Alexander v. Chicago Park Dist., No. 84-2995

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore CUMMINGS, Chief Judge, ESCHBACH, Circuit Judge, and WRIGHT; EUGENE A. WRIGHT; Leighton; Leighton
Citation773 F.2d 850
Decision Date13 November 1985
Docket NumberNo. 84-2995
Parties38 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 1685, 38 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 35,604 Silas J. ALEXANDER, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

Page 850

773 F.2d 850
38 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 1685,
38 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 35,604
Silas J. ALEXANDER, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
No. 84-2995.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued June 4, 1985.
Decided Sept. 19, 1985.
As Amended on Denial of Rehearing Nov. 13, 1985.

Page 851

Barbara J. Revak, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiffs-appellants.

Jack J. Carriglio, Foran, Wiss & Schultz, Chicago, Ill., for defendants-appellees.

Before CUMMINGS, Chief Judge, ESCHBACH, Circuit Judge, and WRIGHT, Senior Circuit Judge. *

EUGENE A. WRIGHT, Senior Circuit Judge.

This lengthy litigation alleging discrimination in resources allocation and employment by the Chicago Park District during the years 1970 through 1980 raises these issues:

Page 852

1) Did the court err in dismissing three counts of the amended complaint under res judicata and collateral estoppel?

2) Did it err in dismissing the remaining three counts of the amended complaint for failure to state a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983?

3) Did it err in denying plaintiffs' recusal motions?

FACTS

The procedural sequence in this case is convoluted and will be simplified here to include only pertinent facts.

In 1979, Alexander filed a class action on behalf of all Black, Hispanic and poor Chicago residents alleging racial discrimination by the Chicago Park District and its attorneys, superintendent and past and present commissioners (collectively District). Personal liability is sought against the individual defendants.

In 1982, we affirmed the court's denial of plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction to restrain the budgetary and fund allocation actions of the District. Alexander v. Chicago Park District, 709 F.2d 463 (7th Cir.1983). Plaintiffs then filed two unsuccessful motions to disqualify Judge Leighton and followed these with a mandamus petition which we denied on February 8, 1983. Alexander's petition for an en banc rehearing on this mandamus petition was denied on April 4, 1983.

In 1983, the district court denied plaintiffs' motion for class notification under FED.R.CIV.P. 23(c)(2). It determined that class members would not be prejudiced because if the defendants prevailed, the class members without notice would not be bound.

Later in 1983, the district court consolidated this case with another class action, Midwest Community Council, Inc. v. Chicago Park District (Midwest), No. 79 C 3187 (N.D.Ill. Sept. 16, 1983) (unpublished), which raised similar discriminatory recreational resources allocation claims against the District. The Midwest action sought only equitable relief.

In count I of the second amended complaint, plaintiffs alleged that defendants administered the Chicago Park District in a racially discriminatory manner, so that parks located in predominantly Black communities were allocated less park resources, including state and federal funds, resulting in injuries and disparities in equipment and services. This count was brought under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983.

Relying on the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the United States and Illinois Constitutions and on Sec. 1983, plaintiffs brought employment discrimination claims in counts II and III. Count II charged that a civil service examination administered by the Park Service was not (1) job-related, (2) culturally, racially and sexually unbiased, and (3) objectively administered.

Count III dealt with hiring, assigning and promoting employees based on race and ethnicity. This count also alleged a variance in numbers of administrative, recreational, support and maintenance staff between parks in white and non-white communities. This in turn was alleged to have forced certain plaintiffs to resign from park employ because of limited job opportunities.

Count IV, brought under Sec. 1983, alleges personal injuries to several plaintiffs resulting from these racially discriminatory practices. A fifth count was subsequently deleted.

The consolidated cases were tried in 1983. The court severed Alexander's employment discrimination and tort claims. During trial, Alexander filed a third amended complaint, similar to the second in the relevant allegations.

After a three-month trial, the jury returned a verdict for the defendants on the resources allocation claims and judgment was entered against plaintiffs on count I in the Alexander suit. Because the jury heard the Midwest claims in an advisory capacity only, the court subsequently entered judgment for the District, incorporating its own findings of fact and conclusions of law. No appeal was taken from the Midwest judgment.

Defendants moved for summary judgment contending that the jury verdict on count I was res judicata on all claims in counts II, III and IV. In an order dated September 23, 1983, the court granted summary judgment on count IV, reasoning that the underlying basis of the tort claim was discriminatory resources allocation causing dangerous conditions in black neighborhood parks. The court granted a partial summary judgment on counts II and III to the extent that discrimination in resource

Page 853

allocation or administration would not be relitigated. It then dismissed counts II and III under FED.R.CIV.P. 54(b) to allow the parties to appeal.

Alexander did not appeal but filed an amended complaint as authorized in the September 23 order. Count I alleged that the District expended federal funds in a racially and ethnically discriminatory manner in violation of regulations of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Interior under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983.

Count II sought an injunction, reinstatement, back pay and damages under Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States and Illinois Constitutions and under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. It challenged the civil service examination given by the District on November 1, 1977 for a physical instructor position.

Count III incorporated the allegations of count I that defendants allocated resources to the parks in a discriminatory manner and the allegations of count II concerning the civil service examination. It also was brought under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983.

Count IV alleged that the District had a policy of allocating resources and employees on a discriminatory basis in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States and Illinois Constitutions and 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. It sought monetary relief for hiring, assignment and payment of personnel on a racially discriminatory basis.

Count V alleged that the District expended federal funds in a discriminatory manner and contrary to federal regulations, resulting in class members being forced to resign from the District's employ. Count VI alleged that the policy of expending federal funds in a discriminatory manner resulted in reduced maintenance, aid and inspections at minority parks, resulting in physical injuries to minority members.

The District moved to dismiss on the grounds of res judicata and that the complaint failed to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. The court granted the motion on October 18, 1984, dismissing counts I, V and VI on res judicata grounds and counts II, III and IV for failure to state a claim.

ANALYSIS

Res Judicata

Res judicata is a doctrine of repose. "Its enforcement is essential to the maintenance of social order; for, the aid of judicial tribunals would not be invoked for the vindication of rights of person and property, if ... conclusiveness did not attend the judgments of such tribunals." Nevada v. United States, 463 U.S. 110, 129, 103 S.Ct. 2906, 2918, 77 L.Ed.2d 509 (1983), quoting Southern Pacific Railroad v. United States, 168 U.S. 1, 49, 18 S.Ct. 18, 42 L.Ed. 355 (1897). See also Grip-Pak, Inc. v. Illinois Tool Works, Inc., 694 F.2d 466, 469 (7th Cir.1982) (purpose is to reduce costs of litigation).

Under res judicata, or claim preclusion, 1 a prior judgment on the merits bars the same parties or their privies from relitigating all issues which were raised and decided or could have been raised in the prior action. Harper Plastics, Inc. v. Amoco Chemicals Corp., 657 F.2d 939, 945 (7th Cir.1981); Lee v. City of Peoria, 685 F.2d 196, 199 (7th Cir.1982). The doctrine applies in civil rights suits as well. Lee, 685 F.2d at 198-99; Local 1006, A.F.S.C.M.E., AFL-CIO v. Wurf, 558 F.Supp. 230, 233 (N.D.Ill.1982). See also Migra v. Warren City School Dist. Bd. of Education, 465 U.S. 75, ---, 104 S.Ct. 892, 899, 79 L.Ed.2d 56 (1984) (state preclusion law applies in federal Sec. 1983 suit brought subsequent to state suit).

In determining the preclusive effect on the six counts in the fourth amended complaint of the jury's verdict on count I and

Page 854

the summary judgment on count IV of the third amended complaint, the court analyzed the three threshold requirements of res judicata: (1) identity of parties; (2) identity of causes of action; and (3) a final judgment on the merits. Lee, 685 F.2d at 199. See Nevada v. United States, 463 U.S. 110, 129-30, 103 S.Ct. 2906, 2918, 77 L.Ed.2d 509 (1983); Local 1006, 558 F.Supp. at 234.

1. Identity of Parties

The court found that named plaintiffs in the fourth amended complaint were named also in the third amended complaint and so concerned itself only with the last two requirements. Twenty-seven plaintiffs were named in the third amended complaint. They were named in the fourth amended complaint, with the addition of the Commite Latino. No allegations were made as to the membership of the Commite and no motion for intervention was made. See 3B J. Moore, J. Kennedy, Moore's Federal Practice p 23.90 (2d ed. 1985). The court ignored it as not properly a party to this class action and we agree.

On appeal the plaintiffs argue that res judicata was inappropriate because the court refused to require notice to the class. This does not affect application of res judicata against the named plaintiffs. Any...

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111 practice notes
  • Hamilton v. Dist. Of D.C., Civil Action No. 09-0892 (JDB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • July 6, 2010
    ...created by Title VII. See, e.g., Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1204 (6th Cir.1984); Alexander v. Chicago Park Dist., 773 F.2d 850, 855-56 (7th Cir.1985). 4This Circuit has not directly addressed whether Title VII precludes a District employee from seeking relief under ......
  • A.W. v. Jersey City Public Schools, No. 05-2553.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • May 24, 2007
    ...Congress did not intend to allow violations of Title VI to be remedied through § 1983. See Alexander v. Chicago 486 F.3d 805 Park Dist., 773 F.2d 850, 856 (7th Cir. 1985); see also Travis v. Folsom Cordova Unified Sch. Dist., No. 06 Civ.2074, 2007 WL 529840, at *4 (E.D.Cal. Feb. 20, 2007); ......
  • Gean v. Hattaway, No. 01-5749.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • June 6, 2003
    ...whether Congress intended to preclude § 1983 claims by the remedial scheme of the Rehabilitation Act); Alexander v. Chicago Park Dist., 773 F.2d 850, 856 (7th Cir.1985) (holding that the comprehensive enforcement provisions of Title VI, which also apply to § 794, preclude action under § 198......
  • Gray v. Lacke, No. 88-3334
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • November 3, 1989
    ...of constitutional rights. It supplies no remedy for violations of rights created by Title VII. See Alexander v. Chicago Park Dist., 773 F.2d 850, 855 (7th Cir.1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1095, 106 S.Ct. 1492, 89 L.Ed.2d 894 (1986); Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1205 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
111 cases
  • Hamilton v. Dist. Of D.C., Civil Action No. 09-0892 (JDB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • July 6, 2010
    ...created by Title VII. See, e.g., Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1204 (6th Cir.1984); Alexander v. Chicago Park Dist., 773 F.2d 850, 855-56 (7th Cir.1985). 4This Circuit has not directly addressed whether Title VII precludes a District employee from seeking relief under ......
  • A.W. v. Jersey City Public Schools, No. 05-2553.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • May 24, 2007
    ...Congress did not intend to allow violations of Title VI to be remedied through § 1983. See Alexander v. Chicago 486 F.3d 805 Park Dist., 773 F.2d 850, 856 (7th Cir. 1985); see also Travis v. Folsom Cordova Unified Sch. Dist., No. 06 Civ.2074, 2007 WL 529840, at *4 (E.D.Cal. Feb. 20, 2007); ......
  • Gean v. Hattaway, No. 01-5749.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • June 6, 2003
    ...whether Congress intended to preclude § 1983 claims by the remedial scheme of the Rehabilitation Act); Alexander v. Chicago Park Dist., 773 F.2d 850, 856 (7th Cir.1985) (holding that the comprehensive enforcement provisions of Title VI, which also apply to § 794, preclude action under § 198......
  • Gray v. Lacke, No. 88-3334
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • November 3, 1989
    ...of constitutional rights. It supplies no remedy for violations of rights created by Title VII. See Alexander v. Chicago Park Dist., 773 F.2d 850, 855 (7th Cir.1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1095, 106 S.Ct. 1492, 89 L.Ed.2d 894 (1986); Day v. Wayne County Bd. of Auditors, 749 F.2d 1199, 1205 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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