Graehling v. Village of Lombard, Ill., 95-1263

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore POSNER, Chief Judge, and FLAUM and EASTERBROOK; EASTERBROOK
Citation58 F.3d 295
Parties4 A.D. Cases 864, 11 A.D.D. 378, 6 NDLR P 366 John S. GRAEHLING, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. VILLAGE OF LOMBARD, ILLINOIS, and Steven Williams, Defendants-Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 95-1263,95-1263
Decision Date20 June 1995

Page 295

58 F.3d 295
4 A.D. Cases 864, 11 A.D.D. 378, 6
NDLR P 366
John S. GRAEHLING, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
VILLAGE OF LOMBARD, ILLINOIS, and Steven Williams,
Defendants-Appellees.
No. 95-1263.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued June 5, 1995.
Decided June 20, 1995.

Page 296

James T. Harrison (argued), David M. Ososky, Woodstock, IL, for plaintiff-appellant.

Russell W. Hartigan (argued), Keith A. Mandelski, James P. Bartley, Michael J. Duggan, Julianne Schumacher Gran, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Chicago, IL, for defendants-appellees.

Before POSNER, Chief Judge, and FLAUM and EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judges.

EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge.

Police in the Village of Lombard were not amused when John Graehling pulled away from a gas station with the nozzle still attached to his car, yanking the pump out of the ground. It did not help matters that Graehling was a fellow member of the police force and that the car was his police car. The Village paid for the damage and suspended Graehling for three days. Emulating Lt. Frank Drebin of Police Squad, Graehling repeated the stunt, demolishing another gas pump. He was unable to write a report about the second incident; his hands were shaking violently and he was suffering blackouts. Graehling's fellow officers called for an ambulance, and he was admitted to a hospital.

Graehling had been suspended for 30 days following an earlier incident in which he struck a prisoner. A psychiatrist concluded after the second gas station debacle that Graehling suffers from bipolar manic depression, alcoholism, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Steven Williams, the Village's deputy chief of police, concluded that Graehling was no longer fit for duty. On January 10, 1991, Williams summoned Graehling to his office and offered him two choices: resign immediately, but with an effective date far enough ahead for his pension to vest, or be sent home on leave. Graehling was out of sick leave and vacation days, so the second option would have cut off his income. He took the first option, after changing the effective date of the resignation to September 4, 1993, to ensure that he would complete 20 years of service. On January 14, 1991, the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners accepted Graehling's resignation. Williams then assigned Graehling to back-office duties.

Nine days before his scheduled departure, Graehling asked the Village to let him stay on the police force. The Village refused "on the basis that his resignation was effective and, thus, irrevocable as of the date of its acceptance at the January 14, 1991 meeting of the Fire and Police Commissioners." This language, like all of the facts we have recited, appears in Graehling's complaint seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. Secs. 12101-12213. The district court dismissed the suit under Fed.R. 12(b)(6). 1994 U.S.Dist. Like the district court, we conclude that the ADA does not apply to resignations tendered before its effective date, and the vivid details in the complaint show that Graehling is not entitled to relief. He has pleaded himself out of court.

Let us start with the ADA. Although the President signed the ADA on July 26, 1990, its rules applicable to employment were deferred until July 26, 1992. 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12111 note--Effective Date. Sacking a police officer whose alcoholism interfered with his job or endangered the safety of others did not violate the Rehabilitation Act, which governed the Village's conduct in January 1991. See 29 U.S.C. Sec. 706(7)(B), limiting the scope of 29 U.S.C. Secs. 793, 794. Graehling submits that once the ADA took effect, however, the Village could not enforce his resignation. As he sees things, the police force committed two acts of handicap discrimination: extracting the resignation and implementing it. The first was not illegal, but the second, coming after the ADA, was, the argument concludes. The difficulty with the argument is that numerous cases hold that a separation at a time established by an earlier decision is not a fresh act of discrimination. Only the original decision to let the employee go is subject to analysis under the anti-discrimination laws. Chardon v. Fernandez, 454 U.S. 6, 102 S.Ct. 28, 70 L.Ed.2d 6 (1981); Delaware State College v. Ricks, 449 U.S. 250, 101 S.Ct. 498, 66 L.Ed.2d 431 (1980); Lever v. Northwestern University,

Page 297

979 F.2d 552 (7th Cir.1992); Cada v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 920 F.2d 446, 449-50 (7th Cir.1990). Cf. United Air Lines, Inc. v. Evans, 431 U.S. 553, 97 S.Ct. 1885, 52 L.Ed.2d 571 (1977).

