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Friday, September 10, 2010

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issues one Indiana ruling today

In Finch v. Bart Peterson (SD Ind., Debra McVicker Lynch, Magistrate Judge, an 11-page opinion, Judge Sykes writes:

This interlocutory appeal arises from a complaint filed against the City of Indianapolis, its law-enforcement Merit Board, and seven city officials alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs— three white police lieutenants—claim they were subjected to reverse discrimination because they were passed over for promotion to the rank of captain despite ranking higher on the Police Department’s promotion eligibility list than three African-American lieutenants who were promoted ahead of them. The individual city officials moved for judgment on the pleadings, claiming qualified immunity based on the terms of a 1978 consent decree entered into by the Indianapolis Police Department and the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”). They maintained that the consent decree required them to make the promotions at issue here. A magistrate judge disagreed and denied the motion, and the city officials appealed.

We affirm. The 1978 consent decree does not operate to confer qualified immunity on the city officials who were involved in making the challenged promotions. Nothing in that decree required them to take race into consideration in making promotions. To the contrary, specific language in the decree required promotions within the Police Department to be made without regard to race or color.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 10, 2010 04:29 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions