United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
SCHLIDA R. YOUNG, Plaintiff,
CONTROL SOLUTIONS, LLC, a Delaware Corporation and RUTH MASLEY, in her Individual and Official Capacities, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JOHNSON COLEMAN United States District Court Judge.
plaintiff, Schlida R. Young, brings this action against her
former supervisor, Ruth Masley, and her former employer,
Control Solutions, LLC, alleging that the defendants
discriminated against her based on her race in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C.
§ 1981. After a contentious discovery process, the
defendants now move for summary judgment on all counts .
For the reasons set forth herein, that motion is granted.
initial matter, this Court notes that Young's memorandum
of law in opposition to summary judgment violates Local Rules
7.1 and 5.2. Local Rule 7.1 provides, in pertinent part, that
briefs submitted to the court may not exceed 15 pages in
length without prior approval of the court, and that any
brief in excess of 15 pages must contain a table of contents
and a table of cases. Local Rule 5.2(c) requires, in
pertinent part, that typed documents submitted to the court
must have a line spacing of at least 2.0 lines. Violation of
either Local Rule 5.2 or Local Rule 7.1 is a sufficient basis
for striking a brief in its entirety.
without prior leave of court, Young filed a 17 page long
memorandum of law in opposition to summary judgment.
Young's memorandum of law, moreover, had a line spacing
of 1.49 lines, hiding the fact that her memorandum, when
properly formatted, would have been at least 33% longer than
the rules allow. Although this Court declines to strike
Young's filing at this juncture in the proceedings, this
Court cautions that any future filings that violate Local
Rules 5.2 or 7.1 will be summarily stricken.
Court next turns its attention to Young's alleged
violations of Local Rule 56.1. The defendants ask this Court
to strike Young's additional statement of material facts
based on a number of procedural violations. Although the
defendants are well within their rights to make this request,
this Court believes that striking the statement would be a
disproportionate response to the nature of the violations at
issue, which include filing the statement twenty-two minutes
after the deadline for doing so and filing forty-one
statements of fact rather than the forty permitted by the
the plaintiff's filing was untimely, the brief delay
caused no prejudice to the defendants and no delay to this
case. In the interest of justice, this Court will overlook
the untimely filing and consider the statement of additional
material facts, but notes that the seemingly standard
practice of waiting until the last hour before midnight to
file documents with the Court is an irresponsible practice
that leaves little room for error in the event of
filing-related problems. Similarly, to the extent that Young
has violated the local rules by filing forty-one statements
of additional fact rather than the forty permitted by the
local rules, the proper response is to strike the excess
statements of fact. Accordingly, additional statement of
material fact forty-one is stricken.
defendants also note that Young failed to include pinpoint
citations in her statement of additional facts. It is not
clear, however, that the Local Rules expressly require such
citations and, in any event, the evidence that the plaintiff
relies on is not so voluminous as to necessitate pinpoint
citations. This Court accordingly declines to strike
Young's additional statement of material facts on this
defendants also ask this Court to strike those responses to
their statement of facts or statements of additional fact
which are based on Young and Edward Owens' unsworn
declarations. Both declarations in question state that they
are given pursuant to a nonexistent statute, 28 U.S.C. §
1776, which this Court assumes is an attempt to reference the
provisions concerning unsworn declarations provided in 28
U.S.C. § 1746. Section 1746, however, does not apply to
the declarations in question because neither declaration
contains the language that section 1746 expressly requires.
Because these declarations were not sworn or signed under
penalty of perjury, they are outside the range of evidence
that can be considered on summary judgment. DeBruyne v.
Equitable Life Assur. Soc. of U.S., 920 F.2d 457, 471
(7th Cir. 1990). This Court therefore strikes plaintiff's
statements of additional facts ¶¶ 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26,
27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40 and
deems admitted defendant's statements of undisputed
material fact ¶¶ 3, 8, 14, 16, 20, 21, 31, 49, 53,
59, 60, and 63. To the extent the plaintiff's statements
of additional facts or responses to the defendants'
statements of fact rely on the declarations and additional
evidence, this Court will disregard the factual assertions
supported only by the declarations. The Court additionally
notes that Young's responses to statements of facts
number ¶¶ 33, 44, 45, 48, 50, and 58 are
unsupported by any citations to the record as is required by
Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B). Accordingly, those statements of
fact are deemed to be admitted. Smith v. Lamz, 321
F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003).
following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.
Control Solutions is a manufacturer of technology systems and
components, including battery chargers, cables, user
interface systems, and motion control products. In addition
to supplying products to the military, Control Solutions is
also an original equipment manufacturer for many customers in
the industrial and commercial markets. In 2009, Control
Solutions hired David McDermott as a project lead. McDermott
was subsequently promoted to be a program manager, and Ruth
Masley became his direct supervisor. At the time McDermott
was the only employee that Masley supervised. Masley
subsequently placed McDermott on a performance improvement
plan. McDermott ultimately resigned in August 2011 after
being informed that he would be terminated if his performance
did not improve. McDermott is black.
was hired as a program manager by Control Solutions in
December 2011. Masley and other Control Solutions'
managers interviewed Young prior to her hiring, and Masley
made the decision to offer the position to Young based on her
determination that Young was well-qualified for the position.
Masley, having interviewed Young, was aware that Young was
black at the time that she was hired. Young was Control
Solutions' only Program Manager during her employment,
and reported directly to Masley. As a Program Manager, Young
was responsible for leading product development teams,
developing and updating schedules, estimating and tracking
product budgets, interfacing with customers, and providing
up-to-date schedule and cost estimates to Control
December 2012, Young was placed on a 90 day performance
improvement plan (PIP). Young was placed on the PIP after
Masley concluded that Young was not adequately performing her
duties, was disobeying directions, and was engaging in
confrontational interactions with coworkers and clients. Of
particular concern to Masley was Young's failure to
promptly update schedules and budgets for projects that she
was assigned to manage.
additionally described a number of complaints about Young
that Masley had received from client contacts and ...