United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Motion for Partial Judgment
on the Pleadings [DE 19], filed by Defendants on September
21, 2017. Plaintiff has not filed a response and the time to
do so has passed.
January 25, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination
with the EEOC against Westville Correctional Center, and
filed a Complaint of Discrimination on March 14, 2016. On
October 12, 2016, the EEOC issued a Notice of Right to Sue.
On January 12, 2017, Plaintiff filed her Complaint alleging
discrimination on the basis of sex, race, and sexual
orientation, as well as retaliation, under Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
parties have consented to have this case assigned to a United
States Magistrate Judge to conduct all further proceedings
and to order the entry of a final judgment in this case.
Thus, this Court has jurisdiction to decide this case
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides that “[a]fter
the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay
trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). The Court applies the same standard to a
motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) as is
used to determine motions to dismiss for failure to state a
claim under Rule 12(b)(6). See Guise v. BWM Mortg.,
LLC, 377 F.3d 795, 798 (7th Cir. 2004). When addressing
a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the Court must
“view the facts in the complaint in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party and will grant the motion
only if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff cannot
prove any facts that would support his claim for
relief.” Buchanan-Moore v. Cnty. of Milwaukee,
570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009) (quoting N. Ind. Gun
& Outdoor Shows, Inc. v. City of South Bend, 163
F.3d 449, 452 (7th Cir. 1998)) (internal quotations omitted).
When ruling on a 12(c) motion, the Court considers only the
pleadings, which “include the complaint, the answer,
and any written instruments attached as exhibits.”
N. Ind. Gun & Outdoor Shows, 163 F.3d at 452.
argue that Plaintiff's race discrimination claim is
barred for failure to exhaust her administrative remedies
because she failed to file a charge of race discrimination
with the EEOC.
plaintiff must file a timely charge with the EEOC
encompassing the acts complained of as a prerequisite to
filing suit in federal court.” Babrocky v. Jewel
Food Co., 773 F.2d 857, 863 (7th Cir. 1985) (citing
Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.S. 36, 47
(1974)). Requiring a plaintiff to first file with the EEOC
“serves two purposes: affording the EEOC the
opportunity to settle the dispute between the employee and
employer, and putting the employer on notice of the charges
against it.” Sitar v. Ind. DOT, 344 F.3d 720,
726 (7th Cir. 2003)(citations omitted). Accordingly,
“[a]s a general rule, a Title VII plaintiff cannot
bring claims in a lawsuit that were not included in her EEOC
charge.” Cheek v. Western & S. Life Ins.
Co., 31 F.3d 497, 500 (7th Cir. 1994). Claims not
included in the charge can still be brought “if they
are ‘like or reasonably related to the allegations of
the [EEOC] charge and growing out of such
allegations.'” Moore v. Vital Prod., Inc.,
641 F.3d 253, 256-57 (7th Cir. 2011) (quoting Jenkins v.
Blue Cross Mut. Hosp. Ins., Inc., 538 F.2d 164, 167 (7th
documents Plaintiff provided to the EEOC indicate that she
believed she had been discriminated against on the basis of
sex and retaliation. They note that she is African-American,
but state that she “was the victim of sexual
Harassment” and that she “truly believe[s] that
[her] sexual orientation is the only reason [she] was
terminated.” The mere fact that Plaintiff's EEOC
charge mentions her race is insufficient to give notice of a
race discrimination claim, nor do the documents give any
indication that a race discrimination claim would grow out of
an investigation of sex discrimination. Plaintiff failed to
file a charge of race discrimination with the EEOC.
Therefore, Defendants are entitled to judgment on
Plaintiff's race discrimination claims.
also requests that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims
for punitive damages. Title VII provides that a plaintiff
“may recover punitive damages under this section
against a respondent (other than a government, government
agency or political subdivision).” 42 U.S.C.A. §
1981a(b)(1). Defendants are governmental agencies, so any
request for punitive damages must be dismissed. See Baker
v. Runyon, 114 F.3d 668, 669 (7th Cir. 1997); Bowman
v. Ill. Dep't of Corr., No. 03 C 7420, 2004 WL
406772, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 27, 2004).
foregoing reasons, the Court hereby GRANTS
the Motion for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings [DE 19] and
ORDERS that judgment is granted in favor of
Defendants only on ...