA against Montgomery County.

The Plaintiff further alleges that the Defendants' conduct constitutes a continuing violation.

II. FACTS[1]

Defendant Montgomery County is a municipal corporation operating under the laws of the State of Illinois and through various departments, including the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. At all relevant times, Defendant Jim Vazzi served as the Sheriff of Montgomery County. Defendant Rick Robbins served in a supervisory capacity as the Undersheriff of Montgomery County. Defendant Gregory Nimmo served in a supervisory capacity as a Captain in the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Defendant Kurt Eller served in a supervisory capacity as Deputy. Defendant Rick Furlong served in a supervisory capacity as Investigator. Defendant Mary Shipman served in a supervisory capacity as Sergeant over the dispatch employees. Defendant Doug White served as telecommunicator/dispatcher.

Sheriff Vazzi is sued in his official and individual capacity. The other individual Defendants are sued in their individual capacities.

Plaintiff Jump began working part-time for Montgomery County in the Sheriff's Office, as telecommunicator/dispatcher ("dispatcher") on or about September 12, 2007. On or about February 15, 2008, the Plaintiff started working full-time in that capacity. The Plaintiff satisfactorily performed her duties at all times during her employment.

The Plaintiff alleges that, on a continuing and ongoing basis since the Summer of 2011 through July of 2012 when her employment was terminated, the Defendants subjected the Plaintiff to a hostile work environment and harassment based on her gender including, but not limited to, the following examples: (1) being slapped on her buttocks, assaulted and battered; (2) being subjected to sexually offensive and sexually related questions; (3) being kicked and physically assaulted; (4) having her hair pulled; (5) being subjected to sexual comments and inappropriate pictures; (6) being subjected to daily offensive comments such as "get the sand out of your vaginas, " "pussy" and other derogatory terms; (7) having false complaints manufactured against her about her performance; and (8) being called a "bitch." The Plaintiff further alleges that supervisors knew about the conduct, facilitated it, approved it, condoned it or turned a blind eye to the conduct.

The Plaintiff further specifies a number of actions that are directed at specific Defendants.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Legal standard

To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although factual allegations at this stage are accepted as true, "allegations in the form of legal conclusions are insufficient to ...


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