These cases all deal with the statute of limitations rather than with the effect of a newly-operative law, but the principle for which they stand is equally apt today. "The premise of these cases is that the employer took one dispositive act. Like punching someone in the nose, this act may lead to injury in the future, but when there is only one wrongful act the claim accrues with the first injury." Palmer v. Board of Education, 46 F.3d 682, 685-86 (7th Cir.1995). If the actual end of employment were a new act of discrimination, then the statute of limitations would run anew from that date. See Bazemore v. Friday, 478 U.S. 385, 106 S.Ct. 3000, 92 L.Ed.2d 315 (1986). But Ricks and cases in its wake hold that a discharge with a deferred effective date entails only one discriminatory decision. "An employer's refusal to undo a discriminatory decision is not a fresh act of discrimination."...

To continue reading

Request your trial
184 practice notes
  • Survine v. Cottle, CASE NO. CV F 12-1453 LJO JLT
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • January 8, 2013
    ...a cognizable legal theory." Balisteri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990); Graehling v. Village of Lombard, Ill., 58 F.3d 295, 297 (7th Cir. 1995). A F.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motion "tests the legal sufficiency of a claim." Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 20......
  • McKenna v. Permanente Med. Grp., Inc., Case No. CV F 12–0849 LJO GSA.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • August 13, 2012
    ...a cognizable legal theory.” Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.1988); Graehling v. Village of Lombard, Ill., 58 F.3d 295, 297 (7th Cir.1995). A F.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motion “tests the legal sufficiency of a claim.” Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir.2001......
  • DOOMS v. Fed. HOME LOAN MORTGAGE Corp., CASE NO. CV F 11-0352 LJO DLB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • March 31, 2011
    ...cognizable legal theory. " Balisteri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F. 2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990); Graehling v. Village of Lombard, Ill., 58 F. 3d 295, 297 (7th Cir. 1995). In addressing dismissal, a court must: (1) construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff; (2) ac......
  • Villarino v. Comm'r: Soc. Sec. Admin., CASE NO. CV F 12-1225 LJO BAM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • August 3, 2012
    ...legal theory." Balisteri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990); Graehling v. Village ofPage 3Lombard, Ill., 58 F.3d 295, 297 (7th Cir. 1995). In addressing dismissal, a court must: (1) construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff; (2) accept all ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
184 cases
  • Survine v. Cottle, CASE NO. CV F 12-1453 LJO JLT
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • January 8, 2013
    ...a cognizable legal theory." Balisteri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990); Graehling v. Village of Lombard, Ill., 58 F.3d 295, 297 (7th Cir. 1995). A F.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motion "tests the legal sufficiency of a claim." Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 20......
  • McKenna v. Permanente Med. Grp., Inc., Case No. CV F 12–0849 LJO GSA.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • August 13, 2012
    ...a cognizable legal theory.” Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.1988); Graehling v. Village of Lombard, Ill., 58 F.3d 295, 297 (7th Cir.1995). A F.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motion “tests the legal sufficiency of a claim.” Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir.2001......
  • DOOMS v. Fed. HOME LOAN MORTGAGE Corp., CASE NO. CV F 11-0352 LJO DLB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • March 31, 2011
    ...cognizable legal theory. " Balisteri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F. 2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990); Graehling v. Village of Lombard, Ill., 58 F. 3d 295, 297 (7th Cir. 1995). In addressing dismissal, a court must: (1) construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff; (2) ac......
  • Villarino v. Comm'r: Soc. Sec. Admin., CASE NO. CV F 12-1225 LJO BAM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • August 3, 2012
    ...legal theory." Balisteri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990); Graehling v. Village ofPage 3Lombard, Ill., 58 F.3d 295, 297 (7th Cir. 1995). In addressing dismissal, a court must: (1) construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff; (2) accept all ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT