Kevin R. Carmody, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
September 28, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Central
District of Illinois. No. 12-CV-2249 - Colin S.
Bauer, Manion, and Hamilton, Circuit Judges.
HAMILTON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
University of Illinois fired plaintiff Kevin Carmody from his
job as an information technology manager after printed copies
of a professor's privileged emails suspiciously ended up
in Carmody's home newspaper box. The emails allegedly
exposed inconsistencies in the professor's testimony in a
separate lawsuit that Carmody was pursuing against a
different professor. The university learned about the
mysterious delivery because Car-mody's lawyer in the
lawsuit filed the emails with the court. After finding that
it was "more probable than not" that Carmody
improperly obtained the emails himself, the university fired
him. Carmody sued the university's board of trustees and
several university officials alleging that he was fired
with-out due process of law both before and after his firing,
and that his firing violated an Illinois whistle-blower
statute. The district court dismissed the case at the motion
to dismiss stage.
earlier appeal, we held that Carmody had pleaded a plausible
claim that he was fired without pre-termination due process
of law, but that his decision to withdraw from the
post-termination hearing foreclosed his due process claim
based on the post-termination procedures. Carmody v.
Board of Trustees of University of Illinois (Carmody
I), 747 F.3d 470 (7th Cir. 2014). We also affirmed
dismissal of the state-law claim. On remand, the district
court granted summary judgment for some defendants,
Carmody v. Board of Trustees of University of
Illinois (Carmody II), No. 12-CV-2249, 2015 WL
13675382 (C.D. Ill. Nov. 17, 2015), and Carmody lost at trial
on his claim against three remaining defendants for denial of
due process of law before he was fired. I n this new appeal,
Carmody raises seven issues-four regarding summary judgment
and three pre-trial evidentiary issues. He does not challenge
the conduct of the trial or the verdict on the
pre-termination due process claim. We find no error and
affirm the judgment of the district court.
Summary Judgment Issues
district court granted summary judgment for four individual
defendants and the board of trustees. Carmody II,
2015 WL 13675382, at *10. We review summary judgment rulings
de novo, construing the evidence in the light most
favorable to Carmody as the non-moving party and drawing all
reasonable inferences in his favor. See Estate of Simpson
v. Gorbet, 863 F.3d 740, 745 (7th Cir. 2017), citing
Peties v. Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 727 (7th Cir. 2016).
Nevertheless, inferences "that are supported by only
speculation or conjecture will not defeat a summary judgment
motion." Design Basics, LLC v. Lexington Homes,
Inc., 858 F.3d 1093, 1099 (7th Cir. 2017), quoting
Herzog v. Graphic Packaging Int'l, Inc., 742
F.3d 802, 806 (7th Cir. 2014). Summary judgment is proper
"if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a mater of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "A genuine
issue of material fact exists when 'the evidence is such
that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party.'" Estate of Simpson, 863
F.3d at 745, quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
Summary Judgment for Pang and Adesida
district court granted summary judgment in favor of
Carmody's immediate supervisor, Jong ShiPang, and the
dean of the college where Carmody worked, Ilesanmi Adesida,
because there was no evidence that those defendants were
personally involved in the alleged pre-termination violation
of Carmody's due process rights. Carmody II,
2015 WL 13675382, at *7-8. "Individual liability
pursuant to § 1983 'requires personal involvement in
the alleged constitutional deprivation.'" Estate
of Perry v. Wenzel, 872 F.3d 439, 459 (7th Cir. 2017),
quoting Colbert v. City of Chicago, 851 F.3d 649,
657 (7th Cir. 2017). "The plaintiff must demonstrate a
causal connection between (1) the sued officials and (2) the
alleged misconduct." Colbert, 851 F.3d at 657,
citing Wolf-Lillie v. Sonquist, 699 F.2d 864, 869
(7th Cir. 1983).
argues that Pang contributed to his dismissal by providing
false evidence to university investigators. According to
investigators' notes from their interview with Pang,
Carmody did not tell Pang about possessing the emails. But
Carmody testified that he did tell Pang about the emails.
Carmody argues that the conflicting evidence maters because
the university terminated him based, at least in part, on an
alleged failure to inform his supervisor of a breach of
factual dispute does not affect Carmody's constitutional
claim for denial of due process before he was fired. The
question on Pang's summary judgment motion is whether
Pang violated Carmody's constitutional rights. Pang made
his statement to investigators as a witness. As a witness, he
had no responsibility for the critical components of due
process: whether Carmody received notice of the charges, an
explanation of the evidence, and a chance to present his
story before he was fired. See Carmody I, 747 F.3d
at 475, citing Cleveland Board of Educ. v.
Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532, 546 (1985). Because Carmody
does not point to any evidence that Pang participated in the
alleged denial of pre-termination due process, the district
court properly granted summary judgment for Pang. See, e.g.,
Estate of Perry, 872 F.3d at 459 (affirming summary
judgment for defendants where § 1983 plaintiff failed to
show personal involvement); see also Schult v.
Baumgart, 738 F.2d 231, 239 (7th Cir. 1984) (affirming
summary judgment for some individual defendants because
"the claimed deprivation could not have occurred at
their direction or with their express consent"), citing
Crowder v. Lash, 687 F.2d 996, 1006 (7th Cir. 1982).
Adesida signed the pre-termination leter that outlined the
charges against Carmody. Carmody argues that summary judgment
for Adesida was improper because "additional
evidence" indicates that Adesida was involved in the
investigation. But Carmody supports that argument by relying
on documents that were not before the district court. Most of
Carmody's appellate appendix consists of documents
obtained outside of discovery. We will not consider those
documents on appeal because Federal Rule of Appellate
Procedure 10(e) provides no basis for doing so. See Fed. R.
App. P. 10(e)(2) (allowing court of appeals to supplement
record only where evidence "is omited from or misstated
in the record by error or accident"); Midwest Fence
Corp. v. United States Dep't of Transp., 840 F.3d
932, 946 (7th Cir. 2016) ("Rule 10(e) does not give this
court authority to admit on appeal any document which was not
made a part of the record in the district court."),
quoting Borden, Inc. v. Federal Trade Comm'n,
495 F.2d 785, 788 (7th Cir. 1974); see also Hart v.
Sheahan, 396 F.3d 887, 894 (7th Cir. 2005) ("To
present new evidence at the appeal stage is improper and in
appropriate cases sanctionable."), citing Youker v.
Schoenenberger, 22 F.3d 163, 169 (7th Cir. 1994).
evidence that is actually in the record supports the grant of
summary judgment. Adesida testified that he accept e d the
content of the leter as true, did no t think he needed to
confirm the truth of the facts because there would be an
investigation, and had no input on how that investigation
would be conducted. On this record, Adesida could not be held
individually responsible for a pre-termination denial of due
process of law.
B.Summary Judgment for ...